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Ethos and Principles

Ethos and Principles of the programmes

The programme provides a positive learning experience for a wide range of students, ranging from those who require additional

support and adapted teaching programmes in a supported setting, to those who are struggling to gain NCEA, and require an

alternative approach to learning to achieve success.  The programmes provide a framework for developing skills for ‘life-long learning’,

fostering personal growth, raising self esteem and valuing each individual.  The principle of inclusion applies to all students and

knowing the students is key to creating a more flexible environment that supports ALL learners, where barriers to learning are

minimised by:

The programmes are designed for young people to take more control over their own learning.  Students are directly involved in

decision making, empowered by choice about what and how they learn (within the outlines of the SPEC workbooks).  They make

decisions about how to evidence their work, and they are actively involved in setting learning goals with the aim of encouraging

them to learn beyond school.  

Breaking down the barriers:-

Many students are ‘reluctant writers, and we encourage learners to be creative and find other ways of evidencing what they have

learned.  The written form of evidence reflects a small part of their learning, and encouraging the use of video and audio evidence

captures far more of the learning experience and can be used as authentic evidence.

There is a significant New Zealand cultural perspective with regard to the SPEC programmes, tied into the traditional Maori teaching


The programmes also fit with the Ministry of Education’s principle of inclusion, differentiation, and the vision for Directions for

Learning of the New Zealand Curriculum:

“Young people who will be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners’.

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