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'One-size-fits-all' teaching approach doesn't always work for poor performing NZ students – Ministry of Education

After a tumultuous 2020 saw poor performances by some school students, the Ministry of Education says it's working hard to refocus on refining the education system.

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Education Secretary Iona Holstead says unifying the school community is important for aiding pupils. Source: 1 NEWS

Lockdowns and disrupted learning patterns likely contributed to New Zealand students posting their worst results in maths and science internationally since rankings began in 1994. 

It's not a new issue for the Government, with plans to fix declining grades in several key subjects having been on the cards since back in August 2019.

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Irregular attendance is another concern with both issues heightened by the pandemic. Source: 1 NEWS

Work had begun to review the school curriculum and how it was taught in schools but was placed on the back-burner last year after the arrival of Covid-19. 

Despite the hurdle, Education Secretary Iona Holstead reassured that progress with the review of teaching, particularly in maths, science and literacy were all "well and truly back on track". 

Holstead highlighted that with subjects like maths, a "one-size-fits-all" approach doesn't always work.

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The Education Review Office has outlined several challenges for mainly low decile schools. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's important to understand with our maths in particular, we've got a mixed bag," she said. 

"We're actually really good at some parts of maths; our kids are really good at problem solving ... and not so much with algebra'. 

Putting support behind teachers and the wider school community is also pivotal for the Ministry of Education, particularly in lower decile schools.

She says the Ministry's focus is to give these teachers the "confidence and capability" to create a supportive school environment. 

The Government allocated roughly $50 million in Covid-19 relief funding to be distributed between schools hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. 

"It is a community response that we need, and I think that the connectedness and kindness message that we had last year we all need to maintain."

Almost a quarter of New Zealand children are in low deciles schools.