Te Kura Big Picture learning

Te Kura offers every fulltime student and young adult student (aged 16 to 19) the opportunity of Big Picture learning.

Big Picture learning places you, the learner, at the centre. It’s a way to fully personalise your learning with plans that focus on your interests, your passions and your potential.

You, your whānau and your Te Kura learning advisor will design a programme of learning that is relevant to you and connected to the real world.

A key aspect of Big Picture learning is your engagement with the wider community to broaden, enhance and deepen your learning. This includes everything from interviewing a community expert on a shared interest to undertaking a long-term community-based project. This part of Big Picture learning is called ‘Leaving to Learn.’

We’ve seen many powerful examples of young people working in their communities to create positive change, explore different careers and learn more about themselves as part of their learning programme. These experiences can provide an important foundation for learners to move beyond Te Kura.

Watch the following video about Te Kura Big Picture learning:

We'll also continue to provide high-quality learning programmes to students who are studying one or two subjects, rather than a full Big Picture programme. This includes programmes such as dual tuition, Summer School and students enrolling with a specific focus on the study of single subjects; meeting the needs of each individual learner is all part of our Big Picture philosophy.

Our five Big Picture Principles: Kaupapa Whakahaere

Big Picture learning is an international model, which we have made our own for our learners, their whānau and our school. Our five principles draw on Tikanga Māori and Big Picture principles.

Learners and whānau lead their engagement and learning, building on strong marautanga foundations.

Learners learn through a range of integrated learning opportunities that support their holistic development.

Learners’ aspirations, interests, needs and contexts drive their learning.

Learners learn within the contexts of whānau, Te Kura (online and face to face) and community with the support of a range of different people including Learning Advisors, kaiako, mentors, peers and whānau members.

Learners are supported to reach their goals through rich programmes of learning and are well-equipped to move forward in their lives to experience future success.

Your Big Picture learning

Here’s how to participate in Big Picture learning…

All our fulltime and young adult students (16 to 19 years old) are part of our Big Picture learning whānau.

You will have a Te Kura learning advisor, who will support you in all your learning.

Big Picture learning is centred around you, so we need you to be an active part of this. We will have a conversation early on about the commitment you’ll be making.

We also encourage your whānau to be involved, whether that’s relatives, friends or someone else you’re close to and who you can discuss your learning with.

We will ask you to agree to The Deal - Te Whakaaetanga. This is the agreement between each student, their Learning Advisor and their whānau. This agreement outlines how the learning partnership will work.

You will have your own Individual Learning Plan. This links your unique needs, interests and aspirations with your learning programme. Your learning advisor will support you to develop this. We will also include your whānau or anybody else you choose to support you.

We want to build your strengths and help you reach your goals. Your interests and goals may change, that’s all good - your programme of learning can change with them.

Most students will have their Individual Learning Plan in My Korowai, which is a specially designed place in our online learning environment. My Korowai will be your home base for all your learning.

The Big Picture learning motto is ‘one student at a time in a community of learners’.

The advisory is an important part of Big Picture. An advisory is a group of learners, with your Te Kura learning advisor. All full-time students at Te Kura have a learning advisor.

The advisory is where learners find their belonging, build relationships with other students and connect their learning. We will expect you to regularly join an advisory, with your learning advisor and a group of students.

You might join your advisory group at a physical location, we have over a hundred sites across Aotearoa where we host advisories once or twice a week. Or, it may be online.

We will support you to learn from the world, we call this 'Leaving to Learn'. This may be a passion project, exploring career options, talking with a mentor, pursuing an area of interest, an internship or a tertiary pathway.

You’re realising and sharing insights in to your learning. You might keep a journal, a video diary, reflections in My Korowai or make a presentation about your learning journey. We want you to be the designer of your programme, an active participant not a passenger.

Big Picture learning experience at Te Kura

We know Big Picture works for our learners. One reason we know this is because we’ve run pilots. Te Kura’s Big Picture Learning Pilots were established in 2014 at six sites across New Zealand. Eighty of our students and their whānau were invited to join the initiative. The Pilots were requested and supported by the Ministry of Education. This initiative was a finalist in the Prime Minister’s Education Awards in 2018.

Watch a video about our Big Picture Pilots [YouTube]

Big Picture learning is an international programme

As a Big Picture learning student, you are part of an international community of learners. Big Picture learning was founded in America over 20 years ago, and is now an international community of educators Big Picture Learning International

Our school is an active part of this community. We’ve also made sure that our Te Kura Big Picture learning is relevant to our learner’s and their whānau, our school, and Aotearoa.