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The learning context

Duration: 2:31
Curriculum area: Social Science
Year group: Years 4-6
Location: Wellington

The teachers of the Gifted Kids Programme at Newtown School were beginning a topic based on the concept of ‘Change’. As an introduction to the unit they chose to focus on changes within Wellington, specifically the city and the waterfront area. They would be working with an LEOTC provider that had facilitated successful learning experiences for their students in the past.

A class visit was booked to the Museum of Wellington City and Sea. The teachers and the LEOTC educator met to discuss the learning needs of the students. In collaboration, a broad-based programme was developed, involving artefact-linked discovery and research-based activities.

The museum also suggested post-visit activities and supplied the school with its Risk Analysis and Management Systems (RAMS). In class, students reflected on the concept of ‘Change’ and began to focus on one area for an in-depth study as a follow-up to the visit.

Planning the visit: Curriculum links


Curriculum area

Social studies


Continuity, and Change


New Zealand




2, 3, and 4

Achievement objectives

Students will demonstrate knowledge and understandings of:

  • how past events changed the lives of communities
  • how the ideas and actions of people in the past changed the lived of others
  • how the past is recorded and remembered in different ways.

 Social Studies in the New Zealand Curriculum

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • make comparisons with past and present use of the wharf area
  • understand the impact of change on the wharf area
  • investigate other changes in Wellington city according to their areas of personal interest.

Draft key competency focus

Managing self:

  • move around the museum in a responsible manner
  • initiate own research
  • maintain on-task behaviour.

Relating to others:

  • work cooperatively with other group members
  • show respect and consideration for museum staff and members of the public.


  • use critical thinking skills to analyse information gathered.

Participating and contributing:

  • be involved in the visit by asking questions and sharing.

Using language symbols and texts:

  • use signage, spoken language, film, and audio presentations to access information.


Planning the visit: Preparation

The teachers met with the LEOTC educator at the Museum of Wellington City and Sea. They discussed the reasons for their upcoming visit and negotiated the learning outcomes for the group.

Students completed a graphic organiser to help them and their teachers assess their prior knowledge and give them a direction for their learning on the topic of ‘Change’. They recorded what they knew already (K), what they wanted to find out/why things had changed (W), and possible resources they might use (R). At the end of the study they recorded the learning that occurred during the unit (L).

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