Tēnā koutou katoa
I am delighted to introduce the BLENNZ Curriculum it has been compiled in consultation with a wide range of people from across the BLENNZ network and with the assistance of critical friends who are all motivated to ensure the very best learning and teaching opportunities for BLENNZ ākonga across New Zealand.
In the past we have attempted to explain the Expanded Core Curriculum; the skills ākonga who are blind, deafblind and low vision require to effectively access learning and teaching. Many have felt that we were talking in parallel to Te Whāriki and the NZ Curriculum and it was challenging for whānau, teachers and therapists to make the connections that were needed. For ākonga to have access to learning in their respective learning environments it is critical that everyone has an understanding of the Expanded Core Curriculum and how it links to the learning that each child or young person is involved in.
Following the Ministry of Education’s review of the NZ Curriculum, BLENNZ has had the opportunity to document a curriculum that speaks directly to the needs of BLENNZ ākonga while making a connection between the curricula of both the early childhood and classroom settings.
This document follows the format of the NZ Curriculum; you will not find detail but a framework to use as a starting point for learning and teaching. The curriculum document starts by clearly stating the vision, mission, values and beliefs of BLENNZ. BLENNZ ākonga are diverse in age (ranging from a few weeks old up to 21 years of age), interests and strengths. All ākonga have the right and the ability to learn and develop. Teachers will draw from the curriculum the elements they require as they personalise an individual plan for each child or young person they are working with.
The Expanded Core Curriculum
The Expanded Core Curriculum is a specific curriculum that enables learners who are blind, deafblind and low vision to access and participate in the regular curriculum, as well as supporting the development of independence skills. Adopted internationally, the Expanded Core Curriculum is critical to supporting positive learning outcomes. It is complementary to the regular curriculum and does not replace it.
The Expanded Core Curriculum forms the basis of BLENNZ programmes and covers the following aspects of teaching and learning:
- Communication e.g. concept development, tactile communication (e.g. braille)
- Sensory Efficiency
- Physical Abilities
- Developmental Orientation and Mobility
- Social Skills
- Life Skills
- Assistive Technology
- Career and Future Planning
The BLENNZ Expanded Core Curriculum is embedded within the key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum and strands and principles of Te Whāriki.