Integrated Inquiry 

We believe children learn best when they have a rich, meaningful context for learning.  Each term, we have a different inquiry theme which encompasses all learning for that term.  These themes are chosen a year ahead by our student leadership group, The Curriculum Council, based on feedback from ākonga (learners), whānau and staff.   

The aim of each inquiry is to embed deep knowledge and understanding about the theme as well as provide opportunities for students to take the inquiry in the direction of their choice. 

Here is what 2023’s Inquiry journey looks like: 

Every class starts the year exploring the theme of Creating our Culture.  Classes use this time to get to know each other as learners and people, set up systems within the class environment, and ensure all learners feel confident and valued as members of their class. 

We have three inquiry models that are used to develop learners’ knowledge and skills.  Each model develops different ways of thinking and learning and are matched to specific learning areas.  e.g. The Experimentation model develops Scientific thinking skills.  



Literacy and Mathematics 

We use Daily 5 (Literacy) and Daily 3 (Mathematics) to support our students to develop and maintain independence in Literacy and Mathematics.  These programmes are introduced to ākonga in Year 1 and are used in every classroom across our school. 

Deliberate teaching through small group workshops happens every day in our classrooms.  We believe in flexible grouping where children are grouped based on learning.  This could be, for example, ability groups, mixed ability or interest groups.  Groups change regularly to meet the needs of learners. 

The Learning Progression Framework is the tool we use to understand and track the progress of our ākonga in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.  We also use this tool to report to parents in the middle and end of the year. 

Spelling is deliberately taught across the school using the Joy Allcock spelling programmes.  This programme teaches children the sounds that make up words and the letters that spell those sounds.  It is often incorporated into our Daily 5 Literacy programme. 


Focus Week: 

In Terms 1, 2 and 4, we have one week where core programmes are set aside for a whole school deep dive into a specific theme. 


If you were to visit our school during focus week, the things you might see are: 

  • Students rotating between classes 
  • Outside facilitators working with students 
  • Students grouped with peers from different classes 
  • Students on overnight camp within or outside of Auckland 
  • Hands-on, rich learning opportunities 
  • Collaborative group projects 
  • Learning is happening in lots of different environments across the school.  Inside classrooms, outside, in shared spaces. 

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Friday Fizz – all students 

We love to end the week on a high! Friday Fizz gives students the opportunity to learn something new or further explore an area of interest. It is also a whole lot of fun! The choices change each term.  Popular Friday Fizz options include Minecraft Madness, Creation Station, Quantum Ball, Learn to Ski, Sport and Art. 

This year, the Year 3 – 8 students will be in one Friday Fizz group for Terms One and Two.  The Year 0-2 will have one option for the first half of the year and another one for Terms Three and Four. 


Opportunities for Excellence – Year 3 – 8 students only 

Our learners are talented in a wide range of different areas.  Our Opportunities for Excellence (OE) programme allows them to further develop areas of strength with like-minded peers.  Sessions happen on Fridays in the middle block. 

The groups are governed by what the students tell us are their strengths and passions, so OE looks different every year.  Some examples of groups we have run in the past are Adventure HQ, Dance, Cooking, Kaitiaki Kids, Photography and Skiing. 

Most of the OE fees are covered by the Activity Fee but some require extra payment (e.g. skiing, Adventure HQ, cooking). 

This year, OE happens in Terms Three and Four. 

If you have any questions about Friday Fizz or Opportunities for excellence, please contact our Deputy Principal of Operations, Rangi Ropati at 


Year 7/8 Programme 

Benefits of staying at Parnell for Year 7/8: 

  • Small class sizes 
  • Dedicated STEAM teacher 
  • Teachers that know their learners 
  • Leadership opportunities for all learners 
  • Sports 
  • Excellent class practitioners  
  • Extension and support programmes 

If you have any questions regarding the Year 7/8 programme at Parnell District School, please contact our Deputy Principal: Curriculum, Anna Sephton at