NZATE Objectives

  • To promote the teaching of English at all levels of the education system and beyond, and to unite all members in a common purpose

  • To act as a forum where all teachers of English can share ideas and experience;

  • To encourage continuity and liaison in the teaching of English from pre-school to primary to secondary to tertiary levels;

  • To encourage and foster research;

  • To publish material relevant to the teaching of English;

  • To speak authoritatively on behalf of all members on matters of concern related to the teaching of English;

  • To make appropriate representation on matters of concern related to the teaching of English;

  • To lend support to the activities of all teachers of English and their associations;

  • To promote liaison with the international organisations and with other National Associations for the Teaching of English;

  • To promote and facilitate travel to New Zealand by visiting overseas speakers and to encourage and facilitate travel abroad by New Zealand teachers of English.



Regional reports : March 2014

WELTA - Waikato English Teachers' Assocn.

After two or three years in hibernation, Margaret Black, Jackie Rassell and I met mid-2013 with the aim to resurrect WELTA. We organised one
workshop for Term 3 and one for Term 4 and were very pleased with theturnout - approximately 30 or so attendees at each meeting.
In Term 3, the focus was e-learning and we were fortunate to have Dave Winter, a Google-certified teacher, present to us the varied tools available in the extensive Google suite for educators.
In Term 4, Cynthia Orr was our guest presenter. She had recently beendoing some work in curriculum mapping and came along to help us explore where junior English might sit between primary national standards and theLevel 1-3 NCEA a chievement standards.

This year, we hope to keep the momentum going with guest facilitators and round-table workshops. The aim is to foster collaboration and communication channels for Waikato English teachers. We welcome any suggestions and ideas.

Joanne Thom, HoF English, St Peter's School, Cambridge -

EBOPATE (Central East) 

Our region is in 'conference mode' - we look forward to seeing you all at 'Myth and Magic' - July 9-11th - John Paul College, Rotorua.


In Term Four 2013, two events were held.  Thiswas presented by a local private tutoring academy (based in Johnsonville), presented by their head tutor who talked to the meeting about the sorts of problems that students come to him with around their English achievement.  Basically, he spoke about the deficits that he commonly perceives that are coming through from English classrooms, and he shared his practice for addressing these deficits (at the risk of losing clients).  This meeting was reasonably well attended (around 20 members) for the time of year.

The second event was held on November 20th, hosted by The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie.  The bookshop provided great catering (free of charge) and John and Ruth introduced the latest and greatest off their shelves.  Again, a small but enthusiastic group gathered (around 15) and bought up a lot of new books.  This has also provided several really great titles for text purchases, especially for junior classes.

For 2014, we have planned a Creative Writing workshop in Term One (April 3rd) with Bernard Beckett, to be held at Wellington Girls’ College on April 3rd. For Term Two we are planning a workshop on the EAPs and how to plan and cater for covering the new UE Literacy requirements (especially the 5 reading credits).  We are still finding a suitable presenter, with more of an English focus rather than ESOL.In Term Three we will focus on creative course planning for senior English – e.g. Wellington Girls’ College with their Yr 13 student-selected programme, and Wellington High School’s cross-curricular courses.Term Four, we are looking at an event with either a junior English focus, or a PRT focus (or both) – yet to be planned.

All of our events have been devised based on expressions of interest or requests from teachers.


The region must acknowledge the exceptional work done by Matt Griffith as the regional representative for the last two years. Matt has left teaching to train for the ministry. Cynthia Orr has been seconded onto the NZATE committee to replace Matt.

SAATE would love some new members on the committee after the resignation of a few members over the last couple of years.


There was a strong finish to 2013 with huge interest in the second annual Big Day Out.  Registrations were had to be capped when they reached 150.  8 workshops were offered during the day (most of them twice) and Robert Sullivan was the after lunch guest poet.  Workshops included: Giving feedback on poetry, Exploring the new Level 3 oral exemplar DVD, Inspiring reluctant writers, making peer feedback work, Promoting personal reading, Strategies and ideas for teaching English, How to manage writing portfolios, and Reflecting on Level 3 standards alignment.  Great feedback was received.  The event will definitely run again this year.

There have been some changes to the AATEL committee for 2014.  Gavin Morgan from Auckland Girls’ is now treasurer and Belinda Develter from Western Springs is secretary.  Most notably Shaun Hawthorne has stood down after countless years on the committee as he has taken up a new position with Cognition Education.  We wish Shaun all the best for this new stage in his career and thank him for his untiring efforts to promote quality English teaching through his involvement with AATEL and NZATE.

The first AATEL event of the year is a series of twilight workshops on Wednesday 9th April.  These will focus on information literacy, scholarship and Level 2 analysis.

The first North Shore event organised by NARATE took place on 20th March.  There was a visual text workshop from Hamish Chalmers and a ‘swap meet’ of interesting texts to teach. Auckland Regional Report March 2014

There was a strong finish to 2013 with huge interest in the second annual Big Day Out.  Registrations were had to be capped when they reached 150.  8 workshops were offered during the day (most of them twice) and Robert Sullivan was the after lunch guest poet.  Workshops included: Giving feedback on poetry, Exploring the new Level 3 oral exemplar DVD, Inspiring reluctant writers, making peer feedback work, Promoting personal reading, Strategies and ideas for teaching English, How to manage writing portfolios, and Reflecting on Level 3 standards alignment.  Great feedback was received.  The event will definitely run again this year.

There have been some changes to the AATEL committee for 2014.  Gavin Morgan from Auckland Girls’ is now treasurer and Belinda Develter from Western Springs is secretary.  Most notably Shaun Hawthorne has stood down after countless years on the committee as he has taken up a new position with Cognition Education.  We wish Shaun all the best for this new stage in his career and thank him for his untiring efforts to promote quality English teaching through his involvement with AATEL and NZATE.

The first AATEL event of the year is a series of twilight workshops on Wednesday 9th April.  These will focus on information literacy, scholarship and Level 2 analysis.

The first North Shore event organised by NARATE took place on 20th March.  There was a visual text workshop from Hamish Chalmers and a ‘swap meet’ of interesting texts to teach. 

Regional reports : November 2013

CETA Report

Term 3 saw CETA host Dr Ian Taylor, who presented to 40 teachers on effective essay writing. Trish Holden ran the annual HOD day at the University of Canterbury. This was attended by over 70 English curriculum leaders. 

The CETA committee are looking forward to continuing to support English teachers in our region, for 2014.

WRATE Report

The most exciting news for WRATE members is the official announcement that Wellington is the venue for the NZATE conference in 2015. A skeleton committee has been established and planning is underway. We are still looking for helpers so if you have anything you would like to contribute or would like to take part in the planning process, please email me to let me know (

Several events have taken place since the July conference, with the most recent being a PD session at HIBS on new approaches to the Level Three Critical Texts standard and practical ways to use technology in the classroom, including the use of Playstation games to engage learners.

Flyers have been sent out about the upcoming PD session at St Catherine’s on the 6th. John Horrell will present on study techniques for senior students and then there will be time set  aside for people to talk about and share resources for PRTs. On the 27thcheese evening is being hosted by The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie for English teachers in the Wellington region. It will be a fantastic event and the hosts have kindly offered very generous discounts. You will be able to get your Christmas shopping done early while catching up with colleagues. I look forward to seeing you there.

AATEL - David Taylor

We ran a ‘best of conference’ evening of workshops in Term 3 which was well attended. In the first week of term 4 we ran a session with Professor Pam Grossman from Stanford University (who was a key not at the IFTE conference in 2011). Over 70 teachers turned up. It was an excellent lecture on teaching students to read complex literary texts.

Our Big Day Out will be on 13th November at Auckland Girls’ Grammar. There is a general focus on writing but there will still be a range of workshop topics.November at Auckland Girls’ Grammar. We are in the final stages of November at Auckland Girls’ Grammar. We are in the final stages of planning. There is a general focus on writing but there will still be a range of workshop topics.

David Taylor is standing down as Treasure of AATEL after six years. Gavin Morgan, HOD of Auckland Girls’ Grammar, will be taking over.

NARATE continue to run sessions with workshops and speakers from Albany each term catering for teachers who live in the north of Auckland and struggle to cross the bridge.


TTATE - Matt Griffiths

The Tai Tokerau association is alive! We have a great bunch of dedicated teachers of English in the North who are keen to see the association continue and grow.Term Three saw their first PD get together happen in Whangarei. It was a great night of fine food (at a local restaurant) and clever presentations about several diverse topics (such as engaging Maori students in English and how to incorporate Media Studies Achievement Standards into English programmes).If any teacher in Tai Tokerau is interested in being part of the associations future training, please contact Viv Smith (HOD English at Huanui College) at

SAATE - Matt Griffiths

South Auckland Association continues its sterling work in the South. The committee is a strong bunch of very committed teachers who are keen to see a strong network od professional teachers grow stronger. The committee has had some changes in the last year and are keen to see some more people join their 

number. If anyone is interested in being part of the committee, please contact Ivan Peter (HOD English at Edgewater College) at

Term Three saw a presentation, at Edgewater, on innovation in English and how to use the new standards creatively for Year 12 students (especially those who have their Level One certificate and literacy outside of English).

November 15th (at Ormiston Senior College) sees the World famous (in South Auckland) SAATE Big Day Out. This is a day of PD, planning, and professional dialogue. If any teacher is interested in taking part, please contact  Tania Lynley-Richardson (HOD English Sancta Maria College) at

It has been my pleasure to serve as SAATE and TTATE Rep on the NZATE board. Next year I move on to different things but I am pleased that Cynthia Orr (National Co-ordinator English at Team Solutions) has agreed to stand in as your representative until the AGM, at the National Conference, in July. Cynthia’s contact is at

Regional reports : July 2013

CETA: Alison Cleary 

The last 12 months have seen a re-invigorated CETA committee. Functions have been strongly supported by schools in the Christchurch and North Canterbury region. 

Last term's workshops around the new Level 3 standads provided a welcome time for teachers of Level 3 to 'nut out' some issues and concerns. Hamish Chalmers presented information around the 'Create Visual Text' standard - and this was very well received. In Term 3 CETA is hosting Dr Ian Hunter who is presenting his work and website on improving essay writing.

It is also good to know that there are active groups of teachers in the 'further afield'  areas of the region. The Timaru English Teachers have maintained a focus and enthusiasm for the developemnts that are taking place in Engish. 'We know each other well and have been able to bring moderation queries to each session so as to help out those with very small or single teacher departments. No question is too small or too large and the support we give each other I think is special.' Similarly the Nelson group NETA has been going since 2010. Recent events they have hosted include Donna Smith from St Hilda's has spent a wonderfully inspiring day sharing her ways of using devices in classes ofEnglish. NETA's vision to haveall English teachers meet once a term . The NETA  wiki website - 

It would be great to see a similar group operating on the West Coast.

AATEL: David Taylor

The last year has been a very positive one for the new committee.  There continues to be strong support from Auckland schools as indicated by a high membership rate - 35 schools currently and more membership forms arriving.  Events for teachers are organised each term.  AATEL (Auckland Association for the Teaching of the English Language) is in a strong financial position and is looking to start a programme sponsoring international speakers to come and give workshops every two years.  We would be happy to work with other associations in this endeavour.

Last November we held our first 'Big Day Out' based on the very successful SATE model and we are extremely grateful for the generous support offered by them to help us get it up and running.  The event was focused on implications for Level 3 English course from the standards alignment process.  It was attended by more than 100 Auckland teachers and feedback was very positive with support for making it an annual event.

NARATE (North Auckland Region Association for Teachers of English) continues to grow strong with increasing support from North Shore schools.  They offer professional learning opportunities every term. Any interested North Auckland teachers should contact Robin Holding ( for more information.

Look out for information about Term 3 workshops which will feature 'Greatest Hits' from Conference 2013

OATE: Jude Maw

Post conference the region has been a little quiet. Teachers have taken opportunities to get together for professional development and clusters are operating throughout the region alongside Dr Mal Thompson from the University of Otago College of Education. I would encourage any teachers from the region to please contact me if they would like any assistance in getting together with others close by or have any concerns

In Term 1 our subject association organised a Jumbo Day for the schools which was aimed at programme planning in the senior school. We focussed on the idea of student profiles and future pathways. This was seen as a chance to look wider than the assessment focus of Best Practise Workshops.

The Dunedin Association (OATE) has taken on a shared leadership model whereby schools will take turns to host and facilitate the meetings. This was started off in positive fashion by King's High School and we are looking forward to being hosted by Otago Boy's High School in Term 

Central Region: Karen Beaumont 

As can be expected, our focus this year has been on conference and all the final preparations that go into offering one. HBETA have still met each term and it was great to see many local teachers coming in over the days leading up to conference to help us set up and get everything ready. Our thanks go to all involved. At our last HBETA meeting on July 5th we fare welled Rod Dowling. A long time member of HBETA Rod will be know to many as the  producer of the BBA Resources. Although now retired from teaching it was lovely to see him at conference and we wish him well.

As your regional representative it would be great to hear about and share what our other associations are doing.  You can contact me via school: 


March 2013

Canterbury Report 

CETA's year got off to a fine start, with it's AGM held at St Margaret's College. After the election of officers the   plan for 2013 events was developed..

This was followed by a presentation/seminar from Dylan Horrocks (comic author and artist) on the history of and value of teaching graphic novels. This was well recieved from English teachers from a dozen schools.

Future events include - the continuing development of links with the U of Canterbury; looking towards scholarship and workshops around Level 3 standards.

Auckland Report

The AATEL Big Day Out was attended by over 100 teachers in November.  Held at Auckland Girls’ Grammar School it focussed on the alignment at Level 3.  Particularly new standards and course design.  Feedback was very positive and there was strong support for making it an annual feature.  The challenge will be to keep offering relevant workshops – we suspect there was a lot of support because of the uncertainty around some aspects of alignment at this level.

A number of schools which have not attended AATEL events before were present and several have become members.

AATEL is in a sound financial position and funds have recovered after 2011 when a number of initiatives for the IFTE conference were funded.

There are 10 committee members and the 2013 programme has been worked out with the first event being twilight workshops on the 21st March.  These will be looking at Scholarship, media and writing.

NARATE are having their first event next week which is a session on essay writing with Dr Ian Hunter.

The AATEL Committee has requested that NZATE consider an approach to the Ministry to ask them to revisit the decision to remove 2.2, 3.2 and 2.7 from the list of standards that count towards U.E. reading literacy.


Wellington Regional Association of Teachers of English (WRATE) 

At the end of 2012, WRATE welcomed a new leadership team. I thank Kathy Ryan, Julia Weir and Julie Baigent for taking on the roles of President, Treasurer and Secretary respectively. This awesome team have been planning some excellent PD opportunities for Lower North Island English teachers – details are to follow. WRATE would certainly be keen to hear from you if you have any suggestions.

On the subject of PD, marking external examinations for NZQA over the Christmas break is an excellent way for teachers to familiarise themselves with the ins and outs of externally assessed standards. Keep an eye on the NZQA website as expressions of interest for panel leaders will be asked for in the near future. I really recommend that you give this a go!

It sounds as though the team from Hawkes Bay has been doing a marvellous job of preparing for the NZATE 


Bay of Plenty Association of Teachers (BETA) and Eastern Bay of Plenty Association of Teachers of English (EBOPATE)

Term 1 of 2013 has been a very busy and exciting one with regard to regional meetings. The term started with a BETA AGM at Mt. Maunganui College on Wednesday 27 February, where teachers discussed prospective plans of work for the year, and reasons for inclusion or exclusion of various standards at Levels 2 and 3. There was also a new committee chosen, with Pip Tinning as Chairperson. There was a lot of discussion around hosting a mini-conference day for a date yet to be decided in term 4, and Yvette Krohn-Isherwood and Pip Tinning will be organising this event. Yvette Krohn-Isherwood also reported on the planning progress for the 2014 NZATE Conference, which will be held in Rotorua.

Teachers in the Eastern Bay of Plenty were fortunate enough to host Dr Ian Hunter on Wednesday 6 March, who ran a very successful essay writing workshop at Trident High School. This was very well attended and it is hoped that this level of quality professional development will continue in this region.

On Thursday 7 March, Mary Libby ran a very informative day on the new Level 3 standards at Bethlehem. As an association, we appreciate the on-going support provided to us by Team Solutions.

In the near future, there will be an EBOPATE moderation/ resource sharing meeting in Week 9 of term 1 at a venue still to be discussed. There will also be a BETA meeting at Aquinas College in week 2 of Term 2. All teachers who would like to attend, or would like information on either meeting, please contact Yvette at


SAATE (South Auckland Association of Teachers of English) 

At the end of 2012, SAATE held their usual Big Day Out, professional day of development for teachers of English. The day was held at Ormiston Senior College, in Flat Bush, and was attended by approximately 80 teachers.

The day started with a welcome from Jo Morris, president of NZATE, and a presentation by Cynthia Orr on Level 3 NCEA changes. Then there was two sessions of workshops for teachers. These workshops were varied in their nature and covered topics as varied as Dr. Ian Hunter’s essay writing skills, to digital classrooms.

The venue was fantastic and we felt very welcome by Ormiston Senior College.

The first meeting of SAATE, in 2013, will be on Wednesday, 27th of March, at Edgewater College. The focus will be on Level 3 alignment.

We are very lucky to have a committed bunch of teachers who are on the organising committee and who work very hard on behalf of SAATE.

TTATE (Tai Tokerau)

Wednesday 21st of November 2012, TTATE had their first meeting (for some time) at Kamo High School, Whangarei.

The focus of the meeting was digital classrooms, which was a good focus due to the Ultra fast broadband roll out in Northland. 24 teachers attended and spirits were high to establish a regular meeting structure, in 2013.

TTATE will have a meeting in Term 1 2013, date and topic to be confirmed.


HBETA (hawkes Bay)

It is great that there is a small group of visionaries (from Huanui School, Kamo High, and Pompallier College) who are keen to see TTATE restart, and who also see the value of a regional association.

HBETA rounded off 2012 with the John McKenzie writing competition. The top three winners were invited to read their pieces and presented with their awards. This was well received with a good attendance and a press presence, which led to the overall winner being published in the local paper.  We have yet to have our first meeting of the year but have been kept busy with preparing for what will be an awesome conference in July. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Check out the conference website  -


OATE (Otago) 

In a partnership with Dr Mal Thompson from the advisory service OATE was involved in two PD opportunities at the end of 2012. One was aimed at beginning teachers and the other focused on Level 3.

For 2013 we have had our first meeting at which Bridget Schaumann (librarian at King's High School) presented some very inspiring thoughts on adolescents and reading. she then shared a great list of books that are hot now.

Coming up next month we have the Otago Jumbo Day at which we are focussing on teaching to the new curriculum, our students' future directions and the aligned standards.

There is an exciting opportunity for teachers in the area to make an impact on English teaching as part of the OATE committee. Please get in touch if you are interested. 


2012 Reports

Central Region: Karen Beaumont
As a new representative for the Central Region, my focus since July has been centred on the activities of the Hawke’s Bay Association.

On September 20th Dr Gerrad O’Connor from Palmerston Boys came to talk to us about applying critical theories to literature. This followed on nicely for those of us who had been at conference and/or had been introduced to Sian’s book, Through the Literacy Looking Glass. One particular point of interest was the use of Greek and Roman mythology at the junior level as a way of establishing a background knowledge in preparation for critical thinking.

In August, as per last year, the Hawke’s Bay Principals Association held a jumbo day for teachers across the region to meet and plan for the alignment. This incorporated best practise workshops and HBETA organised for Cynthia Orr to run a day on the Y13 alignment and ways of incorporating a thematic approach at Level 2 for the Writing and Oral standards.

The branch recently ran the John McKenzie poetic writing competition. Originally a poetry competition, this has been broadened to encourage greater participation. The winning piece was, ‘Dollar on the Footpath,’ by Beth Rust (Karamu High School).


As a regional representative it would be great to hear about and share what our other associations are doing.  You can contact me via school: 


WRATE - Wellington Region : Laura Le Page

I am really pleased to be the Wellington-Southern North Island representative. There are so many talented teachers in our area and I believe that we have the potential to become an even stronger, better-connected region.

Personal development opportunities have been regular and the majority of these have been well-attended, particularly those regarding the new Level Two standards. WRATE recently held an after-school workshop in which teachers shared the approaches their departments have taken to portfolio writing and ways to provide valuable feedback and feedforward opportunities for students.

The English teachers in Upper Hutt have established a strong cluster group and meet regularly. I would be really keen to find out if other areas are doing anything similar. More opportunities to network with other teachers of English would be to the benefit of everyone.

I am looking forward to seeing our region develop further. Please contact me if you have any suggestions or queries. 


AATEL - Auckland Region: David Taylor

The 2011 IFTE Conference took a great deal of energy and left the committee rather worn out.  This coupled with the departure of some long standing members (Ngaire Hoben, Leanne Webb and Ros Ali) meant that AATEL was in need of some rejuvenation.  There was a recruitment drive for new members and the committee now consists of 10 members – only two who were on it prior to IFTE.  While there has been an obvious loss of institutional knowledge the new faces and wider reach of the committee are very positive.   There are currently around 40 institutional members.


We have had three evening workshops sessions so far this year.  Term 1 focussed on Level 2 writing, Term 2 on Level 2 reading and Term 3 on 2012 Conference Greatest Hits.  Attendance has been 70 – 85 for each event.  There is a full day mini-conference or Big Day Out planned for November 14 which will focus on Level 3 2013.


SAATE - South Auckland: Matt Griffiths

Since taking over as SAATE representative in July, the time has been busy for SAATE. In Term Three, SAATE held a workshop on the aligned Level Two standards hosted by Keir Whipp at Aorere College. In the workshop, Tania Linley-Richardson led us in discussion and planning for new and different tasks to address the new standards.


SAATE are also hosting their 2012 Big Day Out PD Day, at Ormiston Senior High School, on the 16th of November. This will be a day of PD, workshops and discussion.


We are fortunate to have a committed and able board, who give their time happily to SAATE.


TTATE - Tai Tokerau: Matt Griffiths

After several inactive years, TTATE will be holding their first after school meeting, at Kamo High School, on Wednesday, 21st November. I will be the speaker (on paper-less classrooms and Google environment schools). After the meeting, there will be a discussion about the future of TTATE and (hopefully) the establishment of a governance committee. We are supported by some good and keen teachers, especially at Whangarei Boys’ High, Pompallier College and Kamo High School. 


CETA - Canterbury: Alison Cleary

CETA has a new committee full of fresh ideas. Tanya Phillips and Brendan Faa’vae organised a Canterbury schools’ Poetry Slam - you can read the winning entries in the October issue of ‘English in Aotearoa’. Towards the end of Term 3 Hagley Community College hosted a half day writing workshop. Over 60 teachers heard Jane Dewar discuss HIC’s approach to writing across the whole school. They then had to opportunity to take part in a series of workshops focussing on different aspects of the writing process. The University of Canterbury is very keen to develop links between CETA and the English/Film/Linguistics Faculty. Part of this process saw a group of lecturers delivering a workshop focussing on ‘Approaches to the Scholarship English paper’. 50 students attended the Friday afternoon session. We are looking forward to further developing this connection.


All in all - a busy couple of terms.


Central North Island Regional Report : Yvette Krohn-Ishwerwood

NZATE conference was a great experience for the teachers from our region who attended and it was pleasing to see so many Bay of Plenty participants. The plan for Conferences was announced, with Karamu High school hosting the 2013 Conference, and Trident High School/ John Paul College hosting the 2014 Conference, so it will certainly be an exciting two years for the central North Island region. Any teachers who are keen to be on the committee for the 2014 Conference, please contact Yvette Krohn-Isherwood at 


There have been a number of regional meetings over the last few months in Tauranga and Whakatane. It is good to see that English teachers are making a concerted effort to stay connected through mutual discussion and showing of exemplars.

On Wednesday 15 August, The Eastern Bay of Plenty association (EBOPATE) met at Whakatane High School to discuss the new Level 2 visual text standards, with an emphasis on 2.6- approaches to teaching 2.6, exemplars of student work and moderation thereof. It was a very constructive meeting and there is another day planned for later in Term 4.

On Tuesday 11 September, Mary Libby from Team Solutions ran a workshop for all teachers of the region and concentrated on the re-alignment of level 3 standards. This was extremely well supported, with teachers from as far afield as Taupo and Opotiki attending. This was followed up by a BETA meeting on Tuesday 18 September at Mount Maunganui College, where the following topics were discussed: highlights of 2012 Conference, new resources for Scholarship and L2 oral presentation, Scholarship cluster idea, Level 3 workshop feedback, Level 2 Best Practice Workshop feedback and meeting the new Advisor Mary Libby. It was pleasing to see so many people attending, and it is hoped that this level of involvement will continue.

Upcoming events in our region include:

Tuesday, 27 November 2012, 9:00am - 3:00pm at the Bethlehem Motor Inn: BETA cluster meeting.

This cluster is designed for schools to collaborate around course design (years 9-13) for 2013. Specifically we will create/revise course outlines and unit plans and we will consider the curricular resources that will be needed for individual schools. In so doing we will consider ways to use PAT, asttle and other forms of data effectively.  We will have breakout sessions on: task writing, pathways and the EAP standards. Schools should consider having the middle leader(s) responsible for creating and implementing English curriculum attend. It is intended that this will be a spring board for these middle leader(s) to collaborate with and support each other on an ongoing basis.


Date to be confirmed: EBOPATE cluster meeting: Trident High School. This meeting will concentrate on an overview of the year- what has worked at each level, suggestions for approaching new standards, exemplars and moderation of student work.

From the NZATE President -November 2013

Take time to read two pieces of correpsondence that I have sent recently - one to Min Parata and the other advising PPTA of NZATE's stance on Charter Schools and the staff that choose to work in them.

The November report will follow soon...

Dear Ms Parata

I am writing on behalf of the New Zealand Association for the Teaching of English (NZATE), in relation to the recent decision to stop funding the National Co-ordinator Secondary English positions.  The roles provide invaluable support for English teachers, English Departments and local professional bodies.


This decision comes at a time when we have already lost the provision of resources and direct curriculum support through the removal of subject specific advisors and free best-practice workshops.  This decision will further erode the provision of support and direction for English teachers already dealing with increased pressure from sector reform.  Currently the people in these positions provide support, resources and networks for isolated and struggling teachers as well as those who wish to pursue excellence in their teaching practice.  They organise workshops, answer questions and provide information on curriculum changes and how to respond to them effectively.  Without this support the English teaching profession in Aotearoa New Zealand will be less robust.


The current co-ordinators visit isolated schools and areas to provide professional learning in areas where it is most needed.  They provide a benchmark against which teachers can confidently assess student work against national assessment standards.  This ensures that the unique New Zealand Curriculum is being implemented consistently so teachers can support students to succeed.  Across New Zealand they provide prompt responses to questions and issues which arise as well as building networks between teachers coping with similar problems.


The disestablishing of these roles undermines the Government’s restructure of the Teachers’ Council  and the drive for a higher level of professionalism in our schools.  It is disingenuous to require more commitment from teachers to subject specific professional learning while dismantling the structures in place to facilitate this learning.


Yours sincerely

Jo Morris

President, NZATE




NZATE President’s Annual Report 2012-13

Jo Morris

E nga reo, e nga mana, e nga iti kahurangi. Rau rangatira ma e huihui mai nei,    tena koutou katoa.

My report last year was delivered a month or so before the Novopay debacle began. What a mess. The only thing that hasn’t been a disaster is that for the first time I can remember, there’s been media sympathy for teachers. I may be prejudiced, but I think, actually, that our profession has covered itself in glory – we’ve continued to do our job in extremely trying circumstances – no walk out or strikes, just continued to put students first.

Another way English has featured in the news recently is because of Auckland University’s decision to raise the entry bar for prospective students. I wonder about the sense of this decision – it seems to me a more logical process would have been to see how the new literacy requirements work, before deciding on further changes. Presumably Auckland were part of the process – so NZATE would be interested to know why the University decided to impose another set of criteria – there was certainly no consultation with us, your subject association. In terms of our schools and classrooms, I’m ambivalent - on the one hand it certainly validates our subject and asserts its importance – but on the other, it means we will continue to have reluctant teenagers sitting in our classrooms being force fed our subject. We are supportive of the government led changes to literacy: we will not be advocating changes to those. However we will be making a submission to Auckland University regarding the further changes they’ve made.

Another issue concerns all teachers, not just English, but is important to be aware of. This is the review of the Teachers Council, which contains proposals that, if implemented, will make sweeping changes to our professional body from 2015. These changes will have major consequences for all of us. NZATE sees three key issues:

  • that the review committee was working on the premise that many teachers do not currently meet requirements
  • that all the people who will be on the future council will be appointees – with no elected representatives – and that therefore we will not have a voice or autonomy
  • and that in order to pay for this reduction in autonomy and trust, there will be a significant increase in our fees – and that we might even be required to re-register each year, through a more rigid and onerous process.

It’s of critical importance that all teachers are aware of and respond to this review – it’s an issue that goes beyond our subject association.

Two other issues that have affected English teachers this year are NZQA related. The first is that we’ve heard from teachers concerned about the timing and availability of Best Practice Workshops in their region. NZQA believes that clarifications, annotated exemplars and moderator newsletters are giving teachers the required support, so we all do need to make sure that we keep up to date with these. We felt, however, that it was important that face-to-face PD continues, and continues to be as useful as possible. Consequently, on your behalf, NZATE made a submission to NZQA regarding what we felt was the best model for these workshops: that they be early in the year, concerned with the examination and discussion of grade boundaries through student exemplars, aimed at leading or at least experienced teachers and that there are enough facilitators, and enough workshops, to ensure effective learning by participants. It’s worth noting that, in our experience, NZQA can be responsive to requests from regional organisations.


The second issue also indirectly concerns the Best Practice Workshops – specifically the information teachers are receiving at them about assessment and how this sometimes seems to conflict with exemplars on the NZQA website. Our advice in all cases would be to first consult the standard and the Conditions of Assessment guidelines. THESE, not tasks or exemplars, should be your ‘bible’. Remember that the exemplars in many cases were collected when the standards were still in draft form – and that best practice is always evolving. In some cases it’s also worth remembering that cost, technology and time constraints meant that limited possibilities are available as exemplars - for example connections exemplars don’t demonstrate that non-written responses are valid.)

There continues to be uncertainty about MOE and NZQA led PD opportunities.

All these issues do highlight the importance of strong national and regional subject associations.

Our job is to advocate for issues of concern to the English teaching community. and to support your own efforts to be the best teachers of English that you can be, in healthy departments with strong regional presences and associations.



  • So far this year our membership is sitting at more than 450, with more coming in each week. It’s heartening to see so many supporting and valuing NZATE. We would encourage all schools to have institutional memberships that reflect the size of the dept, so that everyone receives benefits like copies of English in Aoteoroa and membership prices on resources and conference.

Council Leadership

  • National council for 2012-2013:

Jo Morris, President

Phil Maw, Vice-President

Helaina Coote, Treasurer

Helen Almey, Secretary

Jude Maw, representative for Otago/Southland

Alison Cleary, representative for Canterbury/ Upper South Island.

Laura la Page, representative for Wellington

Yvette Krohn-Isherwood, representative for Central North Island/Waikato

Karen Beaumont, representative for Central North Island/Waikato

Matt Griffiths, representative for South Auckland/Tai Tokerau

David Taylor, representative for Auckland

Steve Langley, English in Aotearoa editor

Election Results


Jo Morris  President

Helaina Coote Vice President

Moira Scammell Secretary

Karen Beaumont  Treasurer

Barry Banks   Central North Island

English in Aotearoa

We are very proud of our journal, which provides invaluable resources and PD in every issue. Steve Langley continues to do a superb job of editing, helped this year for the March issue by Yvette Isherwood as guest editor.  Steve is constantly on the look out for articles and resources that will appeal to classroom teachers and would be very glad to hear from you.


Next year’s Conference will be at John Paul College in Rotorua.

Creation of Resources

We’re proud, this conference, to be launching “Sound and Sense’, our exemplification of poetry at Level 2. Later this year, the last in our oral exemplar series will be completed and you can pre-order it here at the conference at the NZATE stand. We’re hoping for delivery during Term 3. These resources represent a significant financial investment by NZATE in the professional learning of English teachers. We aim not to lose money on the production of these resources – some, for example the ones that involve filming students and teachers, are expensive to produce and so cost more to buy – and for all, we aim to have highly qualified people contributing - but all are, we feel, excellent value for money!

PD and Regional Associations

If you haven’t already met your rep, please make a point of doing so after this meeting.

(NOTE for readers: please contact your regional representative through our website: or facebook page: . An important message throughout the conference was how much we’d like to connect with more English teachers in more regions, and help set up local associations. So please do contact us about how we can help you.)