Funding focuses on innovative teaching strategies

Projects using innovative and engaging ways of teaching such as combining performing arts and co-teaching strategies received Government funding to get started, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

Mr Hipkins congratulated the 25 schools and early learning services getting a total of $1.78 million in the latest round of the $18 million Teacher-led Innovation Fund (TLIF).

The fund supports teams of teachers to develop innovative practices that improve learning outcomes especially for students who are Māori, Pacific, students with additional learning needs or students who are disadvantaged.

“This Government encourages creativity and innovation in classrooms,” Chris Hipkins said.

“There are some really exciting projects this year. One of them explores opportunities for students to write in their own language and work through the translating process with their family to increase cultural awareness and promote a more inclusive classroom.

“The fund helps teachers bring in additional expertise. This could include, cultural advisors, academics with specialist knowledge and external support to help evaluate the impact of their project. 

“Several of the projects involve collaboration across a number of schools and services – that means more than 40 schools benefit from this funding round,” Mr Hipkins said.

Aotea College in Wellington is one of the schools receiving funding. The College’s principal, Kate Gainsford said she’s enormously pleased.

“This fund will see an already strong and innovative teaching team do research into a group teaching model in performing arts. Our teachers are very excited about this,” Ms Gainsford said.

More than 140 projects received a total of $10 million from the teacher-led innovation fund in the past four years.

Notes to editors –

Co-teaching - one teacher leads the whole group, while the other teacher observes and collects data.

Please see table below for information about the successful proposals in Round 4.

More information about the fund can be found here -

Round 4 successful proposals

Lead school


Project description

Dannevirke South School


We would like to know if a smooth transition from ECE to Primary will have an impact on the well-being, holistic development and academic progress of the tamariki in Dannevirke.


Apanui Primary School


Bay of Plenty/Rotorua/Taupo

Improve teacher capability in the explicit teaching of oral language. Develop learning-focused partnerships between students, whanau, community and teachers in order respond to student’s oral language development.


Fraser High School



What conditions support and hinder Maori/Pasifika holistic student success, and how Te Kaapuia can empower, engage and support our Year 9 and 10 students and whaanau/fanui to own their learning now and into the future


Papamoa College


Bay of Plenty/Rotorua/Taupo

We would like to know if the use of personal projects as the primary mode of learning will have an impact on improving student engagement and achievement for a diverse range of Year 11 students.


Katikati Primary School


Bay of Plenty/Rotorua/Taupo

How teachers who facilitate collaborative knowledge building in the classroom will have an impact on student engagement, self- confidence and therefore academic achievement for our priority students (Maori and Pasifika students).


Ruahine Kindergarten Association



We would like to know if we can build capacity to extend and sustain the use of DKA data systems to support a culture of data-informed inquiry and teaching and improve children’s curriculum experiences and learning in ECE.


Mt Roskill Primary School



We would like to know if teachers implementing Makerspace pedagogy in the mainstream classroom will have an impact on student achievement and the development of key competencies (thinking and managing self) for Maori and
Pasifika and other learners currently not achieving expected progress within one year.


Kidsfirst Kindergartens Belfast



We would like to know if responsive games incorporating self-regulation strategies would have a positive impact on levels of self-regulation, self-control and attention, leading to more sustained engagement in learning experiences for children aged 3 - 5 years in a mixed age early childhood setting.


Clive School


Hawkes Bay/Gisborne

We plan to use an explorers approach to learning where our New Entrant and Year One children have the opportunity to explore their environment and provocations in the different curriculum areas to enhance their Literacy learning.


Waikowhai Intermediate



We wish to create opportunities for (a) students to write and express their thoughts using their own language and (b) to work with family/whānau/’aiga in the translating process and the development of shared understandings about relevant cultural concepts and support for writing.


Apanui Primary School


Bay of Plenty/Rotorua/Taupo

We would like to know if building the capability of teachers and whānau to implement collaborative strategies will have an impact on Tupakari, Turangawaewae, Mauri Ora, and Taumata for the students of Te Whānau ō Awatope - “The many rivers that flow from the source of knowledge”.


Good Shepherd School (Balmoral)











We would like to know if teachers’ explicit use of the five dimensions of effective practice in the teaching and learning of writing, as described in the recent research by Parr and Gadd (in press), will have an impact on the motivation, achievement levels and attitudes of the students who are currently achieving below expectation in writing.


Thorrington School



The Kahukura cluster would like to know if increasing our focus on student voice and student agency as we plan and work in digital learning spaces has a positive impact on students' digital citizenship.


Waimairi School



We would like to know if collectively building psycap in a school setting will have an impact on learning, well-being and behaviour for targeted groups of students, staff, and whānau.


St Joseph’s School Rangiora



We want to investigate student wellbeing and engagement for learning by restructuring established models to develop student agency. We want to investigate how to empower students to take responsibility and ownership for their own wellbeing and that of their community.


Kuranui College



We would like to know if the increased differentiation involved in implementing our Ignite junior curriculum will have an impact on improving transitions and accelerating achievement for Year 9 and Year 10 students, especially students who would previously have been streamed into lower band classes.


Aotea College



We would like to know if team teaching (specifically the use of Alternative Teaching, One Teach/One Assist and One Teach/One Observe models) in a Project Based multi- level, multi-disciplined course in the Performing Arts will have a positive impact on student attendance, engagement and achievement for Maori and Pasifika students.


Oturu School


Tai Tokerau

We would like to know if empowering teachers with new pedagogy in integrating the arts across our curriculum will have an impact upon the entire school student population’s academic achievement and build the following affective competencies: Ability to work collaboratively and creatively with others, engagement in all areas of learning, and the development of leadership skills. This aligns directly with the school graduate profile.


Douglas Park School



We would like to know if implementation of ‘Maker Spaces’ will have an impact on student development of key competencies (core beliefs) and achievement in the Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko curriculum for our DPS Learners, but in particular of girls, and those with limited-access to technologies outside of school.


Hutt Valley High School



We would like to know if providing a school/community- based, personally-tailored pathway two years prior to transitioning from school and one year post-school will have an impact on Tautoko student learning outcomes in terms of greater self-confidence, personal ownership, engagement and academic success for each student with special educational needs in their senior years at high school and one year post high school.


Horsham Downs Primary School



This inquiry project is about supporting children to become resilient and to take risks as learners.


Cambridge School



We would like to know if our innovation, driven by recent research, qualitative and quantitative data, has
influenced an effective pedagogical shift in teacher thinking and practice for students with dyslexia and LLD.


Lake Rerewhakaaitu School


Bay of Plenty/Rotorua/Taupo

Does teaching children’s leadership coaching skills impact positively on student agency? We would like to know if teaching children leadership coaching skills will have an impact on student agency and the sense of being pro-active in learning process for all children with a particular focus on Maori students and Maori boys, and Pakeha boys at risk of not achieving.


Deanwell School



We would like to know if and in what ways by implementing a cultural relationship framework with teacher’s
pedagogical and ontological behaviours aligned with a sociocultural perspective of learning and behaviour of
students and whānau


First Steps Ngata and Carroll Street



How do we develop consistent and intentional strategies across our six rooms for strengthening children’s social and emotional competence?