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SPCA’s resources for schools provide teachers and learners with real life, meaningful contexts to explore learning areas of the New Zealand Curriculum, through engaging values orientated, inquiry based projects. Your students, parents and community will be encouraged to think, learn and act together to achieve positive, empathetic and compassionate outcomes for human and non-human members of society.
Real learning requires active engagement and interaction in the process. SPCA's animal welfare resources provide teachers and learners with an authentic context to explore many learning areas of the New Zealand Curriculum.
The use of meaningful, real-life contexts for learning enable students to better understand how they learn, how life contexts offer opportunities to learn, and therefore, how to continue learning outside of the school setting.
SPCA's animal welfare resources use modern learning approaches e.g. Students identify local needs, and work with others to change thinking, skills, attitudes and behaviours needed for animal welfare.
This approach is consistent with the New Zealand Curriculum vision of young people as creative, energetic, enterprising; young people who actively participate in and contribute to the future well-being of New Zealand (not passive recipients of knowledge).
SPCA’s animal welfare resources provide opportunities for learners to develop each of the five NZ Curriculum key competencies as described below
Students will apply creative, critical and metacognitive processes to make sense of information, experiences and ideas. This process will enable them to construct knowledge and develop understandings that will support their decisions and shape their actions for animal welfare.
Using language, symbols, and texts
Students will use language, symbols and texts to access and provide information and communicate to influence others to endorse decisions and carry out actions for animal welfare.
Students will manage themselves resourcefully when establishing goals, making plans, managing projects and implementing actions for animal welfare.
Relating to others
Students will interact effectively with a diverse range of people in a variety of contexts to come up with new approaches, ways of thinking, ideas and actions for animal welfare.
Participating and contributing
Students will be actively involved and contribute to their community creating opportunities of participation in animal welfare contexts.
SPCA’s animal welfare programme provides teachers and students with opportunities to explore and develop the New Zealand Curriculum values. It is our hope, that with knowledge of animals’ needs, care and well-being, combined with understandings of animal sentience, students will be encouraged to develop greater empathy, become more compassionate, and develop a sense of responsibility and duty of care for the non-human members of their society. Empowering them to make decisions and take action as responsible citizens – a vital component for making our world a better place to live.
“Values are deeply held beliefs about what is important or desirable. They are expressed through the ways people think and act” Ministry of Education. (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.
We understand that teachers know better than we do of their students’ individual prior knowledge, levels and learning needs. Therefore, each unit plan is designed to be cut, pasted and adapted to suit the needs of individual learners. Teachers can choose from a selection of New Zealand Curriculum levels, learning areas and achievement objectives to create learning experiences appropriate for their students’ current learning goals and needs. Those selected will have more emphasis placed on them and therefore be the focus of formative and summative assessment - in combination with the animal welfare achievement objectives.
A child’s ability to learn and to function as a contributing member of society rests heavily on the development of their social competency and emotional health.
The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2005) states the core features of social and emotional development include the ability to identify and understand one’s own feelings, to accurately read and comprehend emotional states in others, to manage strong emotions and their expression in a constructive manner, to regulate one’s own behavior, to develop empathy for others and to establish and sustain relationships.
SPCA’s education programme aims to support this development, by encouraging students to explore and understand the shared needs of both humans and animals, identify the emotions and feelings that both humans and animals experience in association with these needs and understand how these feelings are expressed (in often identical ways).
Given the correlation between human violence and animal cruelty, SPCA recognises that educating to enhance children’s social competency and emotional health, has the power change the hearts and minds of entire communities and that doing so will not only improve the lives of animals, but the lives of humans as well.
Every year SPCA continues to care for thousands of lost, abandoned, injured or abused animals, attend hundreds of animal emergencies and investigate thousands of animal welfare related complaints.
The figures clearly highlight the need in our communities for education and experiences to break cycles of cruelty. Developing knowledge and understanding about animal welfare, whilst fostering students’ social and emotional development is the key to achieving positive, empathetic and compassionate outcomes for human and non-human members of society.
SPCA’s Teachers’ and Students’ Portals will develop learners’ knowledge and understandings of:
The Five Domains
The concept of animals as sentient beings
Responsible animal guardianship
How human activity can affect animals and their welfare
The social and ethical dilemmas surrounding the scientific and commercial use of animals
Animal protection at local, national and global levels
Our cross curricular units have been designed to provide teachers and learners with a real life, meaningful context to explore learning areas of the New Zealand Curriculum.
During these learning experiences, students will be developing the knowledge and understandings about animals’ needs, care, sentience and well-being needed to be informed, responsible animal guardians now and in the future.
Animal welfare is an authentic context for students to develop their writing skills and understandings of writing purposes and processes.
The learning experiences within these units encourage students to research, reflect and write to record and communicate their thoughts, feelings, ideas and experiences about animal welfare topics.
It is hoped that by providing students opportunities to create meaningful written texts, they will be more engaged in the writing process as they will see the tasks as relevant and purposeful.
Writing and reading texts about animals’ needs, care, well-being and sentience will also help students develop greater knowledge and understandings of these topics and therefore support them in becoming informed, responsible animal guardians now and in the future.
Here you will find our first collection of reading response activities for animal titles within the ReadytoRead instructional reading series
Our reading response activities encourage students to revisit, extend and consolidate their knowledge of the animal care and animal well-being topics introduced to them through the SPCA unit plans.
The SPCA’s reading response activities can be used during instructional reading times to engage the rest of the class in active learning, whilst the classroom teacher is working with small groups of students.
The SPCA’s reading response activities support the New Zealand Curriculum vision for young people to be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners and the SPCA’s vision for young people to be informed, responsible animal guardians now and in the future.