Programme Features

Successful graduates from NZGSE’s teacher training programmes are awarded either a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary) or Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary).  The diploma is based on international knowledge about how teachers are best trained and includes some important features that will ensure your training fully prepares you for the realities of teaching.


Teachers around the world confirm that it was their experience in schools that was the most successful part of their training.

At NZGSE we agree with this view so two thirds of your time will be spent working in schools.  This more extensive school based training will give you greater opportunity to practise teaching and increase your confidence.  The longer time in schools will allow you to experience real teaching.  You will not be in schools to watch.  You will be there to teach and you will be given proper responsibility for young peoples’ learning.

The NZGSE tutors work alongside the teacher interns while they are at schools.  This allows us to give you immediate relevant feedback.


NZGSE offers a variety of training settings so that teacher interns can work with a range of children with different learning needs and from different social backgrounds.  The schools we use include children from the full range of socioeconomic levels and ethnic groups in Christchurch.  Information about the training settings is included in the Host Schools sheet.


The NZGSE programme offers you a challenge: work harder and you can complete the diploma earlier.

We know that some people learn quicker than others and we believe that your training should allow for this.  If you can learn faster than other teacher interns you will not be made to wait for them.  When you can demonstrate your ability to teach in a range of settings, and show that you have all the competencies of the programme, we will award you the diploma.  You can apply for a teaching job and start earning a salary.

The NZGSE programme lets you plan a pathway through the assessment tasks so that one complex activity can be assessed simultaneously against several teacher education standards.  You are encouraged, with the assistance of your tutors, to undertake more complex activities involving many concurrent tasks.  You will experience the reality of teaching even sooner.


Many people shy away from teaching because of their fear of difficult behaviour.  Others start teaching and do not stay because their classes become unruly.  We will teach you the proven techniques for managing difficult behaviour so you can focus on teaching itself.


A few years ago, students with special learning needs tended to be separated off into special classes.  Now it is far more common for these students to attend the same classes as everyone else.  This is known as mainstreaming.  Many teachers who trained in the past were not taught how to teach these children and are unable to meet their needs.

The NZGSE programme has a particular focus on teaching students with special learning needs.  You will have extensive opportunities for working with these children both during teaching practice and during your time at the NZGSE Centre.


As graduates, you have already been used to study at an advanced level.  As you advance into the professional training phase of your education you will expect to maintain the same high academic standards.  NZGSE shares this view.

Two assessment strands run through the assessment practices of the NZGSE programme.  There is ongoing assessment and feedback to help you in your professional development.  There will also be formal assessment points at the end of each term conducted by NZGSE staff.


NZGSE’s Graduate Diploma in Teaching is based on a set of Teacher Education Standards designed at NZGSE.  These Standards go well beyond the minimum level of competency for graduating teachers required by the New Zealand Teachers Council.