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A Local Hero – Refreshed Curriculum Resources connected to School Values (UKD units of learning)




By Shayla Close


Many might not know that in the Manawatu, we played an important part in helping to grow a bit of a hero!

His name was Fred Hollows, and following a move from Dunedin when he was 13, he completed his secondary schooling at Palmerston North Boys’ High.

In 2023 I was asked to create education resources that aligned with the refreshed curriculum for primary, intermediate, and secondary school children.

The Fred Hollows Foundation wanted to ensure that more New Zealanders are aware of the legacy that Fred created, and the sustainable social action that the Foundation carry out today. As a result of his work, Fred went on to have international impact. While he has passed away, the legacy he left is ensuring that avoidable blindness is being addressed in countries that suffer issues regarding access to healthcare. The really neat thing that Fred Hollows demonstrated in his work was helping communities to help themselves. They educate the local people, and help to train nurses and doctors to ensure the access to surgeries and medical care is sustainable and from within. 

Examining social actions is an important part of the Social Studies curriculum. Teaching this 3-4 week unit might help reduce the workload for you and your staff (it’s already aligned for you, just adapt to your own class needs) as well as it ensures that you are covering key aspects of the refreshed curriculum. 

You also will see ample opportunities to connect the work of Fred to your own school values! 

There are units of learning for Year 5-6, Year 7-8, and Year 9-10, all of which integrate the relevant Understand, Know, and Do – very intentionally – into every lesson. Lessons are fully resourced, and free. Each lesson has a specific Do skill that is embedded into the learning. Each pack contains a unit overview, lesson plans and supporting resources (via notes in the PPT). 

In Year 5-6, the focus is…

  • Understand: People participate in communities by acting on their beliefs and through the roles they hold.

  • Know: By the end of this topic I will know that people interact with places, resources, and environments for personal, social, cultural, economic, and spiritual reasons.

In Year 7-8, the focus is… 

  • Understand: People participate in communities by acting on their beliefs and through the roles they hold.

  • Know: I will know that people can experience inclusion or exclusion in different situations, which has consequences for them and for society.

In Year 9-10, the focus is… 

  • Understand: People participate in communities by acting on their beliefs and through the roles they hold.

  • Know: together, people assert their human rights and attempt to influence change in a range of ways, with differing impacts; the uneven acquisition and allocation of scarce resources, goods and services, and wealth creates personal, societal, and global challenges. These challenges lead to individual and collective action; through innovation and enterprise, individuals, communities, and societies create new opportunities. These opportunities can enrich or damage lives, challenge views about needs and wants, and impact on sustainability.

In the Manawatu, we can claim Fred Hollows was one of our “locals”. We think he deserves a place in more of our classrooms! 

If you have any questions on how to adapt existing learning and topics to best fit the refreshed curriculum, or if you would like support and PD on implementing these units in your class, please get in touch – I love working within the Social Studies curriculum space, and am more than happy to help offer support closes@pnbhs.school.nz 

The link to these free resources are here 


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