Exceptional Kiwi teachers have been exploring real-world learning in partnership with business for a number of years.

Below are some inspiring examples.


Keep an eye out for our own Edternships Stories to be featured here from 2020 onwards!

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What does real world,
21C learning look like
a whole school?

Dream Home

  • School: Mount Hutt College, Methven

  • Teacher: Jackie Brown

  • Year level: Y11

  • Subject: Maths

“I would be keen to get this experience out there to others as it has been very successful in engaging and motivating my students.”

- Jackie Brown​

Jackie felt that her Y11 maths students were disengaged in maths and struggling to see the relevance of what they were learning to their future.


She wanted to excite their learning around maths and create pathways to the world of work, while also helping them connect to the community around them.


Her project, Dream Home - Building and Interior Design allowed students to work with local Methven real estate agents and builders to design their dream home. Students visited a section that they measured on site to calculate area, perimeter, volume, and cost required to create a house, deck, fence, pool and one interior room filled with furniture.

Passionfruit Magazine

  • School: Fraser High School, Hamilton

  • Teacher: Sam Cunnane, Head of Arts

  • Year level: Y11, Y12 & Y13

  • Subject: Visual Arts, English, Art History, Media Studies, Graphic Design

After noticing his students’ interest in visual arts, Sam wondered if he could ignite their interest in other curriculum areas through an authentic project.


Through talking with and gaining empathy for his students, Sam saw a need for student ownership of a visual arts magazine where they could be the artists, curators, and editors.


Passionfruit Magazine does just this, aimed at representing artists and visual culture in New Zealand. Students made connections with a media specialist, a local publishing industry, as well as artists and designers to learn about each industry and understand the work they do. Along with skills surrounding the creation and production of the magazine, students learned how to create personal goals and manage their time effectively.

Localised Learning at Mimihau Stream

  • School: Menzies College, Southland

  • Teacher: Kit Hustler, Head of Science

  • Year level: Y12

  • Subject: Sustainability, Ecosystems

“There was continual reflecting and questioning going on. Lots of problem solving and a huge sense of teamwork.”

- Kit Hustler

Kit has found practical, real-life projects a terrific way to engage students, particularly boys. In this project, Kit set out to understand the trout life in Mimihau Stream. He met with field officers from the Southland branch of Fish and Game to organize a project where students had to determine whether the Mimihau Stream was truly a dead waterway from a fishing perspective.

Café Suave

  • School: Onehunga High School, Auckland

  • Teacher: Not Listed

  • Year level: Y12

  • Subject: Marketing, Finance and Business Planning and Ownership

As part of an "Enterprise Triangle" funded by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Café Suave was created.


Students attended workshops and were mentored by a café owner and a hotel chef to understand the food industry and the necessary skills required to run a successful business.


Students developed skills in innovation, creativity, and mindfulness as they navigated the limited space and resources available without compromising an existing business in the school.

Project Alert

  • School: Mission Heights Junior College, Auckland

  • Teacher: Student led project

  • Year level: Y9

  • Subject: Project Management

“It got really exciting when we started to build things ourselves and we felt we were going to make this happen when our first prototypes actually worked.”

- Project ALERT Student

Students at Mission Heights Junior College (MHJC) were concerned for their Deaf peers who attended their school and were unable to be alerted during emergency situations. Y9 students created Project ALERT, which aimed at providing Deaf students at MHJC with an effective fire alarm system so that these students could have the same level of safety as hearing students. During the project, the student team worked with Auckland Kelston Deaf Education Centre (KDEC) and specialists in electronics and computer programming. Their teamwork and innovation skills ultimately earned them numerous awards and recognition from large companies.

  • School: Hobsonville Point Secondary School, Auckland

  • Teacher: Not Listed

  • Year level: Y11, Y12 & Y13

  • Subject: Architecture, Engineering Design

Impact Projects

Many students at Hobsonville Point Secondary School (HPSS) are involved in project-based learning experiences with local businesses. One specific partnership between students and the Kaipatiki Project was created to help develop a new centre for the organization at Engine Testing Bay. Another project involved the challenge of creating a facility for local rowers, sailors, and sea cadets that incorporated the needs of current stakeholders.


Both of these projects allowed students to meet with partners to gain feedback about their design ideas, generate design ideas using a range of modes and media, and to produce work towards their portfolio for entry to University courses such as Architecture, Engineering and Design.

  • School: Oturu School, Kaitaia

  • Teacher: Student-led projet

  • Year level: Y8

  • Subject: Project Management, Reading

Read, Read, Read

"We did lots of research about why children should read and also about how to set up libraries so that children are encouraged to read."

- Project Read, Read, Read Student 

A group of Y8 students decided to tackle the challenge of creating a pop-up library in their school to try and excite student learning around reading without having the proper space for a library. Working with an advisor from the National Library, these students embarked on their project Read, Read, Read. The library featured books and activities for students and teachers in their school, highlighting the joy and importance of reading. The collaborative project was successful in allowing students to organise and run their own library.