News › 2015

Ian ChristensenOne contributor to the CensusAtSchool/TataurangaKiTe Kura project is Dr Ian Christensen, who has been helping us to formulate the questionnaire in te reo Māori and also adapt CAS resources for the Māori-language pāngarau (maths) classroom. (You can search for those resources here).

Over the years, Ian has contributed to the development of the maths vocabulary and resources used in kura kaupapa (Māori-language schools). He works at a Māori language education and research organisation called He Kupenga Hao i te Reo, based in Palmerston North. He Kupenga Hao i te Reo has just published for the Ministry of Education a level 3 statistics textbook and accompanying teacher handbook called Te Tauanga (tauanga is the Māori word for statistics), which focuses on the statistics and probability strand of the pāngarau curriculum. Further books focusing on statistics at levels 4 and 5 of the curriculum will follow later in 2015 and early 2016.

We’re delighted to see that Ian has made good use of CensusAtSchool questions and data, and we are hoping that this will encourage more reo-Māori classrooms to take part in the Māori-language version of the census and accompanying resources. Thanks Ian!

Copies of the textbook can be ordered free of charge.

Radio New Zealand interview with Anne Patel: First national data on school bullying confirms its prevalence (June 12, 2015)

Maori Television: Students believe verbal abuse is biggest bullying problem in schools (June 12, 2015)

NZ Herald: Biggest bullying problem in NZ schools revealed (June 12, 2015)

Stuff: Verbal abuse a problem in New Zealand schools, children’s census finds (June 12, 2015)

Stuff: CensusAtSchool: Less texting, more social media (June 13, 2015)

But wait, there’s more …

The CensusAtSchool bullying data came out, coincidentally, on the “Day of Silence”, an event to raise awareness of the damaging effect of  homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, name calling and harassment in schools. Here’s a story from Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report:

Bullying of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students (June 12, 2015)

Christine (Chris) Franklin University of Georgia Athens, GA USA presented to Mathematics associations around New Zealand. She is a 2014-15 Fulbright Scholar and is spending five months at the University of Auckland, New Zealand working with statistics educators on the project, “Implementing K-12 Statistics Standards: Comparing Practices in New Zealand and the United States”.

Below is an audio recording of her presentation to the Wellington Mathematics Association, May 2015:


The United States is realizing the need to achieve a level of quantitative literacy for its high school graduates to prepare them to thrive in the modern world. Given the prevalence of statistics in the media and workplace, individuals who aspire to a wide range of positions and careers require a certain level of statistical literacy. Because of the emphasis on data and statistical understanding, it is crucial for us as educators to consider how we can prepare a statistically literate population. Students must acquire an adequate level of statistical literacy through their education beginning in the first grade of education.

The Common Core State Standards for mathematics (that include statistics) in grades Kindergarten – 12 have been adopted by the most states and the District of Columbia. These national standards for the teaching of statistics and probability range from counting the number in each category to determining statistical significance through the use of simulation and randomization tests.

This presentation will provide a brief history of statistics at K-12 in the U.S., an overview of the statistics and probability content of these common core standards, resources that support the K-12 standards in statistics, describe the knowledge and preparation needed by the future and current K–12 teachers who will be teaching using these standards, and the desired assessment of statistics at K-12 on the high stakes national tests will be explored.

Chris is the Lothar Tresp Honoratus Honors Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator in Statistics at the University of Georgia and a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. She has been recognized with numerous teaching and advising awards at UGA. She is the co-author of an Introductory Statistics textbook with Alan Agresti (Pearson 2012), co-author of the textbook Statistics Reasoning in Sports with Josh Tabor (Freeman 2012) and has published more than 50 journal articles. Chris was the lead writer for the American Statistical Association Pre-K-12 Guidelines for the Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) Framework. She chaired the writing team of the recent ASA Statistical Education of Teachers (SET) report.

School students think verbal mistreatment is the biggest bullying issue in schools – higher than cyberbullying, social or relational bullying such as social exclusion and spreading gossip, or physical bullying.

The insights have emerged from the long-running CensusAtSchool/TataurangaKiTeKura, a national statistics education project for primary and secondary school students. Supervised by teachers, students aged between 9 and 18 (Year 5 to Year 13) answer 35 questions in English or te reo Māori about their lives, then analyse the results in class.

Already, more than 18,392 students from 391 schools all over New Zealand have taken part in CensusAtSchool, which started on March 16. (Click here to see which of your local schools are taking part).

Students were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with statements about each type of bullying.  A total of 36% strongly agreed or agreed that verbal bullying was a problem among students at their school, followed by cyberbullying (31% agreed or strongly agreed), social or relational bullying (25% agreed or strongly agreed) and physical bullying (19% agreed or strongly agreed).

This is the first time CensusAtSchool has asked about bullying, says Ōtāhuhu College teacher Anne Patel, a member of the CensusAtSchool team. “Information about the scale of bullying is hard to get in New Zealand because we don’t have a way of quantifying it on a national level.  But as CensusAtSchool is anonymous and available to students in every school in the country, we are getting a unique student-eye view of its scale and prevalence.”

Looking more closely at each category:

Verbal bullying

  • Overall, 36% of schoolchildren who took part strongly agreed or agreed that verbal bullying was a problem at their school.
  • Verbal bullying was more of a problem in high schools (39% of students agreed or strongly agreed) than primary schools (29%).
  • Verbal bullying was more of a problem for girls in co-ed schools (43% strongly agreed or agreed) than girls in single-sex schools (33% strongly agreed or agreed).


  • Overall, 31% of students who took part strongly agreed or agreed that cyberbullying was a problem at their school.
  • Girls were more likely to say cyberbullying was a problem at school (34% strongly agreed or agreed) than boys (26% strongly agreed or agreed).
  • Cyberbullying was more of a problem in high schools. A total of 19% of boys at primary school strongly agreed or agreed that bullying was a problem in their schools, but 31% of boys at high school. A total of 22% of girls at primary school strongly agreed or agreed that cyber-bullying was a problem in their school, but 40% of girls at high school.
  • For boys, cyber-bullying was more likely to be a problem in co-educational settings: A total of 32% of boys in co-ed schools strongly agreed or agreed that cyber bullying was a problem, against 23% of boys in single-sex schools. However, the picture was quite different for girls. A total of 40% of girls in co-ed schools strongly agreed or agreed that cyber bullying was a problem in their school, and the corresponding figure for girls in single-sex schools was also 40%.

And who were cyber bullies? Overall, 69% of all students who took part said that cyberbullies were equal numbers of boys and girls.

Social/relational bullying

Overall, 25% of students who took part strongly agreed or agreed that social/relational bullying was a problem at their school.

Physical bullying

  • Overall, 19% of students who took part said physical bullying was a problem at their school.
  • Physical bullying was more of an issue for boys (22% agreed, strongly agreed) than girls (16%).
  • Physical bullying appeared to be a bigger problem for boys at co-ed schools (24% strongly agreed or agreed) than at single-sex boys’ schools (16%).
    However, physical bullying was seen to be bigger problem in the eyes of girls in co-ed schools (17% strongly agreed or agreed that physical bullying was a problem at their school), than those in single-sex schools (9%).

Anne Patel says of particular interest is the data showing that students in single-sex schools were less likely to report bullying as a problem. “The question we now need to ask is: why this is? What is it about these schools that students perceive bullying to be less of a problem?”

CensusAtSchool, now in its seventh edition, is a collaborative project involving teachers, the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics, Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry of Education. It is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people, and is carried out in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the US, Japan and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made, but the majority reflect New Zealand students’ interests.

Articles and updates on all aspects of Mathematics and Statistics for teaching and learning.

Professional reading for middle managers and teachers.

Updates to Statistics standards on page 4:

Experiments: AS91265 AS91538

Bivariate data: AS90136 and AS91581



Secondary Mathematics and Statistics Newsletter Term 2 2015

Be part of giant graphs and visual data representations, stretching across the fields of Wellington’s Macalister park. Artist Siv B Fjærestad is working with public art producers Letting Space, in partnership with Wellington City Council to create a data inspired artwork on the fields of Macalister and Liardet Street Parks, Berhampore: a dynamic backdrop for activity.

Now all they need is you! Opening Public Picnic Sunday 19 April 2015 12-3pm for a programme of family events and a community picnic.

Over 2013 Fjærestad and volunteers surveyed the local community to inform the painting’s design and use.  Fjærestad states “The painting design contains representations of statistical data and ideas for the park collected from the community, visual references to current activity and also to the landscape and its history. The park is perceived, used and interpreted differently at different times of the day and week. This work involves contributions from local communities, sporting groups and businesses, and extends what we consider both painting and public art to comprise. It asks questions about how we use our city public commons.” The paintings are for the public to look at and play on, encouraging leadership from the community to value the park as a public good.

When: Monday 20th April

Where: MacAlister Park, Newtown, Wellington

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


Projected Fields has been funded by Wellington City Council’s Public Art Fund.

Issues in Level 2 NCEA: AS 91264 (2.9) 

This document was prepared by Mike Camden, Nicola Petty, Anne Lawrence, Anna-Marie Martin, Jeremy Brocklehurst and Robyn Headifen on behalf of the NZ Statistical Association’s Education Committee, for NZQA and for publication on the CensusAtSchool site, in March and April 2015. The purpose is to support the continual improvement of learning and assessment in Statistics.

We welcome further discussion. Please contact or other Committee members.

Issues in Level 2 NCEA AS 91264 as sent

A response to the 2014 NZQA external assessments in the statistics strand of Mathematics and Statistics from NZ Statistical Association Education Committee. 15/4/2015.


  • Recommendations
  • Origin and purpose of this document
  • The 2014 assessments
  • Level 1: AS91037: Demonstrate understanding of chance and data
  • Level 2: AS91267: Apply probability methods in solving problems
  • Level 3: AS91585: Apply probability concepts in solving problems
  • Level 3: AS91586: Apply probability distributions in solving problems
  • Level 3: AS91584: Evaluate statistically based reports
  • Scholarship: Statistics

Origin and purpose of this document:

This document was prepared by members of the NZ Statistical Association’s Education Committee, for NZQA and for publication on the CensusAtSchool site, in March and April 2015.

The purpose is to support the continual improvement of assessment in statistics. Much of this document was written before the schedules for the assessments became available.

We have had a limited amount of time available for this task, but want to make sure the feedback is timely. We apologise for any unclarity or unevenness.

We welcome further discussion. Please contact or other Committee members.

Response to 2014 external assessments from NZSA Ed Com as sent

Review of e-asTTle assessment tool: Statistics in the New Zealand Curriculum (levels 2 – 4)

This document contains the views of the New Zealand Statistical Association’s Education Committee, as at April 2015, on e-asTTle for statistics at curriculum levels 2 to 4.

This report is based on teacher experience in working with e-asTTle tests, and discussion with teachers who make extensive use of e-asTTLe testing.

The analysis which follows is based on reviewing questions from three randomly generated e-asTTle statistics tests.

It was prepared for the committee by Marion Steel, Anna-Marie Martin, and Mike Camden.

Statement on e-asTTle from NZSA Ed Com as sent

Response to RAMP from NZSA Education Committee; April 2015.    

The Education Committee of the NZ Statistical Association is very pleased to be able to make input to the Ministry of Education’s RAMP process on statistics in NZ schools.

RAMP is the Ministry’s Review and Maintenance Programme for resources.

This document has the header statement for each question from the RAMP survey that has an open question (or two), then the open question(s). Our responses are in red. As a spatially scattered committee, we are not able to provide ratings on the 1 to 10 scale.

Details on RAMP are at:

The survey is at:; till 7 April 2015.

Access to the materials is at:


Response to RAMP from NZSA Education Committee