More than 100 teachers from Rotorua and its surrounds met on Monday to discuss how a curriculum free from national standards could meet the needs of their students.
The meeting was the last of six being held around the country by education union NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education.
The Ministry of Education's associate deputy secretary of curriculum, progress and achievement, Pauline Cleaver, said the ministry was eager to hear the views of teachers and the meeting was a way of doing that.
"It's a really important conversation. As we come out of a period of national standards teachers are wanting to focus on how the whole curriculum might really engage all students.
"It's what every teacher thinks about on a Sunday night."
She said the ministry was also asking teachers to identify challenges and what the ministry could do to support teachers through them.
Te Puke's Fairhaven School principal Paul Hunt, who was the MC, said the meeting was a chance to "celebrate the New Zealand curriculum".
"When national standards were introduced they effectively narrowed the curriculum. Teachers tended to focus on reading, writing and maths. So much weight was put on national standards.
"The amazing thing about the curriculum is the depth. There's a lot more to being educated than reading, writing and maths."
Maree Conaglen, a teacher at Fordlands Kindergarten, attended the meeting to learn more about the curriculum.
The curriculum for early childhood, Te Whāriki, was revised last year and Conaglen said there hadn't been much chance to discuss it prior to the meeting.
"Now with the removal of national standards I wanted to see where we were progressing," she said.
"Instead of saying children need to be ready for school we are saying schools need to be ready for children."
Selwyn Kindergarten teacher Cathy Tombleson said there was an opportunity to teach children soft skills like being curious and sticking at things that were difficult.
Teacher Barbara Stone said she had come away from the meeting reassured and encouraged.
"I wanted to make the link between the two curricula [early childhood and primary] and how we could be more supportive of the transition process of children moving from kindergarten to school."
Members of the public can have a say. Consultation closes on June 28.