Primary principals' annual calendar

This calendar will help you to keep a month-by-month overview of what’s ahead so that you can bring coherence to your planning.

The calendar is grouped into sections that cover leadership actions and outcomes.

You can customise the calendar to suit your situation.

Keep it somewhere visible and easily accessible. Refer to it often.

Ideas to consider


Add notes to this calendar as you go, as it is often difficult to remember at a much later stage what you did and when.

Transfer items to your digital calendar and set notifications to remind you of upcoming tasks. You may want to share these calendar items with others involved.

Team development and performance

Add the actions you take or the outcomes you want that will help strengthen the performance of the teams and groups that drive your school’s learning. These could include teaching as well as administrative and operating systems teams.

Planning documents

Refer to and make the links between the school’s planning documents, goals, and vision as you develop and use the calendar. For example:

  • Confirm the school’s strategies and expected outcomes, and their timing and scope. Within each strategy, identify the known leadership actions/outcomes required and enter them in the calendar.
  • Use Kiwi Leadership for Principals, pages 16–17 "Leading Change and Problem Solving" and pages 18–20, "Areas of Practice" to confirm the qualities, knowledge, and skills you are applying. This helps confirm actions to take about your learning needs as important parts of the calendar.
  • Add all the actions/outcomes you want/need regarding Partnerships and Networks, Pedagogy, Systems and Culture, and give them your own best timings.
  • Confirm that your calendar connects you with the teams and groups in the school that are implementing the annual plan as part of your charter.

Review and plan ahead

Review strategic timings and consequent actions for the calendar. Set up at least four calendar review times through the year.

Ideally, these look ahead for the next term:

  • Year ahead and term 1 – complete in November–December
  • Term 2 – complete before the end of term 1
  • Term 3 – complete before the end of term 2
  • Term 4 – complete before the end of term 3.

Establish a regular review-forward of what is coming (weekly, monthly) and reprioritise as change occurs.

Synchronise with school events and the board of trustees' calendar

Review the calendar with your board, leadership team, secretary, and bursar to ensure delegation and timings are checked and confirmed. Be alert for other important actions that emerge – change happens! Shift tasks to suit your context.

Confirm time for your leadership learning

One of the key aspects that make a difference to student outcomes is your participation in professional learning (Leadership BES, dimension 4). Schedule in learning opportunities for yourself as well as participating in and leading learning for others in the school.

Block in appointments

Block in time for planning and working with others to attend to tasks that require in-depth thought, analysis, and preparation.

It may be useful to set aside a regular time each week for strategic planning.


Be aware of the many reports you and your staff need to write, and by when, so that you meet your deadlines. These will include:

  • strategic and annual plans for the Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Education returns
  • faculty reviews and reports
  • policy review reports and curriculum reports for the board
  • school newsletters
  • learning progress reports for students, parents, whānau.

Updated May 2018

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