Nauru Tasks


Nauru is a small island in the Pacific just south of the Equator. It is the smallest independent republic with about 9000 people and was once the second richest per capita based on its phosphate earnings. The economy collapsed in 1995 but it took almost 10 years for significant aid to begin to flow.

Prior to the economic collapse, Nauruans simply bought everything they wanted from expatriate labour (there was only one Nauruan who was a trained teacher in 1995) to water which was shipped in. Nauruans were effectively deskilled by their long period of wealth over several generations. When the economy collapsed as the phosphate ran out and the infrastructure deteriorated, all the unpaid skilled workers left leaving the country’s skill base and capacity to recover seriously depleted.

The women of Nauru kept the schools open after the expat teachers left. Michelle and Paul worked with teachers of Nauru to train the teachers on the job, redevelop their curriculum using available low cost or free resources and reflecting the national strategic priorities of health, economic development, personal development and sustainability as well as the traditional outcomes of schooling. The curriculum was largely based around a series of Rich Tasks which produced powerful learning with limited resources.

The rich tasks

A Rich task is a complex intellectually challenging project where children solve a real problem, developing skills and gaining knowledge as they do so.

A rich task describes what children learn and what children do. Children undertake many activities and produce products in the task which are used to grade students. These products include many types of written work, presentations, and public performances.
Tasks enable all children to use their multiple intelligences to show their best and most complex learning.
The curriculum is organised through rich tasks which are undertaken each term. Some tasks take longer than one term to complete.
Tasks are organised so children develop deep skills and progress their knowledge throughout their schooling. Tasks ensure children have opportunity to achieve all the goals of learning in the Nauru Curriculum Footpath.

The rich tasks shared here, were accompanied by Grading Masters and Resource Kits. The rich tasks enable Nauruan Education to meet the goals of Footpath, the policy framework surrounding eductaion from 2004-2009. 

Rich tasks are written in a graphical format, designed to enable students, parents and teachers see the purpose and connections of the classroom activities in a digestable format. The format also keeps the focus on the activities students need to do, what they need to learn while completing the activities and how the activities interact to enable students to complete some products of the task. These products are carefully designed to enable students to show what they have learned and accomplished, a way of writing curriculum which contrasts to usual models where teachers write down what they have taught. The grading masters then provide groups of teachers with a tool to make judgements about the standards students have met.

A complete list of titles is on the bottom of this page. Some samples immediately below and some descriptions of selected tasks which address the financial literacy so needed on Nauru.


Year 5: Community Helper Herbs - Nature's Natural Healers
Students learn to identify, locate, grow and learn to use local plants for their grooming, medication and other uses. They collect information about traditional and modern uses for the plants and share this knowledge with their community. Described on Wikipedia by Jocelyn Adams Aiwo primary School Nauru, is a linear form. is the graphical form in the document store of this web site.
Playgroup: Healthy Me
Playgroup (3-4 year olds) can learn much through a rich task curriculum format, when productive pedagogies are used by the teacher.  Children will explore healthy and wise ways of living in their school, home, community and world. They will learn to be healthy and wise in balanced diet, safe behaviours and exercise activities. See the Grading Master used to make judgements about children's progress at this very early stage of learning.
Year 1 an d 2: NAOERO EBEN BWIO
Year 1 and 2 learning about craft making so they can run a market day later in the year. Children will learn about their Nauruan culture through studying the use of local plants, animals and local crafts. They will ask people to help them learn how to make art and crafts using local and modern materials. They will show appreciation in preserving their culture by researching and putting together information about species on Nauru whose population appears to be dropping. They will investigate ways to preserve them and present recommendations to Local Communities and appropriate Government Departments.
Year 3: Kitchen Garden
Students will:
a) identify and investigate the different types of fruit and vegetables that can be grown locally and globally in kitchen gardens.
b) develop, monitor and maintain their own kitchen garden in groups. Group kitchen gardens will be displayed to an audience at regular intervals.
c) use what they have learnt to give recommendations and tips for a healthy kitchen garden through pamphlets, posters or other suitable means.

Year 5: Story teling in Vernacular
Students will choose or create a story to be presented in their first language as an oral presentation where each student has their individual part and in a written form. Both the oral and written works will be presented to a younger audience. The class will build an agreed dictionary of Vernacular words used with preferred and alternative spellings, meanings and examples of use that have popular support.
Year 8: Learning from Pacific Neighbours.
Through a study of export industries of Pacific nations and use of national resources, students will identify natural, service, skills, tourism, artistic, education, health and other Nauruan resources that can be traded with other countries. They produce an analysis of the export opportunity examining possible financial scenarios with estimates or spreadsheets.
Year 8: Promotion in the IT age.
Students will develop an advertising campaign for use by a local organisation or the Government about an issue of significance. The campaign will include some or all of posters, fliers, photographs, cards, T-Shirt prints, logos and similar items for health, educational, environmental, inspirational, promotional or
other useful purposes relevant to Nauruan society.
Year 10: Our Business
Students plan a small business that is viable on Nauru or as an import or export business for Nauru. They explore existing business looking for ways to
duplicate or expand existing ones or identify new opportunities. In groups, they investigate the viability of their proposal conducting and analysing market
surveys, exploring similar businesses and using other relevant measures.
Years 11-13: When things go wrong
A simplified Rich Task Blue Print to be used by teachers to develop Rich tasks they might do. Designed originally for teachers of older students in years 11-13. The example task is called “When things go wrong” a unit on working together in the community during natural disasters. Used as an example during professional development workshops, and added into the national collection for years 11-13.


A selection of short descriptions

A range of financial and business literacy tasks were developed and embedded in the curriculum from Year 1 to 11. These are summarised below. The tasks are the property of Nauru but could be shared provided the Nauruan copyright is respected.

Year 1,2 Naoero - monibaiu (Market Day)

Students work over three school terms to learn to make artefacts from materials washed up on the beach and other local products. They complete a simple market survey to see what will sell, choose to specialise in one product and make sufficient quantities to sell at a Market Day at the end of the year.

Year 3 Kitchen Garden

Students plan and cost a kitchen garden to grow some of their own food. They compare the cost of purchasing the produce with establishment and running costs to develop an idea of the breakeven point.

Year 4 Gift Making

Students design and make gifts from locally available low cost or free materials and compare the overall costs with purchasing similar gifts.

Year 8 Promotion in an IT age

An investigation of marketing and promotion techniques which are then applied to a particular issue of importance to Nauru. Many students chose financial literacy ideas to promote.

Year 8 Learning from Pacific neighbours

An investigation of the economies and practices of neighbouring Pacific countries and analysis of the applicability of the ideas to Nauru.

Year 10 Our Business

Developing and implementing a small business plan.

Year 10 Grow for us - a market economy

This followed on from an earlier task (Grow for Me) in which students investigated food plants that would grow successfully in Nauru – the Yeats Garden Guide does not apply to an island 32km south of the Equator! The Grow for Us task challenged students to scale up production of a suitable food plant and market the produce aiming for sustainable production in the long term.

Year 11 Survival Code $140

All workers in Nauru were paid a flat rate of AU$140 per fortnight (up from $100 when we first began working with Nauru). This task was designed by Nauruan teachers and students in the latter stages of our work with them and looked at creative ways a family (sometimes as many as 20 people) could use their $140 effectively.
This proved to be a very powerful task for students and the many adults who became involved with it.

In addition to the Rich Tasks developed, we managed and delivered on the job training for the teachers of Nauru. This included introducing them to 30 donated second hand laptops and training in how to use them. A few Nauruans had access to the limited number of computers in the country and they became invaluable supporters of the computer program. As a result of this initiative, the Nauru Government budgeted for additional laptops in the second year of the project and joined the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative in the third year so that all Year 1 and 2 students has an OLPC laptop.

Titles of all of the Nauru Rich tasks


Play Centre

Me Myself
Healthy me


Me My Family
Me and My Community
Fitness and Fun
My Christmas


The Bush
Toy Making
Healthy and Wise
Fitness and Fun (Nibok Prep T3 05)

Lower Primary

Year 1 and 2

Anga Dei-Naoero (Who Am I )
Naoero Eben Bwio (Nauru My Home)
Naoero - mon-iba iu  (Market Day)

Year 3

Constitution Day
Kitchen Garden
Book Making in Vernacular

Year 4

Keep Nauru Clean
Healthy Lives
Illustrating Special Days
Gift Making

Upper Primary

Year 5

Important Dates & Events
Identity Crisis
Community Helper Herbs
Story Telling in Vernacular

Year 6

Exploring Values
Save Me
Save Me V2
Water is Life
Building a Sense of Nauruan Identity through Looking at Other Cultures

Year 7

Careers Education Week
Creation of a Nation
Life Saving
Tsimine engogen man
Hidden Messages

Lower Secondary

Year 8

Growing up: Maturing as a Nauruan teenager
Survey Us
How my Biology Works with my Chemistry?
Science & Social Science Units preparing for Yr 8 test
Learning from Pacific neighbours
Commerce in an IT age
Moving together

Year 9

Environment is community business
Making it Happen
I can do it: A personal career plan
Science Fair: Magunn Bwea
Respect for All
Ang Dieda Epo
Behind the News

Year 10

Nauru Youth Say so.
Grow for Me
Our Business
Grow for us - a market economy
Sharing important stories
Caring for me and those I love.
Licence to study: Study independently.
Elective: Home maintenance

Upper Secondary

Year 11

How my Biology works with my Chemistry
Young Nauruan's Literature festival
Prevent Diabetes
Constitution Debate
Survival Code $140
Art for Education