08 July 2020

Partner with whānau, parents and caregivers

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Identify needs and how to provide support’

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Value whānau knowledge

Value whānau knowledge

Student's experiences and interests at home can provide many insights into what motivates a student. Make connections wherever you can.

My son is not great at decoding. Actually he is terrible, but he loves to read using his kindle.

He loves to learn and finds ways to learn all the time with his iPad.

Recently he got his first paying job – teaching some adults how to use a website and Facebook and got paid $25 an hour.

They said they felt he was able to explain how to learn in a non-threatening and understandable way. 


What to ask

What to ask

Connect with parents, whānau, and caregivers to understand the strengths and needs of students.

Practical elements:

  • the language/s spoken at home
  • medications and allergies
  • equipment used at home
  • what they do at home to support learning.

Student’s likes and dislikes:

  • likes, interests, what they’re good at, need help with, can do independently
  • dislikes, what can upset them, how they express this, calming skills
  • favourites (TV programmes, hobbies, books, songs, sports).

The people in the student’s life:

  • parent and whānau hopes and priorities
  • important people in the student’s life
  • best methods and times to communicate with the family
  • professionals working with the family
  • questions they have and support they would like from the school.

Support information sharing

Support information sharing

Communicate and share information in a meaningful way, demonstrating understanding and support for parents’ concerns.
  • Encourage parents and caregivers to share what they have noticed or assessments they have had done outside school.
  • Build on any programmes or materials used at home, to maximise consistency and support for the student.
  • Develop systems for passing on information about a student’s needs, progress and next steps.
  • Share information about out-of-school programmes that may help to boost the student’s self-esteem (for example, classes or groups for music, art, dance or sports).

Share useful learning tools

Share useful learning tools

Dyslexia Potential offers an online program for parents and children. It contains 23 short videos with practical ideas to support learners with Dyslexia. The videos are freely accessible. Parents may chose to become members and purchase further activities.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Family whanau file2

Family/whānau file

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Download PDF (1300 KB)


Parent perspectives

Read time: 4 min

Publisher: Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Identify needs and how to provide support”:

Return to the guide “Dyslexia and learning”