Date
20 February 2019

Discuss students’ learning and wellbeing, plan effective support

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Establishing reciprocal relationships with parents and families to support learning’

Successful family-school partnerships

Successful family-school partnerships

Establish regular, two-way contact between home and school, focused on sharing students’ successes.

Parents suggested that schools could:

  • improve the timeliness and regularity of feedback and information, especially in relation to children’s presence, participation, learning, and achievement
  • provide regular opportunities for participation and involvement
  • provide information about how to become involved in the school
  • ensure that families feel they are heard, fully involved, and not rushed in meetings, interviews, and conferences
  • report on students’ progress in language and formats that are meaningful to, and can be easily understood by, the student and family.
  • be open and listen to parents’ views
  • find ways for parents and families to lead activities and events, especially for other parents and their children.

Source: Partners in learning: Schools’ engagement with parents, whānau, and communities in New Zealand (May 2008) (opens in a new tab/window)

Use technologies

Use technologies

Suggestions for using technology to support communication and information sharing.
  • Leave computers on at the end of the day and invite parents to view students’ digital work.
  • Find out the types of technology that parents use and offer to share in those mediums.
  • Consider using multiple channels, such as mobile devices, email, instant messaging services, social media, and the school website, to connect with families.
  • Provide deliberate support or training to show parents how they can engage with students’ work – both face-to-face and through technology.
  • Create and promote online spaces such as blogs that invite parents’ participation and feedback.
  • Establish a site or portal for parents to access and contribute to student learning.
  • Design e-portfolios to inform future steps in learning.

Consider digital portfolios

Consider digital portfolios

Digital portfolios, created and maintained by the students, are a vehicle for communicating learning to families.

Share meaningful student data

Share meaningful student data

Our parents are really busy and you know they are working, they've got families, they've got all sorts of other commitments. So when we want to talk to them we've got to talk to them about the grunty stuff, the stuff that makes a difference. And we know that the stuff that makes a difference is their children's data, the real information. We know it's rich information, that's often been the domain of the school and now it's time to share it in all its glory.

Barbara Alaalatoa

Engage with outside agencies

Engage with outside agencies

Before engaging support for students from outside services and agencies:

  • find out from family/whānau whether they are already connected with outside agencies or programmes or have been in the past, and what their experience of these agencies/programmes was
  • check with colleagues, especially the learning support team, to find out which services and agencies the school already has a relationship with and get some feedback on the effectiveness of the partnerships
  • research possible options for support, so that you can make an informed contribution to discussions
  • outline other possible options for support when you are discussing the specific needs of a student with their whānau.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

National mentoring service for Māori and Pasifika students

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Establish reciprocal relationships”:

Return to the guide “Supporting Pasifika students”

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