01 June 2023

Ask the student what will help and consider a learner profile

Learner profiles help students express who they are, their needs, and strengths.

Survey students

Survey students

Ask students what supports their learning and what gets in the way.

I personally do a survey at the beginning of every class, every semester ... to get an idea of who is in the classroom to begin with and what they would benefit, or what they want to see in the class, what would work [and not work] for them.

Nancy Searcy

Source: Student profiles - UDL supporting diversity in BC schools (opens in a new tab/window)

Student profiles - UDL supporting diversity in BC schools

Build the learner profile over time

Build the learner profile over time

Learner profiles can help school staff build relationships with ākonga and their whānau, understand their perspectives and design learning to meet student needs.

Considerations for learner profiles.

  • Provide multiple opportunities and methods to develop the profile.
  • Prioritise information from students by using effective communication techniques, for example, point to select, or communication boards.
  • Revisit the profile on a regular basis to add depth and new insights.
  • Use a range of input methods such as conversations, observations, formal reviews and regular surveys.
  • Encourage students to understand their needs and preferences as a learner.
  • Act on information that is shared so students can see how their voice helps you design learning experiences that work for them.

For more information download the Ministry of Education Developing Learner Profiles pdf.

What to include in a learner profile

What to include in a learner profile

Discuss with the student and their whānau what to include in a learner profile.

  • Important people
  • Cultural connections and experiences
  • Languages spoken
  • Things the student is good at
  • Memorable life experiences
  • How they like to unwind and relax
  • Likes and interests
  • Dislikes and things they avoid
  • How they like to learn and what helps
  • Things that make it hard for them to learn
  • What they do when they need help

Examples of learner profiles

Examples of learner profiles


Primary school learner profile

An example of a NZ primary school student’s learner profile, developed by the adults around her.

Download DOC (613 KB)

Rachels learner profile NZ high school

Secondary school learner profile

An example of a NZ secondary student’s learner profile.

Download PDF (331 KB)

Useful resources

Useful resources

Developing learner profiles

Developing learner profiles

Read time: 3 min

This document provides general support and guidance when developing a learner profile. It includes prompts and questions, alongside purpose and benefits for students.


Download PDF (211 KB)

About me

About me

This learner profile template is a companion to "Developing learner profiles". It is an interactive PDF with questions for students to answer.

Download PDF (596 KB)

Family whanau file

Family/whānau file

A booklet to help parents of students with additional needs to brief their child’s school.

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Visit website

Next steps

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

Return to the guide “ADHD and learning”