26 September 2021

Partner with whānau, parents and caregivers

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

On this page:

On this page:

Current page section: Partner with whānau

Go to top of current page: Partner with whānau

Show list of page sections

Build trust

Build trust

As ADHD is often hereditary, parents may have had a difficult time at school and have low expectations of support.

Take time to build trust and confidence.

Work together

Work together

Suggestions for working together with parents, caregivers and whānau.

  • Communicate and share information in a meaningful way, demonstrating understanding and support for parents’ concerns.
  • Value what parents and caregivers have noticed or assessments they have had done outside school.
  • Involve parents and caregivers in determining strategies to support student learning and well-being.
  • Work with any programmes or materials they are using 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 in ways that are meaningful.
  • Share information about out-of-school programmes (for example, classes or groups for music, art, debating or sport).
  • Actively and regularly communicate positive information and achievements to the family.

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.

Manage medication

Manage medication

Some students with ADHD take medication.

Work with family and whānau to create a medication plan that sets out when and how much medication is given.

  • Read your student’s plan and keep it handy.
  • Know your role in helping your student to take their medication. Know, for example, whether you need to prompt them to take it and how you will do that. You may need to arrange safe storage for the medication.
  • Learn to recognise when the medication has worn off or if it is causing side effects.
  • Provide a private place for your student to take their medication.
  • Do not disclose medication use to other students without permission.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Family whanau file2

Family/whānau file

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Download PDF (1300 KB)


Seesaw: Student driven digital portfolios

Publisher: Seesaw Learning Inc.

Visit website

Next steps

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

Return to the guide “ADHD and learning”