20 August 2022

Pre-empt or notice the need for specific support

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Making a collaborative learning support plan’

On this page:

Take a pre-emptive approach

Take a pre-emptive approach

When you know tamariki well, you are able to pre-empt and then plan for events or circumstances that may disrupt their equilibrium or cause anxiety.

Think about environmental factors, such as:

  • noisy or unstructured spaces
  • time restrictions
  • not knowing why something is happening
  • multiple spoken instructions.

Think about changes in routine, such as:

  • a new teacher, teacher aide, or learning support staff
  • transitions between activities or learning spaces
  • settling into a new term or learning environment
  • using new equipment or processes
  • a sibling or close friend moving to another class/school
  • doing an unfamiliar activity outdoors or in the community
  • changing deadlines.

Look out for events that may increase anxiety, such as:

  • sports, drama, or music events, such as a school show
  • speeches or oral assessments 
  • large-group activities, such as assembly or school camp
  • exams and assessments.

Think about other external factors, such as:

  • changes or challenges at home
  • bullying 
  • changing relationships with friends or siblings
  • health issues
  • family financial stresses.

Check-in check-out approach

Check-in check-out approach

Provide a daily support system.

A regular check-in and check-out process can pre-empt support needs and boost preparedness.

Act on information from whānau

Act on information from whānau

Parents and whānau know their tamariki and can pre-empt situations that could cause distress.

This video shows examples of how teaching teams can respond and plan specific support for tamariki.

Utilise community connections

Utilise community connections

Whānau and community members are the eyes and ears of the school community.  

They notice and hear what’s going on for students, act as go-to people for students and adults, are expert networkers, and go in to bat for anyone who needs it. 

Reflection questions

Reflection questions

Routine strategies can help us notice when a student may need support.

Which strategies are embedded in your own practice?

Do you include these strategies?

  • Knowing children well and recognising when they are stressed or unhappy
  • Checking in and connecting one-on-one
  • Using whānau or tutor groups
  • Doing data analysis and classroom observations
  • Using journal writing
  • Reviewing records of attendance
  • Having students share their experiences
  • Greeting children as they enter the learning space
  • Creating moments in breaks or before or after school where you can chat and touch base with tamariki and whānau
  • Checking in with learning support and wellbeing teams.

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Making a collaborative learning support plan”:

Return to the guide “Collaborative planning for learning”