14 April 2024

Partner with whānau, parents and caregivers

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Identifying needs and strengths, and accessing 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

Share observations in ways that work for whānau and ākonga

Share observations in ways that work for whānau and ākonga

Sometimes the language of teaching and learning can create a barrier for families.

Consider how you can share information about learning in ways that are mana-enhancing, support understanding, and promote conversation, for example:

  • drawings or graphics
  • photos
  • videos
  • learning stories
  • simple graphs of learning data
  • culturally relevant metaphors and analogies.

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

Students' likes and dislikes:

  • likes, interests, strengths, what they’re good at, 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 students' lives:

  • 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

Build regular times for communication
  • 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 boost the student’s self-esteem, for example, classes or groups for music, art, dance or sports.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Family whanau file2

Family/whānau file

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

Visit website

The vision book My child our journey

The vision book: My child, our journey

Read time: 89 min

Families share their experiences about parenting a child who is blind, deafblind or who has low vision.

Visit website

Next steps

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

Return to the guide “Low vision and learning”