Date
22 February 2024

Build whanaungatanga

Partner with the ākonga and their whānau so you can understand and respond to their goals and aspirations for learning and life.

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Connect with culturally sustaining frameworks

Connect with culturally sustaining frameworks

Learn from whānau using culturally sustaining frameworks. Understand how to meet hauora or wellbeing and learning needs.

For example use dimensions from the Māori health model, Te Whare Tapa Whā 


Taha Whānau - family, people and relationships

  • whānau, friends, iwi and hapū
  • cultural, religious, social and recreational connections
  • professionals working with the family

Taha Wairua - spiritual well being or life force

  • spiritually strengthening aspects for example faith, being in nature, creative activities and meditation  
  • special interests
  • hopes and priorities for ākonga and whānau

Taha Tinana - physical wellbeing

  • physical activity and recreation preferences
  • sensory challenges
  • medications and allergies

Taha Hinengaro - mental and emotional wellbeing

  • strengths and talents
  • dislikes, what can upset them 
  • signs that the student is beginning to feel upset or anxious
  • strategies used to calm students

Whenua - connection to the land and environment

  • important places
  • Iwi and hapū maunga - mountains and awa - rivers
  • interests in the environment, plants and animals
  • connections to people and ancestors.

Build trust

Build trust

Kaiako talk about the importance of getting to know ākonga Māori and building trust to enable learning.

Build respectful and reciprocal relationships

Build respectful and reciprocal relationships

He Pikorua, the learning support practice framework, begins with whakawhanaungatanga – build connections.

Trusting relationships between kaiako, whānau and ākonga provide opportunities to explore what is important and have difficult conversations when necessary.

Build connections by:

  • exploring aspirations and goals
  • empowering others
  • gaining informed consent
  • information sharing
  • negotiating roles and expectations
  • building staff capability.

Source: Adapted from: Whakawhanaungatanga - Build connections – He Pikorua (opens in a new tab/window)

Involve family and whānau

Involve family and whānau

“We talk, we meet, we listen.” Educators talk about engaging with and welcoming Pacific families using a Tapasā approach.
Video hosted on Vimeo http://vimeo.com/519265219

Source: Ministry of Education, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

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Understand whānau needs and aspirations

Understand whānau needs and aspirations

Develop a shared understanding of the student’s aspirations, based on their hopes and ambitions and their cultural contexts and responsibilities.

  • Listen to the aspirations of parents and whānau.
  • Provide the family or whānau with information that will help them to create a positive vision of their child’s future.
  • Acknowledge that the family or whānau may have their own support needs and alert them to support agencies and information.
  • Discuss the student's and family’s past experiences with schooling and the implications of these for growing positive relationships.
  • Discuss how to support increased independence as the student moves into adulthood.

Source: National transition guidelines for specialist educators, schools, and parents: Guidelines for transitioning students with special needs from school to adult life (opens in a new tab/window)

Successful home-school partnerships

Successful home-school partnerships

Build a partnership that has a clear focus on students’ learning, where everyone can make positive and active contributions that benefit learning.

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Develop effective whole-school practices”:

Return to the guide “Preparing students to leave school”

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