15 April 2024

Seek parent knowledge

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Getting to know, and involving, the student’s family/whānau and the community’

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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.

Build a learner profile

Build a learner profile

Talk with parents to build a learner profile that is informed by their knowledge. Find out what strategies have worked well for the student in their previous school.

Examples of students’ work

Examples of students’ work

To support and illustrate conversations about learning, encourage students and families/whānau to bring:

  • examples of the student’s work 
  • student profiles
  • learning stories or blogs
  • photographs
  • things that may be special to the student. 

Have a laptop or tablet available in case a student wants to share a personal blog or photos.

Listen for strategies and approaches that have been successful in supporting the student’s learning and well-being in the past.

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Partner with the family/whānau”:

Return to the guide “Transitions – managing times of change”