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Connecting with Pasifika families and communities

The biggest concerns for Pasifika parents are about effective communication with schools. Parents expect teachers to be proactive in developing relationships with them and in learning about their cultural backgrounds.

The Pasifika community is diverse – ethnically, generationally, economically, and in language use. Those schools which have taken these factors into account have increased their Pasifika parental and family involvement. Strong relationships and links between schools and Pasifika parental and families and communities are powerful when they are reciprocal and have a clear focus on student learning.

Parents and families of Pasifika learners have high expectations that the school will care about their children, and help them to learn and achieve. They want schools to be open and inclusive places. Parents and families wish for teachers who believe in their children’s potential to learn, and are willing to help them to reach their potential and succeed.

Using technologies to support connections with parents and families

Meeting parents, families, and community members face-to-face is an essential part of connecting with the Pasifika community. Ongoing connections can be supported and enhanced through the use of technologies.

Holy Cross School is very multicultural community. Kathy Moy-Low, explains how they have consulted with and engaged the parent community in e-learning. One of their initiatives is after school parent technology sessions, which are run once a month. In this video clip, parents explain why they go to the classes – the benefits for their own learning with technology, and how they can engage more with their children's learning.

Coretti and her mother, Fiona Tuffs, discuss how using a mobile device enables more parental involvement in schoolwork. Corretti explains how the iPad is changing the way she learns.

Ariana Williams, Mutukaroa early learning advisor/coordinator at Sylvia Park School, explains why it’s so important for parents to understand assessments and the benefits for them of knowing how to support their child better at home. For more information see The Mutukaroa project .

Using video conferencing to expand learning options

Using video conferencing to expand learning options

Southern Cross Campus student Shona Unasa takes economics via video conference.

Teaching Samoan via video conference

Teaching Samoan via video conference

Lalaosalafai Tu’ua describes his experience of using video conferencing to teach Samoan at NCEA Level 3 at Southern Cross Campus in Mangere.

Improving oral language and writing with Photostory

Improving oral language and writing with Photostory

Irongate School teacher, Marion Croad, describes the improvements in her New Entrant students' written and oral language as a result of using Photostory.

Improving student writing with digital stories

Improving student writing with digital stories

Bridget Harrison at Kimi Ora Community School shares how her students are using digital stories to scaffold the writing process.

Parent technology sessions

Parent technology sessions

Holy Cross School principal, Kathy Moy-Low explains how they consulted with and engaged the parent community in e-learning. Parents explain why they attend the after school parent technology sessions. 

Mutukaroa – Connecting with whānau

Mutukaroa – Connecting with whānau

Project coordinator Ariana Williams explains how and why Mutukaroa works, why it’s so important for parents to understand assessments, and the benefit for them of knowing how to support their child better at home.

Improving student writing with digital stories

Bilingual digital stories

Primary school teacher, Bridget Harrison talks about using digital stories to support students with English as a second language.

Polyfest as a learning context – The Arts: Dance

Polyfest as a learning context – The Arts: Dance

Mangere College students value Polyfest as an authentic context for NCEA achievement in dance.

Polyfest as a learning context – Art: Creating the Polyfest backdrop

Polyfest as a learning context – Art: Creating the Polyfest backdrop

Students at Mangere College, Zahra and Chris, talk about how they contributed to the Samoan Polyfest as part of Art.

Polyfest as a learning context – English: Create a visual text

Polyfest as a learning context – English: Create a visual text

Mangere College students describe e-posters they designed as part of their visual arts NCEA assessments to reflect their identity and culture.

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Research and resources

Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017

Engaging with Pasifika parents, families & communities

The Pasifika Education Community website provides school stories (videos) and resources to support schools.

Resources for engaging with Pasifika parents, families & communities
This area of the Pasifika Education Community website provides information and resources to support engagement with Pasifika parents, families and communities.

Effective governance: Supporting Pasifika success

A group of Pasifika trustees shared key insights about effective governance in schools and what strategies could be introduced to improve Pasifika students’ outcomes. Their feedback informed these guidelines for boards on ways to better understand and implement the Pasifika Education Plan, including how to engage with Pasifika students and families.

Literature Review on the Effective Engagement of Pasifika Parents & Communities in Education (PISCPL)

This literature review explores barriers to Pacific Island parent/community engagement and strategies that can support home-school engagement.

The Pasifika way of connecting and collaborating

In this blog post Learning with Digital Technologies (LwDT) facilitator, Togi Lemanu talks about ways to successfully connect and begin to build relationships with the community Pasifika.

Ideas to engage your community

Diana Tregoweth outlines some of the approaches in place at Owairaka School to encourage parent, family, and community engagement in the school in this series of videos.

e-Learning community discussions

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