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The Mutukaroa project

The Mutukaroa project is a home-school learning partnership that seeks to accelerate learning progress and achievement for students in years 1, 2, and 3 by seeking to foster the active engagement of parents and whānau in learning partnerships. Parents work with a coordinator to develop the knowledge necessary for them to support the development of core skills in their children. They are provided with tools to support learning with their children.

Mutukaroa is underpinned by the findings of the Best Evidence Synthesis The Complexity of Community and Family Influences in Children’s Achievement in New Zealand

The Mutukaroa approach is designed to foster the development of fully engaged parents and whānau who understand assessment. It has several key components, including:

  • Learners are assessed on school entry at 5 years old then again at 5 ½ years, 6, and 7 years, with the intention of tracking progress during their time at school.
  • At each stage of the assessment process the coordinator reviews the data, discusses any issues with the teacher, and agrees the next steps in the child’s learning journey. Next steps complement and support what teachers are doing in the classroom.
  • Parents and whānau are invited to a 45 minute – 1 hour meeting with the coordinator to discuss the assessment data and learning targets. 
  • The coordinator utilises a learning framework and tool set to offer parents and whānau structured and specific advice about how to support their child’s learning. 

For further information about the project:

Coordinators are supported through a private online space in the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) where they can access the tools that they need, share resources, and communicate with each other.

Developed at Sylvia Park School, the Ministry is providing wider opportunities for schools to establish this partnership with parents and whānau.

Note: 2015 Supplementary support applications have closed. Please contact your Ministry Senior Advisor or Student Achievement Function (SAF) Practitioner if you have any questions.

In the videos Sylvia Park School principal, Barbara Alaalatoa, and coordinator, Ariana Williams, share the background and purpose of Mutukaroa, and the benefits of using the VLN to support clusters of coordinators. 

The Mutukaroa project
Barbara Alaalatoa, principal of Sylvia Park School, shares the vision behind the Mutukaroa project. Great teaching, evidence-based data, and a tailored approach to the way they share data with parents, all making for meaningful impacts on children's learning.

The Mutukaroa project – Supported by a professional learning community
Sylvia Park School principal, Barbara Alaalatoa, and coordinator of the Mutukaroa project, Ariana Williams, discuss the benefits for coordinators of being involved in a professional learning community where they have access to a wide range of support in a safe online environment.

The Mutukaroa project – Connecting with whānau
Coordinator Ariana Williams explains how and why Mutukaroa works, why it’s so important for parents to understand assessments, and the benefits for whānau in knowing how to support their child better at home.

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