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Whānau and communities

Filed under: Productive partnerships | Effective leaders

Tags: Te Mana Kōrero




Research evidence shows that when schools develop relationships with whānau and communities around child learning, then the learning outcomes improve for all their students.

One of the significant elements with the action research was when teachers realised that data could be obtained from a wide range of sources, and actually went out into the community.

Clarie Page – Waitara Central School

I went and visited all my families. I rang them up first because of it being maybe scary with officialdom, and suggested that I would really like to come and visit and talk about what we were going to do in the classroom this year, and that they could fill me in on what would be good - how I could teach their child better.

And when they are talking to me in the classroom I can visualise it and I can help them. So I think it helps not only just understanding where their lives are at, but helping them with their work.


Quality teaching is maximised when school and home partnerships are fostered and focused on student learning. At Waitara this has meant parental involvement at all levels including the school’s reading programme.

Trevor Simpson – Board of Trustees Waitara Central School

In the past they haven't had too much to do with the school, I guess they have felt a little bit sort of pushed away from it I guess, or it wasn't that attractive to the Māori people in the town. So that has changed a lot. So what we are seeing now and it’s quite amazing. Little things, little Māori things appearing everywhere and every class. What that has done is it’s brought the Māori community in the town closer to the school.

Vee Singh – Principal Pakaraka School

I think the school is a community place. I don't think we should actually divorce the two. And we are starting to make it happen here at Pakaraka by getting the community to start believing that this is the place that they own. This is their place as much as it is ours.

John Mana – Board of Trustees Pakaraka School

Well I've never been interested in education in my young day. I want my kids to learn and that is what brought me here. Now I always wished I could go back to school. I went on my first class trip this year – I never ever went on the class trip. Went to the Kelly Tarltons, the Sky Tower – never been there, ever.


Once welcomed into the school, parents wanted to contribute at every level. Research shows that voluntary parental involvement makes a difference for children.

John Mana

They seem to want to learn now, they want to grab things that usually... when I first came here, they weren't interested in it. But I grab things that they see with their own two eyes, like mountains, the roads, especially the towns they live in, and telling them how their town got their name, or the road they live on, the street, how the street got its name. And then they go home and tell mum and dad and then the following week, when we have kapa haka, we have a bunch load of parents here who want to learn more too.

Relationships with whānau and communities. Research evidence shows that when schools develop relationships with whānau and communities around child learning, then the learning outcomes improve for all their students. (Extract from ‘Te Mana Kōrero : Strengthening Professional Practice’, 2005).

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