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Engaging Pacific parents and communities

Thanks for visiting Pasifika Education Community.

We are preparing to close this site soon as this content has now moved to  Tāhūrangi.

Tāhūrangi is the new online curriculum hub for Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education.

Research and resources


Supporting parents, whānau, and communities
These resources help teachers in their conversations with parents, families, whānau, and communities. They explain, in plain English and in a number of Pasifika languages, strategies that will help students learning and achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics.

Reporting to parents and whānau
Parents, family, whānau, and communities want to receive clear and specific plain-language reports about their child’s progress and achievement. They also want to know how they can work with the school to support their child’s learning.

Assessment Online has the most up-to-date resources to support schools to share information with parents and whānau.

How is my child doing? Questions to ask at school
Written for schools to share with parents, these booklets include questions parents can ask and provide general information they may find useful.

Reading together
A research-based workshop programme designed to help parents support their children's reading at home more effectively. Jeanne Biddulph developed this programme from an action research project.

Literacy online | Student support
Resources on the page include Pause Prompt Praise, a set of reading tutoring strategies developed to help parents to work with their children.

To access this information, scroll down to "Pause Prompt Praise - Tatiri Tauawhi (PPP)".

Pause Prompt Praise resource packs are available from Down the Back of the Chair.

Families section of NZ Maths
Activities and resources to help families support their child's learning in maths.

How NCEA works
A series of animated videos, produced by NZQA, explaining NCEA in a variety of Pasifika languages.

NZQA – Ngā iwi o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Pasifika
Pages containing useful information and resources to help support Pacific learners in Aotearoa New Zealand

Talanoa Ako
Talanoa Ako, formerly known as Pasifika PowerUP Plus, is a ten week Pacific parent education programme that actively supports Pasifika parents and families to champion their children’s learning. It also provides academic support for secondary and primary students.


Creating the "talanoa" conversation is all it takes… (CORE Education, 2014)

The Pasifika way of connecting and collaborating (CORE Education, 2015)

Voices from the Pacific – Lost in translation (CORE Education, 2019) – this blog aims to challenge thinking and personal judgements and distinguishes perception from reality when it comes to defining culture. It explores how a person determines the importance of an individual's culture and what role educators have in acknowledging the culture of their learners.

uLearn21 reflections: Thriving individuals and communities (CORE Education, 2021) – find out what "thriving individual" means to Pasifika.

Pasifika education – Browse the current blog posts from the CORE Education website.

Research and readings

ERO. (2018). Building genuine learning partnerships with parents
This report is part of a series about teaching strategies that work. It features strategies and approaches we saw in 40 primary schools across New Zealand.

Flavell, M. (2017). Listening to and learning from Pacific families: The art of building home-school relationships at secondary level to support achievement.  Set 2017 no.2 p.42
Building inclusive relationships with families to support academic success for Pacific secondary students is important. 

In this article, Maggie Flavell reviews literature which considers the perspectives of Pacific students, their families, and teachers. An important conclusion is that listening is a key ingredient for teachers when involved in learning conversations with Pacific families.

Flavell acknowledges the issue of thinking from a Westernised mind-set when working with Pacific people and offers a suggestion on how to build relationships to overcome this.

Best, J. & Dunlap. A. (2012). Student Achievement beyond the Classroom: Engaging Families and Communities
Despite positive outcomes associated with family engagement, many schools and districts still struggle to cultivate meaningful relationships with community members. This document identifies issues surrounding family engagement and poses questions for policymakers to consider.

The authors describe the following engagement issues and offer questions and recommendations for policymakers to consider for each.

  • Understand barriers to engagement.
  • Build relationships and foster partnerships among all stakeholders.
  • Provide resources to families and community members.
  • Support educator needs.

Irving, P. (2013). Improving Engagement and Achievement for Pasifika Learners in Diverse Primary School Settings 
This sabbatical report presents strategies that can improve Pasifika achievement. Author Paul Irving, Riccarton Primary School, shares a findings from his research and provides a list of literature and resources.

The text also includes summaries of interviews with principals, Pasifika parents, and Pasifika students.