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A Pasifika teacher outlines the process of how he uses the cultural identifiers for giftedness and applies these identifiers to students that he teaches. The Pasifika teacher also shared his presentation of the process and an explanation of gifted and talented Pasifika students.
Duration: 03:40
A Pasifika student who is able to articulate how his cultural identifiers for giftedness contribute to his world as a learner and how his gifts can be used to help others who rely on him as a role model.
Duration: 02:56
The Gifted and Talented Coordinator shares her story about how her involvement with the Pasifika Achievement Coordinator in the Digi Advisor project. The Digi Advisor project helped affirm what Pasifika initiatives the school already had in place to support their Pasifika learners.
Duration: 02:18
An Auckland Girls Grammar School Samoan language teacher and a non-Pasifika music teacher collaborated on a consensus approach to see which cultural identifiers applied to Pasifika students they taught mutually. The Samoan language teacher acknowledges the value of having a process to identify gifted and talented Pasifika students, providing another avenue or lens to view how Pasifika learners can translate their particular strengths into classroom learning and achievement.
Duration: 02:33
An Epsom Girls Grammar School student discusses two specific cultural identifiers: lineage and birthright that pertain to her upbringing from her family. Notions of cultural identifiers for giftedness are found in the home, and this Tongan student articulates how family and cultural values are used as a foundation to accelerate her learning and achievement at school.
Duration: 03:29
An Auckland Girls Grammar School Samoan language teacher explains how she combines e-Learning tools in her assessments to allow her students to achieve to their potential through the use of YouTube channels to film oral language assessments. This means that students are able to film their assessments without the time pressure or time constraints of timetabled classes as an example of ubiquitous learning.
Duration: 04:22
A Pasifika teacher shares his story about the benefits of being involved in the Digi Advisor project and being involved in online communities of practice on the Virtual Learning Network.
Duration: 03:03
A Pasifika teacher shares his opinion and interpretation of the PEP, how teachers can use the policy document as a way to provide a strategic focus on Pasifika learners, parents, families and communities.
Duration: 01:30
Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Pasifika) Victoria University, discusses why it is important to New Zealand as a nation that Pasifika students are successful in education.
Duration: 03:27
Research shows that the teacher's interest, respect and care for the student is an important factor in student achievement in school.
Duration: 01:44
Bilingual people are able to use their different languages in different places, with different people and for different purposes.
Duration: 01:34
Parents are pleased with new approaches to bilingual learning. They see the advantages that children get from using both their languages.
Duration: 02:43
Academic language, and particularly academic vocabulary, is a high priority for bilingual students, across all curriculum areas.
Duration: 04:03
Research shows that there are clear educational advantages in bilingual learning, but using a Pasifika language has sometimes been considered a liability.
Duration: 01:27
By integrating culture, caring, challenge and support into their pedagogies, teachers strengthen relationships and build communities of learners who succeed socially and academically.
Duration: 6:21
School leaders have a role in establishing practices that support the continuity of their Pasifika students’ learning as they move from and into different learning environments.
Duration: 2:48
Inclusive pedagogies, where teachers deliberately and positively draw on their Pasifika students’ resources, value the diversity of student experience and help to lift Pasifika student achievement.
Duration: 2:06
High expectations, together with the vision of Pasifika students as successful learners, improve relationships, pedagogy and academic outcomes.
Duration: 6:17
Safe and supportive environments, with coherent, clear and consistently enforced codes of behaviour and restorative discipline practices, contribute to learning gains for Pasifika students.
Duration: 4:30
Collecting relevant and sufficient data on Pasifika students’ achievement helps schools to track the progress of their Pasifika learners, make informed changes to their pedagogy, programmes and practices and be affirmed when their data reveals learning gains.
Duration: 05:50
Pasifika students find it motivating when teachers keep them informed about their levels of achievement, share the learning intentions with them and adjust their teaching to scaffold their learning pathways so that they know exactly what to do next.
Duration: 04:38
Teachers use many different strategies to engage their Pasifika learners and help them to achieve. Their strategies work best when they are grounded in responsive and caring relationships with their Pasifika students and the focus on their learning is clear.
Duration: 05:03
When teachers and Pasifika students negotiate the learning intentions, and share clear expectations and knowledge of the outcomes to be achieved, Pasifika students engage more confidently and more purposefully in their learning.
Duration: 04:16
Pasifika students benefit from working in collaborative ways with their peers in the classroom.
Duration: 02:31
Knowing a Pasifika language is not a barrier to being successful in English-medium schooling. Teachers who value and share the languages that Pasifika students bring with them into the classroom and deliberately build their English language skills help their Pasifika students to succeed.
Duration: 02:43
Collaboration, inquiry learning and knowledge-sharing underpin the professional development and learning focus of the teachers at Māngere Bridge school. The learning and actions that result impact positively on their Pasifika students’ achievement and well-being.
Duration: 04:14
McAuley High School has an unrelenting focus on raising the achievement of their Pasifika students. School-based teacher professional learning and development enables teachers to collectively inquire into and identify what works well for their Pasifika students.
Duration: 03:39
School leaders who initiate and sustain an intensive focus on the teaching-learning relationship and promote collective responsibility and accountability for Pasifika students’ achievement and well-being can make a difference to the outcomes their Pasifika students achieve.
Duration: 01:01
Negative stereotyping and a culture of mocking can be positively transformed by providing opportunities for Pasifika students to learn and grow their leadership potential, take ownership of their own development and be celebrated as achievers.
Duration: 03:02
Pasifika students discuss the importance and relevance that the ASB Polyfest has played in their classroom learning, which in effect improved their academic achievement. Key points in this story also include the senior students mentoring younger students - tuakana/teina model, the opportunity to celebrate their culture by engaging with their traditional performing arts and being able to connect their cultural identifiers to Pasifika giftedness.
Duration: 05:33
Senior Pasifika students provide advice for teachers of Pasifika students, highlighting the need for teachers to focus on the level of language that they use in classrooms to communicate with Pasifika learners.
Duration: 02:24
Glen Tuala - Pasifika Advisory Officer, Correspondence School. explains the flexibility that the Correspondence School can offer in developing a more personalised learning programme for Pasifika students.
Duration: 05:17
Jim Halafihi, ICT teacher Papatoetoe High School, explains how establishing a positive rapport with your Pasifika students can provide a good starting point to knowing your students. When a teacher knows their students they are in a better position to respond more appropriately to their needs.
Duration: 06:01
Maggie Flavell, explains the the perspective of a non Pasifika person working with Pasifika students. She talks about the importance of learning about the Pasifika culture to enable her to better engage with Pasifika students and their families. She also talks about the value of having a good support network to support her own professional development.
Duration: 06:31
Imeleta Faumuina, HoD English Tangaroa College, discusses the importance of providing authentic learning contexts to support meaningful student engagement.
Duration: 10:27
Melaine Sagala - TIC Samoan Language, Avondale College, discusses the benefits of strong student connections for their learning. She also discusses a model for connection that has worked for her in the past.
Duration: 06:39
David Faavae explains that with in the changing Tongan culture that Tongan boys can be very different, each requiring a different approach when working with them as teachers.
Duration: 04:05
Pennie Otto, Lecturer at MIT Tertiary Secondary School, discusses how she has developed a programme based on the Niue language and culture that has lifted Pasifika student achievement at her school.
Duration: 04:23
Teokotai Tarai, HOD Languages, Teacher of Cook Island Maori Language, explains how Pasifika students come to the classroom with a wealth of knowledge and experiences. This can provide a platform for better student engagement and success.
Duration: 06:14
It’s about creating environments with students at the centre, where Pasifika students have the focus and learning support they need to lift their academic achievement patterns.
Duration: 4:21
Mutually respectful, caring and open relationships, which motivate and engage Pasifika students, form the heart of effective teaching.
Duration: 5:11
This clip, from the Connections and Conversations DVD, considers the diversity within our groups of Pasifika students and their communities in terms of their identities, languages, experiences, and aspirations.
The DVD and accompanying booklet can be ordered via email from orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or phone 0800 226 440. Quote Item number 11061.

Duration: 9:44
This clip, from the Connections and Conversations DVD, highlights a variety of viewpoints on the range of different contexts and worlds that Pasifika students inhabit.These different contexts can provide challenges for some students. At the same time, they also can provide a basis for learning.
The DVD and accompanying booklet can be ordered via email from orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or phone 0800 226 440. Quote Item number 11061.
Duration: 5:43
This clip, from the Connections and Conversations DVD, considers the potentially differing expectations of teachers and parents towards Pasifika students and their learning. The DVD and accompanying booklet can be ordered via email from orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or phone 0800 226 440. Quote Item number 11061.

Duration: 4:14
This clip, from the Connections and Conversations DVD, explores a variety of viewpoints from students, teachers and parents on the involvement and engagement of Pasifika parents and communities in the processes of schooling.
The DVD and accompanying booklet can be ordered via email from orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or phone 0800 226 440. Quote Item number 11061.
Duration: 11:26
Many schools already involve Pasifika parents in supporting cultural events and activities. However, it should not stop there. Home-school partnerships that have a clear focus on Pasifika students’ learning with everyone able to make a positive and active contribution directly benefit Pasifika learners.
Duration: 04:16
Partnerships that share and align school and home practices and enable parents to actively support their children's in-school learning have shown some of the strongest impacts on student outcomes.
Duration: 03:29
Coming to school for special events is rewarding for Pasifika parents if the school makes them feel welcome and the focus is on their children’s achievement and strategies to extend their learning.
Duration: 01:46
Sustained higher achievement is possible when teachers use pedagogical approaches and share strategies that enable Pasifika students to take charge of their own learning.
Duration: 05:56
Sylvia Park school has set up a centre to be ‘the parents’ place’ within the school. The centre’s leader has a proactive focus on involving Pasifika parents through mutual learning conversations based on their child’s assessment data and their next-steps learning needs.
Duration: 03:56
Professor Emeritus Tagaloatele Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop comments on the current state of education. She shares her thoughts about reducing and bridging the gap, understanding and engaging in systems, negotiating time, and the benefits of learning the basics.
Duration: 13:18
Reverend Tevita Finau calls for an education system that recognises a range of student gifts and provides opportunities for learners to discover, explore, and build off their strengths. He touches on the importance of family, identity, culture, and keeping the language alive.
Duration: 11:00
Rachel Karalus has a number of concerns for Pacific learners, including racism within the education system, the system's lack of cultural responsiveness, and the need to focus on enabling Pacific parents' engagement. She sees success as Pacific learners as "being who they are 100% of the time" and calls for Pacific learners to have the same educational opportunities as those with "sounder financial backgrounds".
Duration: 9:38
Reverend Professor Dr Uili Fele Nokise explores spirituality – a value that binds together all other values – and its significance to Samoans. He explains the importance of relationships, with both people and the environment. He calls for efforts to bring a common understanding of things, such as how the home and school environments can complement each other and how we express care for each other.
Duration: 10:25
Way before the creation of an electric drill, Tokelauans invented the vilivili – a hand-operated pump drilling device. Pacific ancestors have always been construction innovators.
Duration: 00:46
Pacific ancestors who were scientific innovators knew about the benefits of coconut oil long before it was trendy and profitable.
Duration: 00:55
Pacific ancestors have been navigational innovators since long ago. They created, studied, and memorised navigation charts made of sticks.
Duration: 00:47
Traditional tatau (tattooing) has been handed down from generation to generation. Pacific ancestors have been cultural artistic innovators from way back.
Duration: 00:59
Pacific ancestors have long been financial innovators. They used tafuliae, shell money made up of different coloured shells that represented different monetary worth.
Duration: 00:50

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Collecting relevant and sufficient data on Pasifika students’ achievement helps schools to track the progress of their Pasifika learners, make informed changes to their pedagogy, programmes and practices and be affirmed when their data reveals learning gains.

Key content


Key content

Schools are effective in collecting and using data on Pasifika student achievement when they:

  • collect data that extends beyond one academic year – they track achievement patterns over time
  • monitor the shifts in the distributions of their achievement levels – they compare these with national expectations
  • monitor the rates of gains – they find out whether their Pasifika learners are achieving at more than just a normal rate of progress
  • examine the progress of higher-achieving Pasifika students – all students need to be academically challenged
  • keep checking and refining the data they collect – they use the data to inform their practice in order to keep their Pasifika students ‘on the achieving path’.

“Assessment can improve teaching and learning when teachers adjust their teaching to take account of the results of assessment.” Quality Teaching for Diverse Students in Schooling: Best Evidence Synthesis, page 89


Thanks to the principals, staff and students of Aorere College, McAuley High School, Mangere Bridge School, Sylvia Park School, Mary MacKillop School and Wymondley Road Primary School for their contribution.

Things to think about


Things to think about

  • As your school implements The New Zealand Curriculum, is there a specific focus on raising the achievement of your Pasifika learners. If so, how do you know it’s working? If not, why not?
  • What does your school’s data tell you about the achievement of your Pasifika students? What doesn’t the data tell you? What will you do about this?
  • How does your school use data to help track the performance of its Pasifika students? How do you use the data? Is your use of the data effective in increasing their achievement patterns? Do you have a long-term focus?
  • Do you use data on Pasifika student achievement to track your performance and improve your teaching? If so, how? If not, why not?
  • What are the benefits of collecting data? Give an example of changing your practice in response to data you have collected on the achievement of your Pasifika students.
  • How would you describe the level of achievement among Pasifika students at your school? Has this always been the case? What kinds of initiatives have been undertaken? Have these worked? How do you know?




Tone Kolose
I think going through that process of understanding, looking at your data, pulling it to bits, looking at cohorts and looking at students who are doing well, those students who are not doing well. But trying to find strategies in terms of what can we do to push those students that we say that the data informs our next lot of practice.

Lynne van Etten
I think that we’re always looking at data in the PSCPL project that we’re involved in we had the data which we collected at the beginning for a group of students. And now we can analyse that as they’ve moved through the school, and that's been really positive.

Tom Brown
We use data an awful lot. We use the asTTle test in the beginning, we use a PAT on reading. We use that information to inform us of the students’ general ability. It's not specific and it shouldn't be taken as being specific, but it gives a general indicator.

Lynne van Etten
It's great for the teachers to see actually, the shifts that they make with the students learning from one year to the next. So it's really reaffirming for the staff to see the changes that they can make.

Actuality – Staff meeting

Don Biltcliffe
Last year and this year, we're moving towards using E-asTTle, which is an assessment that can be done in any of the core subjects. The purpose of the reading test is that it gives me four areas that the children are achieving or not achieving in. The advantage to E-asTTle is that it's marked for me, so teacher error in marking is eliminated. And I get the results almost immediately to report back to the children with.

Actuality – teacher-student discussion

Glen Ryan
We’re always checking, so we’re always... with our five and six year olds we have a wedge graph, and we’re always plotting along – where are they from the standard, how close, how do we get them there? So always checking, always refining, and always talking with each other.

Lisa - student
The teaching here is different. When I was little at my old school they wouldn't show us any data, so they’ll only teach us what we went wrong. Sometimes we wouldn't understand what they were talking about. But here they tell us our data, where we went wrong, and they explain before they teach us.

Matilda - student
They should make sure that the student knows where they need to go, and the steps they need to take to get there, and to show them the data for their learning so that they could improve on their work and not just at the same place.

Merita Amani-Heisifa
Most of the staff here know how to analyse data, know how to read data, and know their next steps. So each teacher presents their data for reading, writing and maths. Now we do that across the school. Now teachers ask questions, probing questions. We also offer examples of the where to next.

Anne Miles
Analysis of data is incredibly important, but it's got to be used for the correct purpose. So at the end of each year, every HOD totally analyses all the achievements of their department. And they will look at why did this standard achieve so well, and this standard have a lower pass rate? And we look at all their analysis and we look at what changes they have made to their programmes as a result of this analysis. They’ve had feedback from students as to how they have enjoyed the unit that they’ve actually taught. And they’re constantly looking at what else could be added or what should be taken away from a particular unit.

Nola Dougall
I think one of the key turning points for students is a feeling of success. Success in their curriculum area. That when we put students into courses that they can achieve in, we are not putting them in places where they are out of their depth. And we do a lot of tracking on student data. Very good student management system that I can look up easily – I can flick on a switch or two and look at the year 13 cohort, and tell immediately who has yet to get level 2 NCEA, who has already for the requirements for University Entrance. We feed that back to the students through level assemblies.

Bernadette - student
She shows us graphs on how we’re doing in our NCEA achievements, and that makes us really drive towards our goal and makes us aim high and to see how we’re doing through the year. So it’s really good to see that kind of data.

Atina - student
In the classroom when we just finish an assessment, they tell us personally or come up to the desk or do you want the whole class to know the results. And so then they just go, "Oh, you got achieved or merit". And I think that sort of helps you when you know what the other students, because for me personally it's not only competition, it drives me and that’s how I think I get good results.

Nola Dougall
I will show them where they’re at now in credit groupings. I’ll compare that to where they were the month before. And I will also compare it with the cohort that was there last year. And the students can see the movement, and they can see that they’re on this achieving path. We also communicate that via the newsletters to the parents as well.