In this kete, a number of schools describe the strong systems they have established to monitor the academic success of all learners.
They have shifted the power base they have towards the learner so that learners now lead the formal reporting interactions between their teacher and their whānau. This places them at the centre of their learning and supports the use of student voice to inform and share responsibility for achievement.
Systems for involving whānau and students in monitoring achievement
This collection of contributions offers a range of perspectives on reporting to parents and whānau. The Ministry’s Assessment Online website also provides an extensive collection of reports, templates, and case studies.
The key contributors to learning classrooms are teachers, students, and parents and whānau. These contributors need to maintain close dialogue, share information, and work together if students are to be fully supported in their learning.Source: Ministry of Education position paper: Assessment (2011), page 25
Communicating clear, dependable information about progress and achievement is the basis for building a strong partnership between the child, the teacher, and the child’s parents, family, and whānau. This will then support learning and improve student outcomes.
At Assessment Online, you will find the most up-to-date resources to support schools to share information with parents and whānau.
At Randwick School, the principal, teachers, and parents agreed that manaakitanga is the philosophy underpinning everything that goes on in the school. This means treating people with respect, being caring and making people feel comfortable, not being too “high and mighty”, making people more important than paperwork, valuing students and getting to know them, having a whānau atmosphere, and being easy to talk to. Manaakitanga is manifest in a variety of ways at Randwick School, for example:
- having high expectations for all students
- having food available in the staffroom and at school events
- teachers attending students’ weekend sport events
- building a relationship with the local marae
- teachers dressing in a way that is not intimidating to parents
- holding hāngi.
Sharing responsibility (video)
Rangiātea: Hamilton Girls’ High School
This case study and exemplar examine Hamilton Girls’ High School’s journey towards realising Māori student potential. It addresses four key points:
Regular, powerful connections between school and whānau:
- Whānau contacted regularly to discuss student progress, through tutor group mentoring model.
- Whānau involvement through whānau ropu.
- Expert advice for principal from whānau, kaumātua, and Māori staff.
- Systematic processes for gathering feedback from whānau and community.
High goals and expectations set for Māori student achievement:
- School addresses specific barriers to learning and works to increase staff understanding and knowledge of Māori students.
- Goals are clearly communicated to staff, students, and whānau.
- The school’s response to poor attendance is clearly stated in its policies, and any attendance concerns are shared immediately with whānau.
Strategic resourcing to enhance Māori student achievement:
- Mentoring programme in place for Māori students.
- Vertical tutor groups support students as Māori.
- Whānau group is active in school.
Ensuring quality of curriculum and teaching to enhance Māori achievement:
- Māori achievement data reported widely within school and at whānau group hui.
- Māori teachers hold pivotal roles.
- Professional learning groups focus on teachers constantly reviewing their teaching, their personal learning journey, and the support they need.
- Curriculum adapted to respond to interests of Māori students.
The Assessment Online site provides resources to support schools as they share information with whānau.
This case study shows how Randwick School worked with Māori families to improve sharing of student data.
This video from Te Kauhua features Henderson School and the way they “do things together” with whānau, including sharing student data.
This case study and exemplar examine the journey of Hamilton Girls' High School towards realising Māori student potential. It addresses four key points.
Student-led conferences for improved outcomes
Students in many schools now lead the formal interactions between their teacher and whānau. This collection of contributions provides examples that show the student at the heart of the learning process.
Student-led conferences and three-way conferences
Many schools in New Zealand are using some form of student-led or three-way conferencing to report to and share information with parents.
Student-led conferences and three-way conferences are designed to achieve one or more of the following goals:
to help students demonstrate evidence of learning
to teach students the process of reflection and self-evaluation
to facilitate the development of students’ organisational and oral communication skills and to increase their self-confidence
to encourage students, parents, and teachers to engage in open and honest dialogue
to encourage students to accept personal responsibility for their learning
to increase parent understanding of their child’s learning, through improving attendance at and satisfaction with the reporting process.
Questions to think about
Some questions that came out of the Taihape Area School case study that was part of Te Mana Kōrero:
- Whānau undoubtedly have aspirations for their tamariki. What strategies can we adopt to discover these moemoeā?
- Knowing that success is a springboard to further success, in what ways could we celebrate Māori student success with whānau?
- How can we support the Māori language teacher/s in our school so that they can enhance the quality of teaching and learning in their classrooms?
- How can we include Māori students in decision making that affects the quality of their education?
- How can we show whānau that we want a genuine partnership, where both partners are equal and where respective strengths are honoured, in order to achieve shared goals?
- How does an inquiry approach demonstrate the spirit of ‘ako’, where students can, with teachers and parents or whānau, set learning goals and choose their own learning contexts, thus giving them ownership and promoting self-management?
- How can we empower our students to take more ownership of their learning, for example, by choosing their own contexts for learning?
Leading my own learning
This video on the NZC Online site shows how the learning to learn principle has underpinned curriculum change at Taihape Area School. Students are supported to be independent, self-motivated, reflective, and metacognitive learners through newly adopted teaching and learning approaches.
Ngaruawahia High School (video)
The Assessment Online site offers many suggestions for involving students in the assessment process, including three-way conferences.
The learning to learn principle has underpinned curriculum change at Taihape Area School. This video shows how everyone comes together to set goals and celebrate achievement.
In this video, staff and student voices tell how sharing the responsibility for assessment impacted on achievement.
Matapihi o te ao
A particular focus for many Māori learners is their achievement in relation to literacy, both in English and te reo Māori. This gallery discusses ways schools can work with whānau to support literacy.
Engaging whānau in National Standards
In this section of NZC Online, you will find literacy and numeracy resources that help teachers in their conversations with parents, families, whānau, and communities.
Here are ten good ways to use the resources to engage with and support parents, families, whānau, and communities:
to help explain how what happens at school and what happens at home interconnect to support learning
for ideas on supporting a child’s learning at home
to explain National Standards in reading, writing, and mathematics
to talk with parents about a child’s literacy and numeracy
to include in enrolment packs
for content that can be copied and used in school literacy and numeracy resources
to include with school newsletters
for ideas and activities parents and children can do together during the holidays
to talk with students about their goals
to include with reports.
Reading at home
Can parents of secondary school students really help in the process of reading at home with their children?
Through an exploration of this key question, Berryman and Ford highlight “the critical importance of educationally powerful connections, especially when accelerating achievement in communities, such as Māori communities, that have been traditionally underserved by the education system.”
They also present a range of tools and resources to help establish these connections.
Making connections (video)
This section of Curriculum Online lists resources and ideas for engaging families and whānau in conversations about National Standards.
Mere Berryman and Therese Ford (2014)
This eBook presents strategies to accelerate writing. It connects these strategies to the principles of Ka Hikitia, explains the theoretical basis that underpins each strategy and outlines some implementation guidelines. It also provides a series of video clips to support understanding and implementation.
Mere Berryman and Therese Ford (2014)
This eBook presents two strategies to accelerate reading. It connects these principles to the Ka Hikitia strategy, explains the theoretical basis that underpins each strategy, and outlines some implementation guidelines. It also provides a series of video clips to support understanding and implementation.
Supporting learners for NCEA
NCEA is the National Certificate of Educational Achievement. This gallery contains resources to support whānau as their tamariki and mokopuna reach secondary school.
NCEA and the Whānau
NCEA and the Whānau is an information programme that aims to help whānau understand NCEA.
NCEA and the Whānau is a practical and interactive workshop that allows parents to:
- discuss their dreams and aspirations for their child
- learn practical tips on how they can help their child achieve NCEA success
- create their own whānau action plan to achieve their whānau aspirations.
NZQA Guide app (image)
NZQA has launched a mobile app called NCEA Guide. The app provides parents, whānau and employers with quick and easy access to information about NCEA. Content can be viewed in English and te reo Māori.
NZQA offers a range of assessment resources to help teachers assess students against unit standards listed on the Field Māori section of the Directory of Assessment Standards.
NZQA provides a range of resources to support assessment of Māori learners. This information programme aims to help whānau understand NCEA.