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Engaging with our Pasifika parents, families and communities

Started by Togi Lemanu 19 Aug 2013 10:11pm () Replies (9)

What are schools doing to build relationships and engage with our Pasifika parents?  There are a lot of ideas and strategies that schools are using to work with our Pasifika parents. It will be good if we could all share our ideas and stories to support our colleagues.

Are schools being culturally responsive when connecting our communities?  If so, in what ways. 

Look forward to your responses.  Faafetai lava


  • Anthony Faitaua (View all users posts) 22 Aug 2013 10:56pm ()

    Talofa Kaine, Anne and Maggie,

    I totally agree with Togi on this one. From my experience working at an Intermediate school with a small number of Pasifika students (27 out 720 students), I was able to create a Pasifika cultural group to build that relationship with the students. As individual learners, they come across as quiet, and modest about their giftedness. As a group, they seem to show more of their talent and skills. This derives from the ideal "it takes a village to raise a child" proverb. In saying this, Pasifika students tend to show more of their skills because they feel they're in a safe environment. From here I had identified some beautiful singers and created a Pasifika music group. Some students had some hidden talent and were able to play the guitar, drums and keyboard and sing. I also found some artist in the group and created a Pasifika Art exhibit. I asked the music teacher and the art teacher for their support and we worked on ideas on putting these groups together to bring in the Parents. We held a Pasifika gathering an hour and half before the parent interviews. The hall was packed and more importantly all Pasifika parents went to their child's interview. We had food organised...trust me...it works a treat. The students were fantastic, the parents were happy and the school was on board. The biggest thing though was holding a staff PD on how to engage with Pasifika families that lead up to the interviews. Always a good idea to hold a Pasifika eveing at least once a term to sustain that relationship. It doesn't have to ba a Pasifika performance night, it could be a Pasifika keynote speaker, Trivia night, coffee club, music night, art auction.  One good thing came from all this was a parent offered to lead the group...and I just facilitated from the back, watched the group grow with confidence and created ideas best for the school to meet Pasifika learners. It was a long challenge, but well worth the time and effort. Hope these ideas are helpful.

  • Anthony Faitaua (View all users posts) 23 Aug 2013 10:18pm ()

    One of my best parent interviews was a three way conference. My son at a decile 2 school, interviewed me and his beautiful mother, while his teacher sat behind him as a facilitator prompting him. To my surprise, he told us where he was at with National Standards and where his next step is before he moves to Intermediate 2014. To me, it was the most powerful conference I've ever been involved because, it allowed a pasifika child to interview his/her parents, puts the ownership back on us as parents. It makes it a 3 way partnership. However, after the interview, I heard from his teacher, they had a Pasifika PD before hand. 

    On the other hand, to get the Pasifika parents you really want to engage, makes it's a real challenge. How do we we engage those parents? To take a leaflet from Togi and I totally agree with Togi's suggestion, you need to go further than a phone call. Home visits is scary but trust us.... we will either talk to you outside the door, or we will invite you in with some refreshments. Either way, our motto has always been about being humble and hospitable. 

    If we talk outside the door, it means the barrier hasn't been broken. 

    Just wondering, have you have noticed any subtle gestures from your Pasifika students? Please share, would love to explain. 

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Shifting the minds of our Pasifika parents

Shifting the minds of our Pasifika parents

We look forward to hearing from you about any burning questions that you have so we can work together in order to raise the achievement of our Pasifika learners