What can the school do to bring you into the school?

Link: Starting to listen at Tamaki Primary School

The following video clip has some key questions that the principal and the staff at the school put to the parents, that helped to improve their engagement with Pasifika parents, families and communities:

* What sorts of things would you like to know about?
* How should the groups be organised?

The principal noted that the huge difference was being able to ask the parents what they wanted, rather than telling them what they think they needed.

But what happens when the Pasifika parents don't come into the school or their contact phone numbers don't work (out of date)?

Home visits - systematically target the families that you want to see.  I would tend to go for the larger families in the school, particularly because you can focus on a family to work on everyone's learning, rather than singling out individual students.

Moral of the story: Consult, don't insult :-) 

Pasifika Parents Have Power
Send questions to me on Twitter @ManuMuso 

How do I know what types of questions to ask to find out about my child's learning?
Click on the link above and scroll down to the yellow booklet entitled "How is my child doing?".  This is a great resource for parents to download and read to get a handle on what they should be asking teachers.

As parents, you are entitled to ask any (and every!) question to do with your child's learning.  If there are systems and assessments that you are unfamiliar with in the school - attending parent teacher evenings is a great opportunity to ask for further information and to fully understand how the school supports your child's learning and achievement.

When I was teaching, I would often have parents ask me questions about their child's behaviour and whether they were respectful in class.  As important as these values were, I had to share with parents that they could ask more beyond the behaviour questions.

So I would write out questions for parents to ask the other subject teachers around the hall.  Here are some of those questions:

1. What can I do at home to help my child achieve the best grades in your class?

2. What is my child struggling to understand?  

3. Does the school offer any other forms of support that can help with my child's learning?  i.e. after school reading programme, homework club, breakfast club

4. Can I tell you what I want you to understand about my child?
(This last question is critical - because the way that your kids learn at home, you MUST share with the teachers.  This is because if the way the kids are learning at home is different to how they are learning in school, then teachers can get a better understanding about how to replicate that style of learning in the school.  e.g. oral learning, group activities, singing, kinesthetic activities where the kids use dance to memorise and understand information.

Pasifika Parents Have Power
Send questions to me on Twitter @ManuMuso 

How can I become a member of the Board of Trustees at my child's school?

The best place for you to start is to enquire about it at your child's school.  The main office is the first place to start or even your child's classroom teacher/form class/home room teacher. 

From listening to my friends who are mothers and fathers, there is a concern amongst them that they feel inadequate to be involved in having a say at a governance level at their local school.

My answer is NO!  You definitely have every right to expect the best quality education for your child, so the best option is to make your voice heard.  Training to be a board of trustees member is offered when you become elected.  So go on, look into it :-)

Click on the link in the heading above and scroll down till you see this booklet below.  Click on it, download and have a read about what you can do to make a positive impact in your child's learning.

Pasifika Parents Have Power
Send questions to me on Twitter @ManuMuso 
or email

working with Pasifika parents, families and communities

Since the creation of this video, the Rise Up Academy has come to fruition and has been established as the first Pasifika partnership school aimed at junior students.

This video explores the voices of Pasifika parents, families and communities and the work that Rise Up Trust has done in making them feel confident to champion their child/ren's learning.

Key questions for Pasifika parents or parents of Pasifika learners to consider:

1) Does your centre or school that your child/ren attend provide you with explanations about how you can contribute to your child/ren's learning?

2)  Does the centre or school have an open door policy where you feel confident to ask questions about your child's learning?  For example, being able to understand how to make judgements on your child's reading and assisting with homework?

3) Do you know who the key people/key contacts are within your child/ren's school?  Would you know who to approach to talk about your child's learning?  

Pasifika Parents Have Power
Send questions to me on Twitter @ManuMuso 
or email

This page is dedicated to parents of Pasifika learners who would like to ask questions to better support how they can champion their child's learning at school across all levels - from their early years in pre school right, primary (elementary), intermediate (middle school/junior high), high school and tertiary (college/university).

I figured that having access to so many knowledgeable people and so much information (including my own research!) that it would be great to be able to answer any questions or provide support (much like the Pasifika Pedagogy/Polygogy page does for teachers, educators and education researchers) on this blog.

Send questions to me on Twitter @ManuMuso or email