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Community engagement

This section draws together research, digital resources, and examples to support schools as they consider the community engagement principle.


These stories provide examples of ideas and approaches some schools are using to enact the community engagement principle. Select a category that relates to you and to the needs of your school.

Connecting with the communityEmpowering the communityLearning from the community

Connecting with parents, families, whānau, and communities

Find out how schools are opening their doors to welcome and seek input from their community.

Engaging whānau through Māori graduation
Growing an educationally powerful partnership with whānau has been a key priority across the Mt Roskill campus. This film explains how the development of Māori graduation ceremonies has led to deeper community connections and growing pride in student achievement.

Developing whānau priorities at Te Kura o Hiruharama
The staff, board, and whānau at Te Kura o Hiruharama went through a collaborative process to identify their priorities for learning. This story explains the process and the outcomes of this exploration and how this has transferred into the life of the school.

Community and curriculum at Renwick School
The Renwick School community were fully involved in the planning and writing of the local curriculum, and it is evident that parents, students, and staff all feel an ownership in the document and its implementation.

Strengthening iwi and whānau partnerships
Staff at Taihape Area School developed collaborative and sustainable partnerships with family, whānau, and iwi. This film explains how the iwi's vision and aspirations are shared, understood, and reflected in practice.

Making it our curriculum
The staff and Board at Matakohe school worked with their community to re-design their school curriculum. Through listening to the values and ideals of everyone, they developed a set of student competencies that everybody owned.

New career opportunities in the aviation industry at The Catlins Area School
A shortage of young people entering the aviation industry was identified by Service IQ, and The Catlins Area School welcomed the opportunity to respond.

Building community relationships with social media
Rachel (@rachelboyd) is the DP and e-learning leader at Waiuku Primary School. In this talk, Rachel shares how she has used Facebook and Twitter to engage with her school community.

Ideas to engage your community
Diana Tregoweth, Principal of Owairaka School, outlines some of the approaches in place to encourage parent, family, whānau, and community engagement at her school.

An open door policy that works
Chrissie Rumpler from Owairaka School discusses how to ensure an effective open classroom door policy through making connections with the community and having a school structure that values the engagement.

Engaging Pasifika families – Owairaka School builds a fale
The staff at Owairaka School have explored ways to build deep connections and partnerships with the many cultural groups and families at their school. This story tells how the community worked together to construct a traditional Sāmoan fale.

Empowering parents, families, whānau, and communities

Learn how schools are supporting and collaborating with parents and whānau to raise student achievement.

Community engagement – a parent's perspective
Saga Frost, a parent at Owairaka School, discusses what it is like to be a partner in the learning community at her school and reveals that she didn't realise, until she got involved, how much she could impact on her child's learning.

Supporting whānau with learning at Pomaria School
In this story, parents and teachers from Pomaria School describe the way whānau are supported at the school and the way whānau voice is used to create directions for learning.

Student goal setting and parent engagement
Goal setting and community workshops are some of the initiatives that have been introduced at Pomaria School to improve educational outcomes for students. This story describes how teachers, parents, and whānau work together to lift achievement.

Engaging our community at Sylvia Park School
Sylvia Park teacher Ariana Williams explains the development of Mutukaroa, a parent centre designed to educate and empower parents with the overarching goal of lifting student achievement.

Community engagement and the key competencies at Frimley School
Parents are closely involved in learning about and developing key competencies at Frimley School. This video explains how the school and parents work together.

Tamaki Primary School's home-school partnership
This case study includes the background, processes, and benefits of Tamaki Primary School's home-school partnership.

Learning from parents, families, whānau, and communities

Discover ways that schools are valuing and using the rich knowledge, cultural values, and skills of parents, whānau, and communities.

Moving towards the culture of Oranga School
In this video from Educational Leaders website, Juliet Small discusses how staff at her school moved towards the culture of Oranga School by learning from their parents, families, and whānau.

Supporting teachers with community engagement in the classroom
Teacher Chrissie Rumpler explains how Owairaka School has supported staff to learn from, understand, and engage with the different cultures in their school community.

Working in partnership with iwi and hapu to develop a localised curriculum
Schools in the Taupō area, including Wairakei School, have worked in partnership with Ngāti Tūwharetoa to ensure students learn about their iwi, its history, places, and stories.

Engaging parents in education
A kindergarten, a primary school and two secondary schools are working to better engage parents in their children's education.

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Engaging with Pasifika parents, families, and communities
This link offers a media gallery of videos about engaging with Pasifika parents, families, and communities.

NZC Online resource bank – Digital stories
Find more stories about community engagement in our resource bank.

Next – Resources

Published on: 31 Jul 2015