A collaborative approach between school staff and parents and whānau is crucial to motivating and supporting students to read for pleasure. To become engaged readers, students need to have access to high-interest, culturally inclusive reading resources and make time for reading. When students read for pleasure they are likely to read more frequently and gain all the benefits of increased reading and literacy skills, learning outcomes, empathy, social skills and well-being.
Building relationships to support priority learner groups
The focus of home–school partnerships is on the concept of Ako — learning together and learning from one another. Strong relationships give students the best chance of success. These include the following relationships:
- staff to student
- staff to parent and whānau
- staff to community
- student to student.
Effective home-school partnerships help ensure all students, particularly priority learners, receive inclusive and responsive reading experiences.
The Education Review Office (August 2012) identified priority learner groups of students as "historically not experiencing success in the schooling sector". This includes "many Māori and Pacific learners, those from low socio-economic backgrounds, and students with special education needs".
School libraries important in building home-school partnerships
School libraries and library staff play an important role in building a school-wide reading culture. Key to this is collaboration with teachers and school leaders, parents and whānau, public libraries and other resource agencies. Parental and whānau support can range from involvement at home by reading with their children, or at school by engaging in reading, writing and oral language activities in the classroom and library.
Parents and whānau play a critical role in supporting their children’s learning right from the start. Evidence shows that learning outcomes are enhanced when parental involvement in school is sustained and focused on learning activities."
— Ka Hikitia, p.28.
Reading for pleasure — a door to success
What’s hot in literacy: 2017 Report (pdf, 3MB) — International Literacy Association's survey of countries, including New Zealand, shows that students who read independently have a higher rate of academic success than those who don’t and the value of school staff and parental support.