Cultural Responsiveness


“At Papatoetoe West School we know and acknowledge the importance of relationships for 
teaching and learning.”

Research shows collaborations between home, school and community have large positive effects on student outcomes.


At Papatoetoe West School we aim to be culturally responsive in our teaching by making school learning relevant and effective for learners by drawing on students’ cultural knowledge, life experiences, frames of reference, languages, and performance and communication styles. This means making what students know, and how they know it, the foundation of learning and teaching interactions and curriculum. This is good for all students, but particularly so when there are significant differences between the world of the teacher and the world of the child. 

Culturally responsive teaching recognises and deeply values the richness of the cultural knowledge and skills that students bring to the classroom as a resource for developing multiple perspectives and ways of knowing. Teachers communicate, validate and collaborate with students to build new learning from students’ specific knowledge and experience. Culturally responsive pedagogies focus on positive interpersonal relationships and effective, socially constructed and dynamic forms of instruction and assessment. We recognise that the principles of culturally responsive pedagogy are entirely compatible with the principles of effective teaching. 

Culturally responsive teaching is:

Validating: the curriculum values the diverse knowledge and practices of its students. 

Comprehensive: it incorporates preferred ways of knowing and the cultural and life experiences of students, as well as the history and culture of the group. 

Empowering and transformative: it transforms the way students see themselves in terms of their personal efficacy. It is also transformative and emancipatory in that it reveals that multiple versions of ‘truth’ are valid and no single version is total and permanent.

We promote a holistic curriculum at Papatoetoe West School with an emphasis on core subjects of reading, writing and maths.  We also value and promote a sense of curiosity in our students.

We provide a variety of learning spaces such as single cell, ILE, Living classrooms, and MakerSpace.  Student agency is promoted in all classrooms and key competencies are incorporated into all planning documents.  

We are fortunate to have some specialised learning at our school such as:



Māori Perspectives

Garden to Table

Sports - Counties Manukau.



Travel Wise

Perceptual Motor Programme

Swimming/Water Safety






Digital Technology



Play based learning

Kiwi Can 

Health Promotion

Reading Recovery



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