Meeting the needs of all our learners and catering for Neurodiversity

A neurodiverse friendly college

At Paraparaumu College we recognise the importance of catering for our incredible diverse learning community. Our approach to meeting the needs of our learners is based on the 3 principles of Recognition, Understanding and Action.

A school support team monitors learning and achievement then targets interventions and support. 

We recognize that all students are neurodiverse and learn in different ways. Therefore we focus on inclusion and enabling students with diverse skills to work together. Our belief is that success is built on developing self esteem and empowering individuals to achieve in a collaborative environment.


Transition to College

Before students start college we work to gather as much information about our new learners as possible. This is achieved through pre enrolment interviews, information between schools, college deans meeting with year 8 teachers, transition visits and individualised programme planning.

Early recognition and intervention

We identify students through communication with our feeder schools and literacy screening when students arrive at college.

Our aim is to know our learners’ needs so we can provide appropriate support in college.  

Tracking of Achievement

Achievement and learning, including NCEA tracking and identification,  is systematically montoried and linked directly to intervention processes to support our students.


Understanding neurodiversity means noticing what this means for everyday life – at school, home and work. We work to build relationships with students, parents and whānau to understand students’ culture, interests, areas of strength and need. Celebrating the talents our students bring to the classroom because of neurodiversity is key to helping our learners succeed.


Taking action to meet the needs of our students is based on adjusting approaches to improve outcomes and access to learning.

In Class Support

  • Emphasis on knowing our learners.
  • Developing growth mindsets and building self esteem.
  • Building an inclusive learning environment.
  • Learning is designed to value and connect with individual strengths. 
  • Tailoring learning to meet the needs of our students.

Year 9 Foundation Class 

Provides a supported program for targeted learners to enhance literacy and numeracy skills.

Support for Dyslexic and Neurodiverse Learners:

  • Learning tools support
    • Individualised support with reading: Working one on one with individuals to improve literacy skills. 
    • Orton-Gillingham Multi Sensory Litercy to support dyslexic learners
    • SAC: Students who are identified as needing special assessment conditions are allowed access to a reader/ writer /computer / extra time, depending on their needs, from year 9 – 13.
  • Davis Programme: Specialist classroom teacher implementing multisensory Davis Dyslexia learning techniques.


“The visits were very helpful.  It was good to know what was going to happen and to be prepared instead of jumping in and winging it.  Spectrum Autism Group is FUN!”

“My visit was helpful.  I came twice.  I liked having the teacher aide check in on me as at first I didn’t feel like I could talk to my teachers as I didn’t know them and I had so many.  I like coming to E1 to have my ADHD meds – it’s like a check-in every day.  I like knowing I have an E1 Pass Card even though I don’t use it much.  I like having a teacher aide in Maths as I have dyscalculia and I find maths so hard.”

“Because of the KYS group, I didn’t feel nervous.  I knew that I had friends from school and from KYS that I would see around college.  At  my last school I used to muck around.  I felt like I wasn’t being taught.  College is fun.  It’s hard but it’s a good challenge.  At first I was worried about the  College Foundation option I went into but then I realised it was fun and it’s awesome and I’m learning stuff.”