Teachers often worry about how to optimise learning for students of Pācific heritage. To address the concern this study sought views of junior secondary school students of Pācific heritage about what enhanced their learning. An innovative approach was trialled in focus group interviews which involved four Samoan teenagers as research assistants alongside the researcher to draw out participants’ views about what helped them to learn. Data analysis led to the identification of four themes: engaging teacher behaviour, lessons stimulating learning, positive student-centred relationships, and teachers respecting students’ culture(s). For Pācific students, successful learning involves: inclusion of Pācific mores and values; sufficient depth and clarity of explanation to ensure students understand new concepts; encouragement; varied and practical learning activities; and strong, respectful relationships between teachers and learners.