Academic Focus

Learning Progress Conversations and Semester 1 Learning Progress Reports

Over the past few weeks, I have written about the various ways in which learning is relational. Two of the most effective ways to advance learning journeys are through purposeful conversation with those whose expertise is greater than ours – our teachers – and purposeful conversation with those who care deeply about and support our progress – our families. When a three-way conversation between student, teacher and family can be accessed, the opportunities for accelerated growth are significant.

This week began the School’s season of Learning Progress Conversations (formerly known as parent – teacher interviews). On Wednesday evening, Year 12 students and their families met online with teachers to exchange information, share perspectives and ask questions about each individual student’s engagement and growth. The rebranding of these events places the emphasis upon conversation that is a genuine interaction about a student’s progress to date and his next steps for further progress. The time to acknowledge improvements, celebrate successes and strategise for the upcoming formal assessment period was most important.

The decision to conduct 2021 Learning Conversations remotely comes from the overwhelmingly positive response from parents and teachers to the online experience forced last year by COVID. Staff have felt the privilege of being invited into your homes for a brief moment, and many parents have valued the ability to focus carefully upon their son’s learning, without the competing demands of a bustling Assembly Hall, traffic and travel.

As we move through the final weeks of Semester 1, students are fully engaged in completing the semester’s assessment programmes and, for Years 11 and 12, preparing for a formal assessment and examination period. Teachers will be designing purposeful tasks, marking, organising feedback and preparing end of semester reports, in the lead up to the Term 2 Learning Progress Conversations for Years 7  – 11. It is an intense time in the School, and I encourage all students to focus upon personal goals and growth rather than comparison to others as they set their own goals for success. I encourage them to have conversations about the goals they have set for themselves, how they think they are going with these goals, and the kind of support they would value from their families. I also warmly encourage parents to contact the Curriculum Office or the relevant Pastoral Office if they would like to speak to a member of staff about any aspect of the assessment programme or their son’s engagement during this quite demanding period. We are here to listen and assist.

Semester 1 Learning Progress Reports will be released, via the parent portal, according to the following schedule:

Years 8 – 10

  • Week 2 of the April holiday period

Years 11 – 12

  • Week 3 of Term 2

Year 7

  • Week 5 of Term 2

Learning Progress Conversations, via the students’ MS Teams accounts, will take place on the following evenings:

Year 10

  • Wednesday 21 April (Term 2 Week 1)

Year 9

  • Tuesday 27 April (Term 2 Week 2)

Year 8

  • Wednesday 5 May (Term 2 Week 3)

Year 11

  • Monday 10 May (Term 2 Week 4)

Year 7

  • Monday 31 May (Term 2 Week 7)

Information about bookings and instructions for online Learning Progress Conversations are provided by email to families the week before the relevant evening.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

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