St Luke’s Catholic College, Marsden Park … Our first time of officially reporting back to parents … setting the groundwork for what is to follow … it all began with a Parent Engagement Evening on June 13 that focused on:
- The true purpose of reporting – the importance of social skills and enterprise skills
- An unpack and analysis of the St Luke’s reporting format
- The what, the why and the how of St Luke’s student-led conferences
But this journey actually began long before June 13. During Term 1 staff embarked on a process of developing and unpacking our 6 Pillars (the tip of this iceberg). Teachers worked hard to understand the pillars and to ensure genuine connections with the what and how we work in classrooms. They spent time exploring and aligning Pillar elements with curriculum outcomes, which led us to our first iteration of reports … but this was not the end. The work continued with repeated iterations and modifications until we developed what we have now shared with our community, which we still consider very much a work in progress.
Through this process our teachers came to deepen their understanding of the importance of the 6 Pillars in the day-to-day lives of students, which they have continued to explicitly unpack and analyse with students, which leads me to our student-led conferences.
Our ES1-S3 students have all led conferences that involve teachers and parents … but they have not done this without support. Following the gradual release of responsibility model, the level of support is high, but the intention is that the need for support will reduce over time as children become more experienced and deepen their understanding. Having said all of this, the rigour is in the work … starting as early as Early Stage 1. All students were given responsibility for measuring their achievement against the pillars. They ranked the degree of achievement using a sliding scale, and they were challenged about the choices they made if the evidence they provided did not support their choice. A gruelling process, to say the least. But the proof is in the pudding. I have already been a part of many student-led conferences across the grades and I have asked parents, teachers and students what they thought of the process. Remarkably, all parties are giving very positive feedback. The children are acknowledging greater ownership and responsibility for their own learning, parents are seeing and hearing their children’s explanations about their learning and acknowledging how this reflects their child’s progress against some very high expectations.
The process itself has involved:
- High levels of communication and collaboration across a range of people;
- Managing of self in order to organise work for conferences;
- Relating to others as the process was refined, as well as during conferences;
- Thinking critically and creatively as evidence was located and conferences planned; and
- Being digitally literate as conferences included technology both in the planning and delivery phases.
… so now we await more formal feedback from all stakeholders – teachers, parents and students, in the form of surveys, before working on our next iteration of reporting processes and procedures.