It was great to see so many of you at the student led conferences at the end of last term. In a couple of weeks, we will be sending out a survey to get your feedback about this way of reporting to parents. The feedback I have had from teachers and students has been very positive. Here are some of the comments:
- This way of reporting is so much better than the old reports as the achievement information / data is up to date
- 15 minutes is great as it gives the children time to share their learning without being pressured by time
- The conversations between child, parent and teacher are very rich because parents and children now know the process
- I really like sharing what I am learning with my mum and dad because I could see that they were proud of me
- It’s good because my parents can see what I am learning and where I am up to
There have been a few parents who are confused / upset by the report given to them showing how their child is on track to achieving expectations against curriculum levels by the end of the year. Typically, the confusion has been around their child being attested as being ‘above’ or ‘well above’ expectation at the end of last year, but the mid year report shows that they are ‘at’ expectation. Parents have been upset because they think their child has slipped back.
It is important to remember that this is only halfway through the year, your child has moved up onto a new curriculum level, and as with anything new that you are learning, you don’t master it immediately, but at the end of a period of time, you do master it.
Your children are not ‘failing’. They are learning new, harder more challenging things and six months into the year, they are where we would expect them to be, which is working towards achieving expectation by the end of the year, hence the ‘working towards’ or ‘at’. This means that based on the six months to date, the teacher is confident that your child is on track to meeting the curriculum expectation by the end of the year, or, if they are ‘at’ expectation now, they may be on track to being ‘above’ expectation at the end of the year. Either way, nothing is going wrong, the children are making progress, it is the natural progression through the year.
Just a cautionary note about achievement over time. People’s achievement over time fluctuates; their performance can go up and down. I am going to use an All Black’s career as an analogy for how achievement can go up and down over time: Israel Dagg, worked hard and was selected as an All Black in 2010. He quickly became an outstanding player for the All Blacks, getting better each year until 2013 when he hardly scored any tries. His career plateaued through 2014 – 2016 when he took some time off to work on regaining his form. In 2017 he came back into the All Blacks, better than ever, again at the top of his game. Israel’s achievement fluctuated from ‘well above’ to ‘at’ to ‘below’ to ‘well above’. This is how it is for everyone. As long as the ongoing trajectory is upwards, then all is well.
We keep a close eye on everybody’s achievement and where necessary, we put additional support in place. This applies as much to students at risk of not reaching expectation as it does to children who are working well above expectation as it does to children who we think are flying under the radar.
Rest assured, if we have any concerns about your child’s achievement, we will communicate with you throughout the year, not just leave it until report time for you to find out.
Keeping Ourselves Safe
Keeping Ourselves Safe kicks off next week. This is such a great programme as it gives children skills to deal with any potentially unsafe situations. Details of what is taught (lesson plans) are available for parents to access on the Keeping Ourselves Safe website Keeping Ourselves Safe
The children have been loving the dance sessions and you will enjoy seeing them showing off their new dance skills. Each year group will perform two dances. The schedule for tomorrow’s performances is as follows:
Rooms 11, 12, 22, 7, 8, 10
Rooms 13, 14 & 9
The annual Quiz night is being held on Friday 6 September, with a slightly changed format. Look out for details so you don’t miss out on tickets for this very popular event.