Learner-led Conferences - Term 3
“For the focus to be kept on the learning, and the ownership of learning with the child, then the best person to talk about the learning is the learner.” Michael Absalom, Clarity in the Classroom (2006).
Learner-led conversations are conversations between the learner (student), parents and teacher that is focused on recent learning. They are one of the many ways of reporting on our learners' progress at school. In learner-led conversations it is the students that lead the way.
For learners, these conversations are an opportunity to:
develop and extend their ability to talk about their learning
deepen their relationship with their parents around their school learning
celebrate what has been learnt
shape their ability to clarify what they are learning and assess their own progress
reflect on their learning journey and modify it as a result of the reflection
For parents, these conversations are an opportunity to:
actively and meaningfully support their child in their learning
understand more fully what the child is learning and the progress they are making
enjoy a rich, learning-oriented conversation with the child (and the teacher)
be aware of how much the child is taking responsibility for their own learning
better understand the process of how learning and teaching happens at TPS
For teachers, these conversations are an opportunity to
build the partnership with both the student and the parents
Understand the interactions between the parents and their child, which in turn enriches their understanding of their student and the family context
see how well the student really understands what they have been learning
hear what barriers to learning the student has faced and plan for actions (goal setting) to help overcome these barriers.
What do learner-led conversations look like:
Each conversation will run for 30 minutes
There will be up to 4-5 families in different areas of the classroom at the same time having their conversations
Teachers will encourage and support the students with their conversations
At the start of the conversation children will welcome their families and will then share their learning journal, exercise books, samples of work or other evidence of learning
Students talk about what they were learning and how well they achieved the learning, their strengths and weaknesses, their learning goals and how you can help them at home achieve these goals
Role of parents in the learner-led conversation:
During the conversations parents will need to listen carefully to their child and encourage them to continue if they feel shy. Parents will provide encouraging comments on their child’s work, progress and achievement. They will be provided with some clarifying questions that they could ask during the conversation (suggestions below).
What are you learning? What are your learning goals?
What did you find tricky about this? What are you most proud of?
Who helps you with your learning? What do you need help with?
How can I help you at home?
An important thing to remember during the conversation is that the focus is on learning and not behaviour.