Interim reports will be mailed out tomorrow for all students. The report is an informal document only, designed to give parents some information about how their student is going after a term of study and whether their learning is ‘on track’.
Whilst many of the indicators on the report are about social adjustment and student organisation, there is a key indicator about whether the student is tracking to get a ‘C’ grade in each subject by the end of the year. Some students have earned a ‘no’ on this indicator. One of the most frequent reasons given by the teacher for this when I question them, is ‘attitude’.
Let me share some of the international research findings about the factors that influence student achievement.
This research by Hattie (2003, 2008), Timperley (2008), and Rowe (2004) indicates that teachers have the biggest single influence on whether students achieve or not. However, by far the biggest single determinant is the student themselves. In other words it is the ‘raw material’ that teachers have to work with that determines the quality of the finished product (excuse the analogy).
So what is it that in turn influences who your son/daughter is and what they ‘bring with them’ to the learning environment? It is their character; their attitude to learning, their willingness to listen and engage and to try new things, their respect for their teacher, and so on. All of these things impact on the success or failure of the teacher in being able to ‘teach’ in ways that ensure the student ‘learns’. Teaching and learning are not the same thing; the teacher teaches using quality lessons but they can’t guarantee that each student will learn everything that is taught.
It is for this reason that we need to partner with you, their parents and carers, to maximise the learning of your children. The attitudes and willingness of students to learn are developed through the family (immediate and extended), community, and significant-other adults and mentors in the student’s life. We want to work with you to maximise the learning time that each student has at school, and to minimise time spent by teachers managing behaviours that are not conducive to learning.
If your son/daughter’s report indicates they are not on-track to achieve a ‘C’ or better we encourage you to take time to come and see the relevant teacher during the parent/teacher interviews after school on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 May. Each teacher has been asked to develop a plan to get each child not currently tracking for a ‘C’ in a subject, on track to do so. These plans need to be shared and worked through with you, so that we can partner to influence and support your child to achieve to the best of their ability.
Dr Thelma Perso
Director of Teaching and Learning