With the term coming to a close you will be receiving an interim report for your son which is a snapshot of where he currently is in his learning. At the outset can I pose this important question.
Do you look on a regular basis at Edumate? We need you to for the partnership to work.
If you do, you will hopefully be engaging with his academic and behaviour progress on a day to day or week to week basis (usually enough). This would hopefully trigger communication from you to teachers either by phone or email and hopefully they will be responding in a timely manner to your inquiries. (48 hours)
Therefore it is a reasonable assumption that parents have a good sense already what the academic progress of their son is by this point of term. The interim report is a useful summary for parents to use as a basis for a very useful goal setting conversation with their sons.
At our College Assembly this week I made the following points to the boys which I would ask parents / carers to go through with them.
- Ask yourself- how did I go with the goals I set myself this term? Did I achieve what I wanted? If I did what did I do to get there? If I didn’t why not?
- You will receive your interim reports this week. Its really important you use that as useful feedback on your learning then set goals for next term.
- Ask yourself what do I need to do to achieve that higher grade?
- Do you know what the grade outcomes are? If you don’t you need to. You need to know what improvement looks like. You need to know what success looks like. Read the subject outcomes.
- You need to be taking charge of your learning and be ambitious for your own success. If you know what that goal is to aim for then you can go for it whole heartedly. If you don’t you just drift.
- So take this report seriously. Use the feedback to take positive next steps forward. Know what you need to do to improve.
- I’ve said it before and Ill say it again that anyone should be able to aim to improve 10% on what your achieving now as a realistic goal. Every mark counts, every lesson counts, every bit of work counts, every bit of homework counts, every assessment counts. Success is progressive. We add a bit to it every day.
- To our senior students can I remind you that with the holidays ahead you need to maintain the level of knowledge and skills. Don’t down tools or you fall behind.
We have spoken to the boys often about the need to have a Growth Mindset with their goal setting, a belief that they can improve, that by building on productive feedback they can improve them selves. Growth Mindset is a theory with strong currency in education posited by Dr Carol Dweck. I would encourage you to read the material from the two previous links and discuss with your son.
A key point to remember is that the praise of effort is for ‘intentional effort’ that produces improvement, not just effort for efforts sake. Telling a boy to ‘try harder’ is useless advice. Effort building on good feedback makes the difference.
This year we are continuing our work with teachers on ‘Learning Intentions’ and ‘Feedback‘. We are requiring the boys to be writing the learning intention down for each lesson in their diary so they can reflect on it. I would encourage you to have that conversation with your son about how he uses that.
As they return for Term Two please have had the conversation with them about their goals for each subject. Let’s work together on achieving the improvement we know they can achieve with intentional effort.
God Bless for the Easter Season ahead and may the Spirit of the Risen Lord be with you and your family for the year ahead