Learning progress talks – together with the child and its parents!
In our case the annual report does not provoke fear! We are engaged throughout the entire school year in a dialogue with pupils and their parents on the subjects of learning, marks, successes and support measures. As a result of our implementation of mode measure No. 35 of the grammar school regulations, pupils in the classes 5 to 9 receive twice a year – in December and in May – a statement of their marks and they discuss this with the team of class teachers and the respective parents. As part of the preparation for these talks each pupil has received in advance a self-assessment in the form of a questionnaire on different forms of competence. This can be found in the Download section as can press articles on the subject (2014: “Clear Words Instead of Report Marks”, 2016: “Bad Marks: ‘Scolding is not much help’”)
Learning progress talk: What is the procedure?
- Outlining the goals of the talk and the procedure
- Starting off with a pleasant subject
- Positive reinforcement: What has the child managed to achieve? Identifying problematic issues: Performance, behaviour
- Discussion of solutions
- Setting goals and making agreements
- Formalities: Signature etc.
In the course of the talk the team of class teachers attempts, with the help of suitable questions, to encourage the child to indulge in self-reflection and to gain insights, while, like the parents, assuming the role of the listener. The aim is to ensure that the child does most of the talking.
The goals of this form of talk are:
- Helping the pupil to conduct an active analysis of the performance achieved and of the reasons for this
- Setting one’s own goals and consciously learning in order to realise them
- Coming to terms with forms of resistance against learning
- A greater degree of transparency in connection with the giving of marks and their calculation
- A better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the pupil and his or her development
- Reduction of eventual tension and fear
- Reflection on the sense of community in the class and the school at large and on the quality of social learning together
- Reflection on one’s own role in the class and one’s own effect on one’s fellow-pupils
- Critical appraisal of one’s own performance
- Deliberation on and development of perspectives in relation to the subject of the school career.
The formal act of the handing over of the report in February is, in our school, replaced by a goal-oriented talk in a trusting and cooperative spirit of togetherness on the part of the school and the parental home.
In the Classes 10 to 12 we offer the possibility of talks with pupils and their parents both in the middle and at the end of the school year. Our teachers can be reached by e-mail and by telephone. Individual consultations are possible and welcome and can be arranged by mutual agreement, for example, when picking up a child.