On Monday 20 November a number of parents joined the presentation from the Barker Institute titled "Having an Academic Conversation with your Child".
Presenters on the night were Mr Len Nixon, Mr Greg Longney, Dr Greg Cunningham and Dr Brad Merrick. They explored the need to engage our children in meaningful, directed, meaningful conversations about their academic progress linked to goals and clear learning intentions.
Using a range of activities, samples of reports and examples of the Growth Coaching framework, used by the successful College of Teachers group at the school, the parents were engaged in the evening and enjoyed the opportunity to understand How? and Why? it is so important to have focused academic conversations with students to assist their sense of self-regulation, planning and focus for all areas of their school journey.
Dr Merrick outlined the school language around the use of TARGET and LEARNING goals, accompanied by key aspects related to strategy, effort and the ongoing recalibration of goals determined by student achievement, success and belief. He also referenced the need to develop intrinsic motivation and GRIT so that resilience and perseverance become key components of an ongoing self-regulation and learning process for all students.
Lead coach - Len Nixon stressed the importance of parents developing their listening skills and 'being in the moment' so that the conversations are purposeful. Mr Longney and Dr Cunningham highlighted the need to ask the students question that challenged them to find solutions, rather than parents providing answers and just a critique of the work. Parents enjoyed the workshop and commented on just how difficult it is to frame the right kind of question rather than just providing solutions.
The parent response was extremely positive. Some reflections include that "It was good to remind us to be active listeners" and "It was useful to consider ourselves as coaches and therefore we should be asking questions, not giving answers and solutions."
Future workshops will be offered into 2018 for parents and staff as we grow skills and knowledge in this area across the whole school.