Posted on August 1, 2017
Welcome back to another semester of school life at Tintern Grammar. The second half of the year is an important one in the life of a school. It gives students the opportunity to consolidate what they have learnt in Semester 1 and to use the feedback from teachers contained in their Semester Reports to set goals and see them through within the same year. And for senior students, they have the opportunity to rise to the challenges of end of year assessment.
In the first few weeks of this Term class teachers in Years 5 and 6 and Pastoral Mentors in the secondary school have been receiving self-reflections on their reports from their students in which they set goals based on this feedback. John Hattie of Melbourne University has consistently ranked feedback as one of the most powerful strategies for learning. Effective feedback is descriptive and identifies information about the learning process and this is what we are asking students to look for in their reports. The other side of feedback is from the student to the teacher. By completing self-reflections and setting goals the student also provides feedback to the teacher on how they can be supported to achieve their goals. (http://visible-learning.org/glossary Accessed 270717)
This year all of our teaching staff undertook a similar process whereby they worked in a team with partners under the guidance of a trained coach, to reflect, set Knowledge and Practice goals, devise actions to progress towards them and gather evidence of this progress to review at the end of the year. These Professional Growth Partnerships are part of an annual process which has been refined with a series of pilots over a number of years and aims to systemise a cycle of professional learning for our teachers with an emphasis on collaboration and coaching.
In a macro sense, the whole school is also partaking in this process. This week students in Years 5, 7, 9, 10 and 12 and their parents have been asked by email to complete a comprehensive feedback survey on their experiences of Tintern Grammar. The results of this survey, as they are every year, are analysed as evidence of our progress towards our Strategic Goals and KPIs, and to provide data for reflection and new goals for the future. I would like to urge parents of these year levels to respond to this invitation, as your voice and opinions matter to us and help us grow as a school.
So to finish, can I thank all students, staff and families for participating in our continuous learning cycles so openly, positively, collaboratively and diligently. It is by examining what we do and striving to improve together that ensures that we are the best school we can be.