From The Principal
MMG Staff, Parent and Student School Review
On Friday 3 June 2022, families will have received via email a unique link to complete the St Paul’s LPS School Survey. This independently delivered survey, provides an opportunity to our key stakeholders to provide feedback on our school, its services, strengths and areas to develop. It is through meaningful and timely feedback that school’s are better able to address any concerns our staff, students or families may have, and to celebrate those things that we do so well.
I encourage all parents to take the time to complete this confidential survey. For further information, please see the email communication that was sent to all families via email on Wednesday 1 June, 2022 or by clicking on the link below.
How to Talk to Your Children About Report Cards
As a parent or carer, we can spend a significant amount of time (over?!) thinking the best way to talk to our kids about their report cards. Whether you have one child in the early stages of formal schooling or siblings across multiple grades, report cards are a great way to start a conversation about their learning. So, what is the best way to talk about report cards?
1. Take Time One-on-One
Find a quiet time and place to sit one-on-one with your child to talk to them about their report card. Give them your undivided attention, without interruptions. Try to set aside enough time to have a relaxed discussion. This can be challenging when you have more than one child to speak with, however, it is even more important if your kids tend to try and compare their own report with their siblings.
2. Focus on Effort Over Grades
Most report cards provide a grade for effort as well as grades for academic achievement. An effort mark is by far one of the most important aspects of every child’s report! It is the aspect of their schooling that they have the most direct control over. Combined with the teacher’s comment, effort marks help you to understand your child’s attitude towards learning.
Focusing on effort over achievement isn’t going to reduce your child’s motivation to work hard. Rewarding effort is especially important for kids who ‘struggle’ academically. If your child is focused on trying their best and feels that their efforts are seen and valued, they are going to be much more resilient learners. Resilient learners enjoy learning, continue to challenge themselves and are more comfortable making mistakes. These are extremely valuable life-long skills.
3. Address Comparison
Help your child understand that everyone is different. Everyone excels and struggles in different areas. Try to avoid comparisons between their report card and their siblings’ or classmates’ reports. Instead, focus on where they have tried their best, as well as the learning areas in which they achieved well or made a great improvement in. Make it clear between siblings that comparison is pointless because they have each been graded on completely different outcomes!
4. Consider Setting an Individual Learning Goal
There’s a huge amount of value in taking time to sit with your child, reflect upon their current report card and then set an individual learning goal for the next term or semester.
If your child’s report identifies an area of challenge, whether academic or social, to improve in this area could become a learning goal. If your child absolutely adores a certain subject area, perhaps they would like to focus on improving their effort or achievement in that area.
You may like to compare your child’s current report card to their previous one, to help them see their progress. This is one type of report card comparison that is helpful! Identify any areas of continued struggle and discuss why your child may still be falling short of their goals. Praise their areas of improvement and their areas of growth.
5. Make a Plan
Out of your discussion, both you and your child may have identified areas that need some attention, or you may have set a learning goal for the next term. With your child, decide on actionable steps they can take to address any concerns and/or progress towards their learning goal. Such steps may include asking to meet with their teacher for suggestions of ways to meet challenges or setting a weekly goal for a little extra study or revision with your help.
Your child’s report card provides you with a great reason to start a conversation with your child about school. While the five tips above are important, above all else, give your child time to share their own thoughts and feelings about school, about what they are learning, about how they feel in their classroom and about their relationships with their teachers and friends!
If you or your child have any questions or concerns about their report card, we encourage you to some and speak with their class teacher as soon as possible to assist in allaying any concerns and to come up with a plan moving forward.
Excerpt taken from TeacherStarter, Written by Cassie, 2022