Discovery College Year 7 Festival of Learning: Student Led Conferences
What is the Festival of Learning?
The Year 6/7 transition is perhaps the most challenging one for students in compulsory education. They are plunged into a curriculum and timetable very different from anything they have ever experienced, they are challenged by having a range of subject specialist teachers and also need to recalibrate their learning in core subjects post SATs. It is very much a period of adaptation with a focus on learning new skills and knowledge to prepare them for GCSE level study.
The festival of learning is an opportunity for students to inform their parents/carers about their progress on route to GCSE success.
What is a student led conference?
The student-led conference format provides the opportunity for students with their form tutor and teachers to reflect on their learning. Students then prepare a presentation of their learning, which their parents/guardians are invited into school to see. This is the student’s moment to share his or her reflections on achievements and challenges.
Why student led conferences?
During traditional parent evenings, parents ask how their students are doing, and teachers provide grades and behaviour reports. While these evenings seem to offer a final answer, they do not always paint a clear picture of students work over the course of a year.
We have found that parents appreciate student-led conferences as an alternative because they can judge their child’s progress and have a greater understanding how they can help their child learn.
The students also gain a better understanding of their strengths and challenges and the correlation between their effort, progress, and resulting quality of work.
In preparation for the conference form tutors and teachers are able to get a better picture of each child. Teachers will sit down with each student and review strengths and weaknesses. This conversation often told teachers that students learned more than perhaps we had measured through conventional assessments.
A more traditional parent consultation with individual teachers begins in Year 8.
What is the role of the form tutor?
Form tutors play a more direct role in conference preparation than during the afternoon presentation of work, which is down to the student. However your child’s form tutor will circulate as they present their work to you.
What is the role of the Parent/Carer?
During student-led conferences, parents focus the conversation on their children and reflect on their work with them. They look at samples and listen to their children’s explanations and reflections.
Some of the best questions that parents can ask centre on homework environments and a student’s classroom efforts. This way they can participate in developing strategies to support their students and then remain consistent long after the conferences end. This also helps them to be open-minded about their children’s areas of improvement and to support their goal-setting process. For parents, it’s important to embrace the student-led conference format and allow children to take the reins so they can act as responsible learners.
When are the conferences?
Wednesday 10th July 3-4pm Surname A-K
Wednesday 17th July 3-4pm Surname L-Z (and I College)
For parents/guardians who cannot make the 3-4pm time (note whilst some teachers will be present, your child’s form tutor are unlikely to be at the time). We only have a set amount of these slots so would prefer using the 3-4pm slot.
When will I receive my invite?
You will receive a letter inviting you to the event in early July. We will upload a copy of this letter onto the school website.
How many people can come?
Whilst space is at a premium on the conference afternoon we would like to encourage members of the family and close friends to attend in order to celebrate student learning here at Homewood School. Should you be expecting to bring a party of more than two adults could you please indicate the number as you confirm your attendance.
What kind of questions should I ask my child?
What do you think is your strongest subject? Why do you think that?
What subject has been the hardest for you this year?
What are you most proud of?
It makes me proud to see that…
Can you tell me more about…
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this event in order to celebrate with us all the hard work which goes into the learning here at Homewood.