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A Note from the Principal

Nga mihi, greetings,


Love your learning conference!


Remember the learning conference you attended back in February, where you, your child and your child’s teacher talked about what the year would hold and your child’s next learning steps?  By all accounts you found this a valuable experience.

Next week you get a second opportunity to discuss your child’s learning progress and I want you to put this on the top of your list of things to do.  Why?  Because the half way point in the school year is often a tipping point in deciding how successful your child’s year will be.  It’s a time to check that home and school are on the same page.  It’s a time to praise your child for the gains made through hard work.  It’s also a time to identify the next steps, the things that could improve, the opportunities missed or the gains that have not yet happened.  From this point the year accelerates rapidly towards its end and for some children this may be the last formal opportunity to turn an average year into a very good one.

We call these meetings ‘learning conferences’ and not ‘interviews’ for good reason.  An interview is a one-way sharing of information: in the school setting this traditionally means the teacher reporting to the parents.  A learning conference is a conversation, where all parties are expected to bring information to the meeting and share it openly with the aim of finding solutions and establishing new goals.  Ideally, the learning conference continues an ongoing conversation about your child between home and school. 

I stress that learning conferences are about finding solutions and setting goals, not about finding fault and setting ultimatums.

The learning conference also digs deeper into the information in your child’s report.  A written report on its own doesn’t capture the complexity of your child’s learning and you will gain only a small part of the picture if you judge your child only on the report.  For example, we are required to report progress towards meeting National Standards but when you read that your child is ‘likely’ to meet the Standard that’s not the end of the story, don’t assume there is nothing more to discuss about your child’s progress and achievement.

In other words, come to the learning conference next week.  Bookings can be made online or by phoning the school office.  Do it now.


Have a great week.

Peter Verstappen




Education Review Office

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