We really take student voice seriously and it is excellent that so many students are willing to help the school and recognise that we would take their wisdom seriously. We know that our school has the capability to be the lead school in the Tuggeranong Valley and we know we can outperform any school in the ACT. Students have to be a part of that process of improvement and all evidence supports that they are up to the challenge.
We have regular whole school meetings where we address issues that students raise through our "Suggestion Box" and allow open question time.
We also regularly conduct student surveys and forums on a variety of issues.
Teaching and Learning
In the last week of term 2, 129 students volunteered their time to complete a report card for the school. The information they shared is being closely examined by the staff and is having a major impact on the way we set our improvement agenda.
Students were asked to think about the classes they enjoyed and the classes they enjoyed less during the first semester of 2015. We didn't ask them to identify the classes but to think about the teaching and learning that takes place in those classes. We wanted to make sure that the focus was on improving the school.
Almost all of the students took the survey very seriously and that is a great sign that they know that their opinions matter and that they share the responsibility for improving our school. As a result (and to respect their participation), the highlights of the survey were shared with the students at our August 4 assembly. The survey revealed that:
Unsurprisingly, classes that students enjoyed were ones where the teacher took the time to get to know them as individuals and found out about how they learn best. These were also the classes where they learnt the most.
Students, across the board, want to be in classes that challenge them and where the work is not too easy. Equally, they don't want the work to be out of reach either.
Feedback on classwork and assignments is really valued by students and is the key indicator of whether or not they consider themselves to be learning and how successful they'll be.
Student's valued teachers that took the time to structure assignments that provided students with choice around topics, the method and the way they presented their learning.