Last week in my Blog Post I shared that I would discuss further the learning I am experiencing in understanding student voice and agency. I will share with you my interpretation of what agency means.
One way of thinking of learner agency is when learners have “the power to act”. Agency is when learning involves the activity and the initiative of the learner, more than the inputs received from the teacher, curriculum or resources.
In the past, our schools have catered mostly for groups of learners, for classes of kids, with one size, fits all approach. At our schools we have models and structures in place that ensure consistency of teaching approaches that aim to move from being passive recipients to being much more active in the learning process, actively involved in the decisions about the learning, particularly in developing their reading, writing and math goals. An area that we need to develop our approaches is in the way in which students delve into big ideas and questions taking control of their learning after a phase of immersion about a concept or big idea.
There’s been a lot of talk in the past about learner-centric approaches to education and personalisation that I feel is only scratching the surface about agency a concept that goes much deeper. The initiative or self-regulation of the learner is a key component of agency. Before a learner can exercise agency they must have a belief that living the character strengths is going to make a difference to their learning. Agency isn’t about the teacher being absent from the learning but setting up, facilitating and modelling what the students need to successfully take control of their learning as well as the environment for this to occur.
Second, agency is interdependent, not just about a learner in isolation doing their own thing and what suits them. Learners must develop an awareness that there are consequences for the decisions they make and actions they take and will take account of that in the way(s) they exercise their agency in learning.
And thirdly, agency includes an awareness of the responsibility for your own actions on the environment and on others. So there’s a social connectedness kind of dimension to that. Every decision a learner makes, and action she or he takes will impact on the thinking, behaviour or decisions of others – and vice versa.
Recent student data about agency highlights to me that we have a solid base to build on in relation to agency but both students and staff need to build their understanding of what agency is and how it looks in the learning environment.
Your contribution as parents is to keep up to date with your child’s learning, something you can do in a variety of ways:
– Keep up to date with our Website and Compass Posts
– Access learning task and reports on Compass
– Ensure you attend Parent Teacher Interviews
– Contact your child’s teacher
– Talk to your child about school.
Today we received our NAPLAN results. The data told many stories about our school performance with the highlights being the excellent growth demonstrated by our year 5 students as a collective. This is a testament to their ability to use many character strengths during their learning.
Particular success shone through in reading and writing the 2 focus areas that we have been working on during the last 12- 18 months.
Our year 3 data displayed that we have many students achieving an extremely high standard compared to the state and like schools. Despite this, the data shows me that we have a bit of work to do, particularly for those who have learning difficulties across all areas of the curriculum measured in NAPLAN.
Students from year 3 and 5 will receive their personal data early next week.
Movie Night and Working Bee
We will be holding our annual Movie Night on Friday, September 14th – look out for details on Compass and our Website.
The Movie Night will be followed by a Working Bee on Saturday the 15th of September. I look forward to the community in getting together to get a few jobs done around the school as well as catching up for some socialising and what is usually a great way to meet other families from our school.
As usual, the families and staff at BHPS are always showing their support for the children at the school. We have had 57 books donated by staff or families to add to our library collection thanks to your generosity. I look forward to book week next year and again thank Mrs Browne for her organisation.
Signing in at School and Attendance
Thank you to the families who have embraced the request to sign in at the office when you visit the school. This is an important introduction to our procedures and behaviours that need to continue to the same level it has this week.
I also thank parents for their improved notification of student absences. We encourage all parents to log absences via Compass or the Office for efficient processing. If you inform your child’s teacher they will ask you to contact the office or log the absence on Compass directly.