Student-led conferences are usually held in Term 1 and early in Term 3 of each year. An online booking system is available for you to book your conference time. Outside our formal conference times we do welcome you to get in touch with us at any time. The conference is about learning (academic and dispositional) progress and achievement—not specific behaviour or social issues. (If you or the teacher have concerns here, discussions should already have been held).
To book conferences online go to www.schoolinterviews.co.nz School code is 3cjbf
If you require supervision for your child please contact Kelly Club
On This Page
A student-led conference is a meeting run by the student for his or her parents, entirely focused on the student’s recent learning. During the conference the student presents work in core curriculum areas including our Matua Learner, discussing the learning goals identified and the next steps in their learning journey.
Matua School has been involved in a number of initiatives over the years, all focused on improving student achievement. Through this involvement our experiences confirm all the research we have read — developing students’ ability to talk about their learning and their progress makes a difference!
Professor John Hattie (formerly University of Auckland) recently published a revised list of the most effective influences on student achievement which identifies student self-reporting as one of the most significant indicators linked to raised student achievement.
Two other international researchers, Black & Wiliam, further comment, “the process of students reflecting on their learning, through effective questioning that promotes the articulation of student thinking, is integral to classroom assessment practices that enhance student learning”.
‘If the focus is to be kept on learning, and the ownership of the learning with the child, then the best person to talk about the learning is the learner’… ‘Not only is the student the best person to tell their parents what they have learnt, but if we believe that students build their knowledge by communicating what they know, then providing an opportunity for the students to tell their family what they know can significantly assist with that learning.’ Absolum, (2006)
Research also shows parental involvement in schools and classrooms has a positive impact on children’s learning (Bastiani; Epstein).
In helping to strengthen the partnership between the learner, the teacher and the parent, we believe student-led conferences promote some ways learning can also be supported at home. This is a key goal in the introduction of National Standards in New Zealand schools.
- Absolum, M. (2006) Clarity in the Classroom, Auckland, Hodder.
- Bastiani, J. (1988) How Many Parents Did You See Last Night?’ A critical look at some of the problems of evaluating home/school practice.’ In J. Bastiani (ed.) Parents and teachers 2: From policy to practice. Windsor: nfer Nelson 206–218.
- Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (1998) Inside the Black Box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, October, 139–148.
- Hattie, J. (2009) Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge.
Please be mindful that distractions make it difficult for your child and others in the room to stay focused. We ask that parents turn off cell phones and that pre-schoolers not attend where possible.
Before the conference:
- Book a time and put it in your diary (details notified in school newsletter).
- Check the prompts and important things to remember list (below).
On the conference day:
- Come — with your child.
- Listen — your child will do most of the talking.
- S/he will discuss their personal goals and learning pathways, his/her progress towards current learning goals.
- Prompt to support your child if necessary (prompt cards will be provided in the classroom).
- Enjoy the opportunity to see your child in his/her key learning environment.
- Celebrate your child’s progress to date.
After the conference:
- Continue to celebrate your child’s successes and support their goals.
- What were you learning in class recently
- What were the steps you went through to learn this?
- What helped you to learn this?
- What do you need to learn next?
- What are you most proud of? Why?
- Tell me what you can do in… reading/writing/numeracy
- Which area of learning do you find easiest? Why?
- Which area of learning do you find trickiest? Why?
- What could we do together to help you with this learning?
Your child will run this conference (with support)—not you, not the teacher! Your child must be here.
As part of their regular learning, all students have been putting considerable time and energy into preparing for this. If you cannot attend, please arrange an alternative time.
The conference is primarily about learning—not behaviour or social issues. (If you or the teacher have further concerns here, discussions should already have been held or appointments can be made.)
Make arrangements for the care of any pre-schoolers in your family. It would be unfair to all students in the room to have any distractions as they share their learning. Supervision is available for school age children.