Somerset Times

Parent Learning Walks in the Junior School

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 7, Term Two, 2019

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The learning community of Somerset College includes students, teachers, parents and other community members. Over the last two weeks our learning community (parents) have nominated to attend learning walks with the view to understanding more about the pedagogy of the Primary Years Programme (PYP).

In groups of eight to 12, parents have visited a variety of classrooms spanning year levels from Prep to Year 5.

Observations of explicit teaching, small group teaching and students working independently over many different curriculum areas have given parents an insight into some of the strategies teachers use to engage the learner. They have experienced how students work with visible thinking strategies, questioning in guided reading sessions, co-constructing success criteria with students, explicit teaching of sounds and handwriting, students working independently to research and construct timelines and how teachers make students aware of the diversity of prior knowledge they bring to a learning experience.

Students, on the other hand, have barely blinked an eyelid as the parents wandered into the classroom looking at the visual displays, making notes and writing down questions for the debrief session that follows the walks.

Debrief sessions follow all learning walks and allow the leaning community to ask questions and seek clarification of what they have observed or heard. Overwhelmingly reflections have articulated comments about impressive learning environments, engaged children, the level of adult support, (especially in the Years 1 and 2 classrooms) and the ability of older students to self-manage themselves in the classroom environment.

Opening our classrooms and giving our learning community an insight into their children’s learning experiences through learning walks helps build connections with our Somerset families. Learning walks will return in Term Three. Please look out for a notice on Schoolbox.

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