What do students think and feel about learning?

As educators, we are constantly providing feedback to our students about their progress. Through reports, Canvas or ClassE and Parent Student Teacher evenings just to name a few, our students are accustomed to receiving regular updates on their development.

A less common occurrence is when educators receive feedback from the students about how we are doing. At Carey we believe we should be seeking a greater understanding from the students about our impact as teachers and how we can help them to get the most from their classes. This allows us to cater for their needs and understand what works best for them and their learning.

An important tool we use for this is an anonymous survey with our class. The survey includes 30 questions designed to help the teacher understand how the class is responding to the various approaches to teaching and learning being used. Students are also invited to comment about any aspect of their learning they find particularly helpful or needing improvement. Teachers can then ask the class to do the survey again later in the year to gauge any changes or improvements based on the previous feedback. Last year, more than 200 classes from Years 4 to 12 were surveyed.

We have been very impressed by the students’ ability to respond with considered and thoughtful feedback. Everything we do at Carey is inspired by our students’ development, so this feedback is invaluable in helping to guide us in decision making about our own professional learning.

Sometimes we meet with students face-to-face to offer them the chance to provide feedback. This may involve a ‘Cake for Comment’ session when students come along to talk about a recent experience or perhaps a new program, with some delicious cupcakes served to thank them. Teachers often seek feedback at the end of a unit of work informally or through a written response connected to the assessment. Year 12 students are invited to a lunch with the Principal in House groups to chat about their experiences at school. The topics on their minds are many and varied, and it is important we give them the chance to share them.

We also seek feedback from our community through the ISV LEAD surveys, which you may have completed last year. This survey offers parents, students and both teaching and professional staff the opportunity to share their opinions about the School.

Students appreciate being asked about their feelings towards their learning and experiences at Carey. They respond appropriately and respectfully and appreciate that we value their input. Thank you to all the students who have already provided us with important feedback this year.

Leanne Guillon
Deputy Principal