When Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood students set their own learning goals at the beginning of each year they’re well supported to achieve them.
Target-setting gets students from Years 7 to 12 to set achievable goals for each of their subjects in collaboration with their house group leader and parents.
The goals are tracked and reassessed within six months, after school reports are released.
Middle School Learning Coordinator Craig Bissell said the approach had helped grow student achievement and wellbeing, along with attendance at parent-teacher interviews. This year 98 per cent of parents attended.
We make a point of talking about learning and wellbeing together.
“We’ve introduced here an individual career pathways program for each boy and conversations are starting from a positive,” Mr Bissell said.
“No longer do we have this mindset of ‘I don’t want to be told what my son is not doing’. Instead they’re told what he’s doing well at and we can have a meaningful discussion of what their son needs for his learning and progress. It has turned a daunting process into a more welcoming and interactive one.”
“I teach boys in Year 9 who have shown extremely positive learning growth from Year 7 in their reading and writing, grammar, punctuation and numeracy – and it’s all because they feel like they can be recognised for their achievements.
“Wellbeing is at the heart of any type of progress or achievement for anybody – whether they are two years old or in their 90’s. If you’re feeling good about yourself you’re more likely to go out there and make a bigger effort. It’s a matter of them getting past the block of ‘I can’t do any better than I’ve been told for so long’.
“We make a point of talking about learning and wellbeing together. When the boys believe they can do better and we can show them how through the strategies we’ve put in place we can really help them fly.”
Year 9 students Julian Garratt and George Jahmour make use of teacher feedback and other resources to meet their targets. They have also explored topics including discrimination and mental health during pastoral care lessons.
“We have goals set out for each subject and verify what we want to do to achieve them,” Julian said. “They say to be a specific as possible. For example do all homework within the year for PDHPE. For Information Software Technology I said 85 per cent or higher. We have a lot of options to help us get there. We have homework club on a Wednesday and teachers take good care of us. You can ask them anything and they’ll help.”
George said he aimed for 90 per cent or more in subjects including English, History and Commerce.
“Because it’s a personal activity you’re reflecting on your own goals, not thinking you might get things wrong,” he said. “Handing drafts in to my teacher before an essay is due is one of the strategies I do to try and achieve the target. Our homeroom teachers have really validated and helped us to know what to do later on with those goals.”