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Parents Forum

Parents' Forum is an opportunity for parents to get together and discuss issues relating to parenting children. It takes place after the Junior School Assembly from 8.45am to 9.30am on Dr Gibbons Verandah. 

The Future of School Series: 


The Enhanced PYP

February 8th 2019

In this fourth edition of the series on the Future of School, we shared some of the key changes developed through the Enhanced PYP.  The Enhanced PYP is the outcome of six years of consultation into the programme and research into current educational research and best practice.  The result of these changes is summarised in the model below:

The Enhanced PYP is divided into three key ideas, The Learner, Learning and Teaching and the Learning Community.  In today's forum, we highlighted a few key ideas from these areas, including agency, the early learner, skills (ATLs), language, the learning community and learning environments.  Each of these ideas will be developed further in the coming months and we shall be sharing these through some information sheets that will be be published on this blog.

What is the Purpose of School?

February 1st 2019

In this edition of the series, we explored the challenges left by our last forum, where the future presents us with many questions about what skills are needed and how we decide what is worth learning.  This conversation is enhanced further by questions raised by Will Richardson in his talk:


In this process of developing our vision of what type school we should design, we used the ideas of Cut, Keep and Create:  What should we cut from schools?  What should we keep and continue?  What do we need to create and change?

How do we prepare our children for their future?

January 18th 2019

Today's forum was another very well attended discussion about what type of future our children will face.  We began by looking at the Did You Know video from 10 years ago, which shares the exponential change that we are experiencing.

The discussion then explored concerns such as the fact that a four year technical degree is outdated by the time students graduate.  So what are the implications of all this rapid change?  Many think tanks and leading educators believe its by focusing on 21st century skills that will help our children cope with this rapid change.  Skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity, character development, citizenship and more are essential for success in the future.  What does this mean for schools and future of education?  How do we decide what to spend our time learning since the hours in the school day are finite.  We will have to prioritise what is most important.  Please join us on February 1st as we explore The Purpose of School: What is worth learning?

  • Factory Education: Why schools are the way they are? The historical evolution of schools designed by and for a different era.

January 11th 2019

Today we began by considering that our Junior School students will be starting their first career in the decade of 2030 and asking the questions: what type of career will that be and what skills will be needed?  To consider these questions we reviewed the following two videos:

Sugata Mitra - in the first four minutes of his talk explains his understanding of why schools are designed the way they are.

Sir Ken Robinson - in his RSA animate talk Sir Ken uses the factory model as a way describe how schools currently function.

We considered whether we agree with these suggestions and questions were raised such as: 
    •    What will our children need in the future?
    •    Do universities need to change to accommodate these changes?
    •    Why do we test for normal and average?
    •    Will we need to go to university in the future?
    •    What are employers actually looking for in graduates?
    •    What is the purpose of school?
    •    Do you need to go to school to learn?

We will continue this discussion next week with our next topic titled: How do we prepare our children for their future?

Reading, Passion & Play
October 19th

Today's parent forum focused on our emphasis on parents partnering with us in helping children to read regularly, follow their passions and give them time to play.  We discussed how to build reading into the day's routines, and that bedtime reading or audio books in the car can also help make reading an enjoyable addition to the daily routine.  We also talked about how children's passions can be a vehicle for learning to read and acquire new skills, so do find out what your child is interested in learning in their iTime.  One resource that would be helpful for play experience is https://www.playworks.org/game-library/ where they have a host of play activities that might support play home.

September 21st

This morning parents forum was very well attended with 30 parents joining to hear about how we can better support our families during times of change, whether moving to a new country, returning from holiday or changing grade level.  Susanne Duerr and Francesca Ferrari shared some important tips on how to manage the change including acknowledging what is going well and what we miss.  There are a number of helpful strategies and ideas that were shared in a handout available here.

Kelso's Choices
September 7th

Today discussion focused on Kelso's Choice and how we help our children solve problems in social situations.  Parents shared their experience of using the programme and noted that as parents we are sometimes too quick to jump in and solve the problem.  We also reflected that we can often come to the defense of the younger sibling and expect the older one to use the the choice circle.  The challenge is to strike the right balance between intervening and allowing the children to solve problems themselves.  The programme suggests that children should try two choices first before speaking to an adult to help. The circle of choices is available here if parents would like put a copy up at home in central location like the fridge door.

Introduction to SeeSaw
August 31st

At today's parent forum we shared the e-portfolio tool SeeSaw and how it can be used by parents to follow their child's learning journey.  We encouraged parents to view the portfolio each week and gave the follow tips on how to use it with your child:

  • View the posts that your child creates (find a regular time)

  • Discuss with your child what they have created (notice the process/skills)

  • Share your discussion with the teacher

  • If commenting, provide guiding feedback to your child

  • Be positive and encouraging

Use the following links if you would like to learn more about how SeeSaw works or how to use the Family App.