IGBO Amersfoort International School
A New Take on Parent-teacher Interviews

A New Take on Parent-teacher Interviews

Students took the lead during the student led conferences (SLC) held recently at Amersfoort International School (AIS). Unlike traditional parent-teacher interviews, these types of conferences put the student in charge. They are designed to reflect the qualities that International Baccalaureate (IB) schools strive to develop in their students.

Students learning within IB Primary Years Programs (PYP) are encouraged to be inquirers, thinkers, communicators and be able to reflect upon the world around them—and student led conferences offer an incredible opportunity to do just that!

During the conferences, students showcase, discuss and reflect upon samples of their work that they have specifically chosen to share with their parents. Teachers have little to no involvement on the day of the parent’s visit but do play an important role leading up to the presentation, offering guidance in the process of selecting student work and giving feedback during practice runs.

“Student led conferences put the student at the center of things. You might think that is the case in a traditional parent-teacher conference, but that is not the case,” said Eryn Wiseman, PYP coordinator at Amersfoort International School.  “In a SLC, students take ownership of their learning, understanding where their strengths and areas of development are and what they are doing to address those areas.  They know and understand what is expected of them and if they are meeting or exceeding those expectations. They learn how to communicate that to others clearly and give examples to back up the judgements.”

For many of the parents at AIS this type of student led conference was a new concept, but one they were enthusiastic about. “I was very impressed with the style of the conference and having the opportunity to watch my son not only present but also critique his work,” said a parent of a PYP 6 student. “And, it was especially nice that he could present to me in our home language.”

Although English is the language of instruction, the PYP supports the use of home and family languages in school. According to the IB, a multilingual approach acknowledges that it is crucial for both the cognitive development and maintenance of cultural identity for a learner to be able to express themselves in all languages they use to interact with the world.

For parents, student led conferences offer the chance to really share the learning experience with their children, ask questions and get a real understanding of their child, not only academically, but as a whole person at school. They can celebrate achievements, discuss areas for development and decide together how they might support their child at home.

Amersfoort International School holds student led conferences once a year.

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Amersfoort International School

Noordewierweg 235
3812 DH Amersfoort

+31 (0)6 57 25 70 60
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