Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Prioritising our Priority Learners

Every second Tuesday we meet in Professional Learning Groups for full staff professional development. Our focus this term is based around our priority learners. These students are identified by the amount of credits they are yet to achieve. Tamaki College expect students to achieve a minimum of 20 credits towards their NCEA each term, so if students did not achieve 20+ credits during Term 1, they were identified as priority learners.

Within our PLG, we were asked to identify two priority learners, which we could help to 'get over the line'. As a group we brainstormed some plans of action or interventions we could put in place in order to help these learners. The ideas we discussed were:

  • Speak to previous teachers
  • Observe student in different subject (a subject where he/she has had some success)
  • Look to previous years results
  • Use a ViTaL/checkpoint approach
  • Move away from TKI instructions/education speak. Easy to understand success criteria
  • Whānau - might be siblings rather than just parents
  • Keep big picture clear as well as current assessment

Moving forward, we described the specific interventions we were going to put into place for our two priority learners, our plan of action. As the Doc includes many names about students and some personal information, see the two interventions I had planned in the screenshot to the right.

At the next PLG meeting, we reflected on what we had carried out as part of our intervention. Please see my previous post about observing one of my priority learners. I attempted to have one on one discussions with my other priority learner, however his attendance has been considerably low this term. You can see my PLG's overall reflections from our interventions in this Google Doc

Today we explored and broke down the 'Current Graduate Profile' of a student graduating from Tamaki College, alongside the Digital Age Learner Standards. This ignited many interesting conversations, which are summarised in the below Google Doc table.

After this discussion, we chose one of the graduate qualities and explained how/what we could do over the last few weeks of term to support our priority learner to develop the quality. See below my aim for my learner. I am already starting to see a increased motivation, he is asking more questions, and he is tracking well to achieve 10 credits in PE by the middle of next term! I am enjoying this learning process, and can't wait to hear how my colleagues are tracking with their learners.


  1. Awesome Georgia! I really like the way your student is involved in sorting his learning.

    1. I think it's important we include students, because it holds them accountable and it's their learning! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Great post here Georgia, have you thought about using a forum to have the learner reflect on the lesson (could be done as either a blog post or a Google Form) to collect as well as track and monitor his voice and use this to base your conversations around? I'm doing something similar with my priority writers and they are responding well to me using their information to base our learning conversations around :) Having their actual voice in front of me makes me think how to tailor the conversation too. Awesome to hear you are seeing progress so far :)

    1. Thanks for your suggestions Heath. The student is blogging more regularly now, and is starting to write in depth posts, and I am trying to encourage him to share what he thinks. I like the idea of hearing more student voice though - this is something I have been thinking about this week - see a blogpost soon! Sounds like an awesome cycle you have going, it must be so great for them to see how you are responding to what they think/would like more/less of. Very excited to see progress, especially because he is in my class I am focused on for my dissertation!


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