Term 3 Online Conferences

By Urs Cunningham | Posted: Sunday September 12, 2021

Amesbury School will be holding our second round of student conferences in the final week of this term. Due to our current alert level, these conferences will be held online.

At Amesbury School we report on student learning and progress every term.

In Terms 1 and 3 each year we hold student conferences. Generally,  students discuss their learning with their parents and one of their teachers, and set learning goals. We are currently in term 3, and as such we are due to hold student conferences this term. 

For Terms 2 and 4 we publish a learning comment through our LINC-ED Hero software, in addition to the learning information that is always available on Hero about progress and goals in the key learning areas of Communication Arts (literacy), maths, and social and emotional development.

Due to our current alert level and our recent lockdown, we will be holding this set of conferences as online connection conferences. This means all conferences will be held via video conference, and the meeting will be between parents / caregivers and their child's whānau teacher, as a chance for them to connect. It gives parents and caregivers the chance to discuss their child's progress, their learning levels and social development, and ask any questions or discuss any noticings they have after working with their child during lockdown. 

Please find booking information below, including how the online conference will work, and who student needs to book a conference time with.

- When the conferences are running - all teachers will be running conferences from 3:30pm onwards on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th September - the last week of the school term. 

- School interview website - we use the 'School Interviews' website to allow parents to book conferences online. Please follow this link to the website.

- The school code for this round of conferences is pesgr. Enter this code on the booking page of the website and it will take you to the booking process for this round of conferences.

- Who to book with - we are asking parents in all hubs to book a conference time with their child's whānau teacher. Please click on this link: Student Conference Groups, which shows the whānau groups for each team. Whānau teachers will be able to discuss your child's learning in all areas of the curriculum, even if they don't necessarily teach them for all learning areas. Please note that Zoe Jiang will not be back at school for conferences this term, due to her recent concussion. For children who were originally in Zoe's whānau group, your connection conferences will be held with your child's temporary whānau teacher. This teacher will have worked with your children during lockdown and since returning to school, and they are familiar with their learning and behaviour. The link below will remind you of who make a booking with.

How the online conferences work - We use a conferencing app called ‘Whereby’. It works in a similar way to Zoom and other conferencing apps, except parents do not need to sign up or have a login. When you book a conference, you will receive a link to the teacher’s online conference space, which is a called a 'room'. Approximately 1-2 mins before your scheduled conference, click on the link and this will mean you ‘knock on the door’ of the teacher’s online room. They will see you ‘knocking’, and when the previous parent has left their conference, the teacher will let you into the ‘room’ to have your conference. Parents will not be able to see each others’ names on the screen, and only one set of parents will be online with the teacher at any time. You may need to wait for a minute or so until the teacher is free to meet with you; please do not worry if you are not let in to the meeting straight away.

What if I don't have a suitable device for an online conference? We are aware that all families at Amesbury School currently have an internet connection. If you do not have a suitable device for an online conference, please make a conference time anyway. Then contact your child's teacher and let them know, and they will arrange for a phone call conference in the same time slot instead. 

- Who attends the conferences - usually we encourage students to attend their conferences, and older students do much of the talking and presenting in their conference. For these online connection conferences, the meeting is more a conversation between the whānau teacher and the parents or caregivers. We do not expect ākonga (students) to attend. However, if you and your tamariki would like them to be involved, that is absolutely fine. 

- What will the conferences cover - all conferences will generally cover areas around the following areas: 

*How your child has managed during lockdown, and how they have settled back at school

*Social behaviours generally - how they interact with others at school

*Current learning levels in all main learning areas

*How you are managing to access learning information on HERO

*Transition to Year 7 in intermediate / other schools (for year 6 ākonga)

*Transition to school (for five year olds who have started school recently)

If there are other specific areas you would like to discuss about your child, please help your child's whānau teacher to be well prepared for this by completing this form. You can indicate on the form what you would like to talk about, and this gives teachers time to talk with other teachers, prepare and be ready to give you the detail you are looking for. 

- If we move alert levels - if we move back to alert level 3 or 4, we will still hold these online conferences. If we move to alert level 1, we will most likely keep these conferences generally online, but we may choose to offer the option to meet face to face at school for the meeting, if you would prefer. We will communicate that closer to the time, if the alert level has changed. 

- When the conference bookings are closed - Conference bookings will be closed at 8am on the morning of the first day of conferences - Wednesday 29th September. This allows teachers to be prepared for the conferences they have scheduled. Last minute surprise bookings can mean teachers are not able to be fully prepared for a conference, so conference bookings are closed the day that the first conference begins.

If you have any further questions regarding student conferences please don't hesitate to contact your child's whānau teacher.

Ngā mihi,

The Amesbury team