We believe that learning belongs to students. At Nanjing International School, we take this belief one step further and empower our students to take ownership of their learning, and to review and discuss it with knowledge and confidence. When students know how they learn best and can reflect on their learning, they are able to advocate for themselves. Our recent student led conferences were a wonderful example of agency at NIS.
“Student led conferences is a special day on our calendar because it is time set aside for those vital conversations about learning led by our students,” said Mr. Kasson Bratton, Director of Learning at NIS. “The great thing about these conferences is that it is time dedicated to amplifying student voice, giving an opportunity for students to use that voice to explain their learning to their families.”
“In student led conferences, students take the role of leaders,” said Ms. Jacqui Patrick, Primary Principal. “They are well-prepared and know where they are going and what they are doing. Their role is to be an effective communicator and to share their learning with the most important people in their lives – their parents and guardians. Students demonstrate learning activities and invite them to participate.”
During student led conferences, children do most of the talking as they share their learning and discuss processes, progress, and goals.
"It was a wonderful opportunity for families to get an insight into the learning environments at NIS and to reaffirm the partnership between home and school," said Ms. Ruth Clarke, Secondary Principal. “Students toured parents around their classrooms and demonstrated their learning in a variety of ways.”
Student led conferences are unique to our school in Nanjing, though globally they are a growing trend, especially among International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools like NIS. In line with our ongoing commitment to activate Student Voice and Student Choice, the spotlight is always on the most important person in the process: the student themselves. While teachers are in the room, they are not directly involved in parent discussions with their children – they are available to support students if needed, clarify points, or answer questions.