by Katrina Ferguson

Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences

The WHY behind PST Conferences

Academic Counselling & Mentoring “refers to trained professionals counselling students on their academic plans, for course-taking while in secondary school as well as for post-secondary education” (Hughes & Karp, 2004, p. 3).

On Thursday 16th and Friday 17th February Ellesmere College - Te Kāreti o Waihora held our Goal-Setting Hapori Teacher-Student-Parent Conferences. These conferences provide an opportunity for students and their parents/caregivers/whānau to meet to discuss their aspirations and goals for our ākonga. Students led the conversations and throughout the year will self-reflect and self-report on their goals. By working together, educationally powerful partnerships can be formed to ensure that ākonga are supported to achieve their goals. Student’s goals and academic progress is tracked and monitored by their Hapori teacher who will have counselling and mentoring sessions with their students.

“In New Zealand we have a growing body of research showing the impact of educationally powerful connections and relationships on student outcomes in a range of contexts. This research identifies that establishing educationally powerful connections and relationships with parents, families, whānau and communities provides access to a greater range and depth of resources to support the education endeavour; enhances outcomes for all students, in particular those who have been underserved or who are at risk; and achieves large positive effects in terms of student academic and social outcomes” (Education Review Office, 2016, p.28).

The academic conversations, counselling and mentoring which is implemented at Ellesmere College - Te Kāreti o Waihora is based on the outcomes from the University of Auckland Starpath Project. Our Principal was heavily involved in the Starpath Project when it was in progress and has taken the project findings and implemented these at Ellesmere College - Te Kāreti o Waihora. Combining this with the work of Professor John Hattie (University of Melbourne), whose research showed that students self-reporting had one of the largest effects on learning outcomes, ensures Ellesmere College - Te Kāreti o Waihora students have the opportunity to maximise their learning and potential.