It’s mid semester 2 2018 already and it is Learning Conversation time! For our year 12’s it is their last learning conversation, so a focus on next steps and reflections on achievements and growth have been central. Our year 11’s are making decisions about their year 12 subjects, so planning for future study and career pathways along with reflections on their achievements and challenges is guiding these conversations. For our year 10’s it is nearing the end of their first year at the ASMS, a lot has been learnt about our school culture and I can hear reflections on how much better they have come to understand themselves as learners.

Earlier in the year I wrote about how our Learning Studies program supports the development of personal and social capabilities. Our Learning Conversations provide the opportunity for our students to share perceptions of their development of personal and social skills. Skills which make it easier for them to manage themselves, engage in collaborative work, develop resilience, have a sense of self-worth and confidence, resolve conflict, and feel positive about themselves and the world around them. Learning Conversations also provide an opportunity for our students to practice and strengthen their literacy capabilities as they develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to use language confidently for communicating and for participating effectively in society. Literacy involves students speaking, writing and creating oral, visual and digital texts, and using and modifying language for different purposes including situations such as our Learning Conversations.

At the ASMS students learn and use the vocabulary associated with mathematical concepts and processes including synonyms, technical terminology and common words with specific meanings in a mathematical context. Students develop the ability to create and interpret a range of texts typical of mathematics and use literacy to pose and answer questions, engage in mathematical problem-solving, and to discuss, produce and explain solutions.

Our students develop a broader literacy capability as they explore and investigate their world in the ASMS Central Studies, considering those difficult often wicked problems that people have a diverse range of perspectives about. Students are required to comprehend and compose a range of texts including those that provide information, describe events and phenomena, recount experiments, present and evaluate data, give explanations and present opinions or claims. They also have the opportunity to work with various multimedia texts comprehending and composing charts, graphs, diagrams, pictures, maps, animations, models and visual media. They use language to link information and ideas, give descriptions and explanations, formulate hypotheses and construct evidence-based arguments capable of expressing an informed position.

Students come to understand that language varies according to context and have opportunities to use language flexibly, our Learning Conversations are just one example of this. I hope you enjoy being involved in this mid-semester experience and can reflect on how they have grown, what they have achieved and how well they are able to communicate this to you during the Learning Conversation.