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Check-in Not Check-up


One of the five fundamentals of school culture is constant Reflection.

It is integral to the growth and improvement of the individuals and the school.

Feedback is a subset of reflection.


John Hattie has feedback as one of the top 10 Visible Learning aspects.

But don’t confuse reflection with performance management. What I call checking-in rather than checking-up.


Reflection is a conversation about understanding how someone is coping and meeting their expectations. Giving them space to voice any barriers or affirm their fears. For all parties to listen to and discuss the decisions and evidence so awareness can take place.


It is checking in to their growth journey rather than checking-up to ensure they are hitting targets.


At Neerigen Brook Primary we focus on student progress. One of the many strategic things we do is to have dedicated data discussions with teachers once a term.

It is an informative, reflective 45 minutes where the teacher shows what reporting system, they are using to answer three questions:


“Who is at risk?

“What don’t they know?”

“How can we fix this?”


During the conversation, the teacher articulates their knowledge about their students and how they are all progressing. We do not ask for reams of data, but enough to give evidence of their decisions.


Thanks to Lesley Barrett and Kim Calabrese, I have the pleasure of running these sessions and ensuring that teachers are empowered and supported to achieve their plan for student progress.


After 6 Data Discussions, it was very evident that the school's Positive Culture initiative was benefiting the students and more importantly the teachers. We know where we are, where we are going, and what we need to do to get there.

Communicating with the source affirms the school’s business plan is solid.

Reflection supports us in celebrating the good, improving the bad, and planning for the best.


Are you checking in with your teachers to confirm student progress?


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