4 March, 2022


Learner Attributes at the heart of progress

Over the past year there has been a great deal of progress made towards ensuring greater awareness and recognition of the College’s ten Learner Attributes.

Last year teachers began using the language of the attributes as part of their feedback to students, whether this be a comment published as a piece of continuous reporting or used to inform a student’s contribution within an experiential learning opportunity. There is enormous power in recognising specific Learner Attributes alongside the Learning Outcomes for specific subject areas.

Students and parents can, for example, more easily make the connection between the courage to persevere with a task and the success that a student is experiencing in that particular subject.

Our work with Melbourne University and other ‘first mover’ schools across Australia as part of the New Metrics initiative, will eventually see the creation of standardised frameworks that will be used nation-wide, designed to highlight these important Learner Attributes in a way that can be recognised by universities and workplaces.

Informed by this context, curriculum leaders have seen an opportunity to re-frame our Progress Reports for Years 6-12 (due to be released to parents in Week 7 of this term) so they are aligned with Learner Attributes. This is a significant step that will embed them in our reporting system. In the case of Years 7-12 it is the class teacher who will make the observations regarding progress whereas in Year 6, student self-observation will also be an important part of their final report. Other year levels will also be encouraged to reflect on these Progress Reports.

The early markers of progress – organisation, respectful behaviours, being open to learning opportunities and being able to work with others – are captured by a measure on each of four relevant Learner Attributes which are:

– Self-regulation
– Communication
– Curiosity
– Collaboration

In determining this progress, teachers (and in the case of Year 6 students and teachers together) have indicated to what extent they have observed a student’s capacity for each of these attributes. Please refer to the sample report provided (click here) to read the full definition of each attribute and the descriptors used to indicate progress: rarely, with support, regularly or consistently.

These new Progress Reports are designed to highlight the bigger picture of student learning. Parents will be able to see where inconsistencies might be or where particular areas of strength are for their child. This model has been designed to shift the conversation from “how is my child settling in English?” to “why is it that my child has needed support in more than one subject to organise and express information?” These reports are also designed to be a one-page, visual metric which put the Learner Attribute at the centre of the progress.

As is always the case, teachers will make contact with parents if there are concerns with any aspect of student progress. There are some cases when there has been insufficient evidence for teachers in determining progress. These might include where a student has been absent for a significant period, changed late into a class or joined the College later in the year. In these instances, a black dot in the centre of the radar will indicate this.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this important shift in our progress reporting.

Sarah Lillywhite
Director of Curriculum Years 6-12