The Power of Portfolios

By Lucy Armstrong, Curriculum Coordinator

Empowering students is fundamental to providing a purposeful and effective learning experience. In the Lower Years at St. Peter’s School we are using student portfolios to not only track progress but to record ongoing work, communicate with families and ensure there is an open discussion between all members of our school community.

What happens in the classroom should be no secret; encouraging a dialogue between everyone involved in the children’s lives means they can be truly supported and learning facilitated at every step of the way.

This year is the first year we are using Seesaw, an application designed to make learning, assessment and communication accessible to the whole school community and through fine-tuning our use of this tool throughout the first year, we hope to develop a rigorous and clear approach to celebrating student progress.

The advantages of using this method for tracking individual learning are the transparency between school and home and the ownership that children will be taking for their own education as they move higher through the Lower School years. They are encouraged to reflect continuously on their own practice and consider potential improvements and identify ways in which they can support this improvement across all areas of the curriculum. Additionally, it allows all members of the teaching team to see what the children are achieving outside of their subject areas, making assessment a much more effective and cohesive process and placing more focus on formative assessment as a means to enhance education for all.

Assessment should not be used as a means to measure a student’s capacity but a powerful tool which enables learning to be adapted and personalized to support and extend every individual.