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The Impact of Student Voice

This is what over 250,000 students told us in 2023 about which teaching practices help them to learn.

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For the past decade, we’ve helped schools leverage student voice to maximise impact on learning and wellbeing. 

 

Pivot’s student feedback platform includes survey instruments based on global teaching frameworks such as the AITSL Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, and targeted recommendations and resources for teachers and leaders. 

 

Student feedback on teaching practices and wellbeing can help support positive and inclusive learning environments, and provide valuable data that supports school planning and evaluation.
 

Student survey data can help inform key school priorities and drive continuous improvement in schools. Through Pivot tools, teachers have access to often hard-to-uncover insights about their students’ experience so that they can teach with even greater impact. 

 

Wellbeing has a significant impact on student learning. Students with a greater level of wellbeing are more likely to experience improved academic performance. Our focus at Pivot has been developing a framework for measuring student wellbeing and the quality of children’s lives while they are at school with targeted wellbeing resources and recommendations. 

 

Pivot supports schools in capturing student voice, with data for school improvement agendas, and with insights that can inform professional development planning. 
 

Wellbeing for Learning

Wellbeing for Learning (WB4L) is a program that combines a framework for measuring student wellbeing and refers to the quality of children’s lives while they are at school with targeted wellbeing resources and recommendations.

Pivot conducted extensive research with Australian educators on the impact of COVID-19 in 2020, and we recognised the need for

an evidence-based student wellbeing tool in schools.

Wellbeing for Learning is an evidence-based program, developed in consultation with wellbeing experts. It integrates Maslow and Bloom thinking by measuring student wellbeing factors influencing student’s readiness and ability to learn while they are at school.
 

It measures 5 wellbeing factors: general wellbeing, resilience, belonging, safety and protective behaviours - helping schools set and track wellbeing goals that align to delivering against the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework.
 

The surveys are digitally conducted through a baseline survey and 1-minute weekly check-ins that are designed for students at three (3) levels (Foundation, Lower-primary, Secondary). The tool also provides support for schools to analyse and act on the feedback - including, where needed, direct intervention to support individuals facing wellbeing issues.

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Wellbeing Insights

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Areas for Celebration

Students identified these areas of practice as significantly stronger

 

I feel safe online from bullying
Students called out their developing skills in cybersafety as a key strength, yet our work in this space will never be ‘done’. The rise in generative technologies is but one example of the importance of an ongoing investment and upskilling in schools’ capacity to support students in online safety for themselves and those around them.

 

 I have friends at school I trust
Friendships are vital for young people's wellbeing and academic success. Close bonds at school not only foster a sense of belonging but also equip students with coping strategies for negative emotions. Research highlights the pivotal role of trusted friendships in reducing loneliness, anxiety, and bullying experiences - and young people recognise educators’ excellent efforts in supporting friendships.

 

I keep trying even when my schoolwork is difficult
It’s a marathon, not a sprint: Students acknowledged the importance of the trait of perseverance and ‘productive struggle’ in learning. The idea of academic buoyancy (our ability to bounce back after an academic setback) is centered on a proactive rather than reactive response. This is linked to higher engagement at school, higher levels of self-efficacy and increased school enjoyment. 


 

Areas for Conversation

Let's listen in... this is what our students believe needs our greatest focus 

I look forward to going to school
Our students’ voices reveal that many of our young people do not look forward to being in our schools, reflected in a recent parliamentary inquiry that shares a challenging story about school attendance. Research shows positive student-teacher interactions and strong home-school partnerships boost student engagement. Engaged students perform better academically, highlighting the critical role of a positive school environment.  
 

I ask for help when I need it
Many students didn’t feel they had a trusted adult at school they could turn to and weren’t sure how to ask for help. Given the positive benefits of early intervention for good mental health, this represents an opportunity for teachers to make sure that students are clear on who, where and when they can access social-emotional support in their wellbeing network.
 

I bounce back quickly after something bad happens
Practicing, observing and learning from perseverance is an excellent opportunity to build resilience for current and future adversities. Students recognise the need for growing individual competencies in adaptive resilience, and this can be achieved through teachers’ ongoing coaching and modelling, evidence-based ‘Tier 1’ interventions, and collaboration with families during challenging moments.

The Impact of These Insights - 'What Now?'

 

These trends highlight the key areas of impact identified by students in their feedback across 2023. For schools who are focused on student agency and voice, student data can align with priorities such as teaching and learning initiatives, wellbeing programs and interventions, and with school improvement planning. 

 

Teachers and school leaders can use the student survey data to measure impact within their classrooms and support a school-wide focus on giving feedback. 

 

Resilience is part of emotional wellbeing and involves students being able to maintain or return to a state of positive mental health when faced with challenge or adversity. 

 

Resilience is important because it helps students to: 

  • Adapt in difficult situations 

  • Bounce back to ‘normal’ after experiencing trouble or hardship 

  • See challenges as opportunities 

  • Understand that failure is just one step in a journey to success

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Teachers can focus on the following strategies to boost resilience:

  • Provide students with the means to give feedback on lessons and classroom practice 

  • Set up and make visible question stems to enable students to ask questions 

  • Model questioning by asking students to provide them with feedback 

  • Set goals with students and provide them with the means to understand their progress 

  • Encourage students to ask questions

Student Survey on Teaching

Pivot’s Student Survey on Teaching provides schools with a simple, evidence-based method to gather feedback on teaching practice, aimed at activating professional growth and development. 

The feedback collected provides data and insight into students’ learning experience within the classroom, with the reports confidential to each teacher. Leaders have access to de-identified, aggregated school-level data which can be segmented by campus, year-level and/or learning area to guide and support their teaching teams through reflective practice and professional learning. Schools then set and track teaching and learning goals that align to delivering domestic, international and regional teaching frameworks such as AITSL and HITS. 

 

The surveys are designed for students at three (3) levels (Foundation, Lower-primary, Secondary) and delivered digitally, typically taking students less than 5 minutes to complete. 

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Student Survey on Teaching Insights

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Areas for Celebration

Students identified these areas of practice as significantly stronger
 

This teacher knows a lot about the topics in this class
The exceptional performance of Pivot teachers in this survey question underscores the critical role of content expertise in effective teaching. Teacher competence is a cornerstone for student success to foster a rich learning environment and empower students to engage more deeply with the curriculum, ultimately promoting a culture of academic excellence.

 

I know how I am supposed to behave in class
We’ve seen a real strength across our dataset in teachers explicitly teaching positive learning behaviours. Developing and explicitly teaching evidence-based routines (such as a power-packed “Do now”) are effective ways to ensure your classroom remains safe, calm and ready for learning. And when students are ready to learn, we have them cognitively primed for growth!

 

This teacher respects me for who I am
Respect is the key ingredient in the recipe for learning growth. When we value, teach and model the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, we create safe and supportive learning environments. Inherent in the expression of respect is the commitment to treating everyone with kindness, irrespective of their background.

Areas for Conversation

Let's listen in... this is what our students believe needs our greatest focus 
 

This teacher gives me choice about the work I do
Students overwhelmingly shared that they are seeking more autonomy and choice in their learning. So, once the key knowledge, skills and understanding is consolidated, how can educators provide choice in challenge level, skill practice and assessment? Differentiated practices and negotiation throughout the learning process might just be one solution to engagement.
 

This teacher helps me to set goals in my learning
Empower students by explicitly teaching them how to set their own learning goals. It sparks motivation, builds commitment, and unleashes their potential. How can we model the process of identifying challenges, embracing a proactive and determined approach, and setting a roadmap to success? Encourage goal-setting in your classroom – it's the key to unlocking their brightest future.
 

This teacher connects their teaching to my life
Teaching is complex: we weave a rich tapestry of knowledge, add a dose of current reality and challenge students to think about the future. Help build the bridges for our students to what they already know and will need to know: connections make learning relevant, captivating, and fuel students' curiosity.

 

The Impact of These Insights - 'What Now?'

 

These trends highlight the key areas of impact identified by students in their feedback across 2023. For schools who are focused on student agency and voice, student data can align with priorities such as teaching and learning initiatives, wellbeing programs and interventions, and with school improvement planning. 

 

Teachers and school leaders can use the student survey data to measure impact within their classrooms and support a school-wide focus on giving feedback. 

 

Setting challenging learning goals is an important practice for students to learn. Some suggestions for teachers to discuss with their students in relation to setting learning goals include:

  • Promote a growth mindset: many students come into the classroom with a fixed mindset - “I’m just not good at math.” You should encourage students to have a growth mindset - “This is hard, but with some practice I will get it.” One way to do this is to praise students for hard work instead of ability. Instead of saying, “You’re so smart!” say, “Wow, I can tell you worked really hard on that!” 

  • Talk to students about their goals each lesson: When we actively centre a student’s learning around what they are working towards this can help students persevere in their learning and strive to achieve success. 

  • Have students set only one or two goals at a time: Success is achieved in the mastery of small steps. Give students the opportunity to set their own goals, but encourage them to only set one or two goals at a time. More than two goals may be overwhelming.

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Want to work with Pivot?

Pivot helps school leaders with a range of tools that provide actionable, data-informed insights. 

 

Trusted by over 1000 schools to gather feedback from students on teaching practices and well-being. The insights from student feedback can help support positive and inclusive learning.

Complete the form below and our School Partnerships Manager will be in touch with you soon. 

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Pivot Professional Learning

Level 40, 140 Williams st,

Melbourne 3000

+61 03 9229 3843

® ABN: 29 601 883 372

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