Conducting annual student surveys helps inform our continuous improvement initiatives. Earlier this month, Panorama conducted a survey that gathered feedback on student’s perception of teaching and learning within the classroom, while The Learning Bar’s survey focused on student engagement and school climate. The results of both surveys indicated that the school continues to meet the needs of individual students and provide students with a safe and engaging school community.
Having used the Panorama survey for two years and The Learning Bar survey for four years, we are able to track results over time. Both surveys indicated that student interest and engagement in learning has improved steadily over the past several years. 3 out of every 4 students indicate the level of challenge within the classroom is appropriate; according to The Learning Bar, the national average for this measure is 1 out of every 2 students. Being this far above the national norm (which is based on 5.5 million student participants) speaks to Greenwood’s ability to meet the needs of individual learners. Both surveys also indicate improvement in the overall learning environment, which was an important school-wide goal this year.
Several key measures of school climate also improved. 85% of students indicated they have friends at school who they trust and who encourage them to make positive choices. Participation in clubs was excellent, especially in Grades 7 and 9, which is encouraging as these are full and partial intake years. Student advocacy—the ability to have someone at the school who is trusted and encouraging—continues to improve and is considerably higher than the national norm, especially in the high school grades. This finding aligns with the strong results related to teacher-student relationships, an area measured on both surveys. Greenwood students continue to see the school as a safe space. Bullying and exclusion declined slightly this year; the school’s result was 10% lower than the national norm.
One area of learning that could be improved next year is having students see homework as an extension of their class work, as results in this area have declined and are slightly lower than national norms. An important area of student life to focus on is the rising level of moderate anxiety (the tendency to worry excessively) and moderate depression, both of which have increased slightly over the past several years. While this trend is reflective of other research findings on the emotional well-being of teenagers, the school will continue to look at how it can utilize our resources to work with our students on supporting their mental health and overall well-being.