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Through children's eyes - NAIS Manila Pupil Conferencing

Chris Pooley
Chris Pooley (20 posts) Principal View Profile

In the ever-changing world of education we often look to ‘experts’ for knowledge, experience and advice. Sometimes we forget how informative, accurate and honest children can be. To see education through a child’s eyes is something that should be valued.

I’m sure most parents have experienced their children asking a question at the wrong time, or saying something that shouldn’t have been overheard by someone. I certainly have and it can leave us  a little embarrassed and having to quickly backtrack.  But if we want to know things as it is, we can rely on our children to be "brutally" honest.


At NAIS Manila, we have been using the honest nature of our children in a positive way. I have recently had the pleasure of conferencing Primary children from Years 1 -6.  The conferencing involved two children from each year group and contained a series of questions following the PASS Tests, which all pupils completed in October.


The PASS Test (Pupil Attitudes to Self and School) provides information about how children feel about themselves as a learner, how they feel about their teacher and how they feel about their school. It allows us to see where they are most confident and get a good picture of overall student happiness and wellbeing in each class. We then use this data to adjust teaching methods to better support the children. 

Mr. Hickman - Assessment Coordinator


Pupil conference questions were formed by both Teachers and TA’s from our Primary school, following the scrutiny of the data provided by the PASS Tests. This is an important step as it makes it specific to our school and the children’s experience. The conferencing took place in an informal atmosphere (with essential drinks and cookies) and the children certainly got in to the swing of things, being relaxed, open and very articulate about their life at NAIS Manila.


Whilst it is clear to see how much the children enjoy their school life (please see the main highlights for the children below), by conferencing a range of children it allows us to pick up on trends and generate discussions that individual conversations may not allow.


Highlights/themes from the 12 children conferenced:

  • How safe and cared for they feel at school

  • All children were able to speak about (some even naming) the adults that they could speak with if they had a problem at school

  • The strong attachment that they have with both their class teacher and TA

  • How much they enjoy the opportunity to represent the school (either through sports, academic competitions or Global Campus)

  • The ‘off timetable’ opportunities that enrich their experience (Roald Dahl Day, International Day, Global Campus)

  • Their understanding of how assessment improves their learning – all of the children talked about the pink/green used in marking their books


The pupil conferencing was a hugely positive experience for all involved, and it also provided some food for thought and some areas that we will look to explore with staff over the coming weeks, as we continue to look for ways to develop.


Chris Pooley

Head of Primary

I like that our teachers work very hard so we can learn. Prince - Year 1
I feel safe in school because we can always ask help from teachers or the bigger kids. Sophia - Year 1
I am new in school and it's amazing! The kids are really friendly and I am excited to come to school because i like my teachers very much. Eliza - Year 5
We should add slides and swings in the playground. Pablo - Year 1
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