The idea of Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs) came from the statewide NSW Review of Aboriginal Education in 2004. The Review identified that some Indigenous families may not feel confident, or comfortable, in interacting with the institution of school, or necessarily know how best to support their children in school. This may be for a variety of reasons including historically unsatisfactory treatment from government agencies and institutions to Indigenous people, and possibly, their own negative school experiences.
What do PLPs look like?
In their simplest form, PLPs initially involve a three-way conversation (PLP meeting) between teacher, student and family. Here, all parties get to know each other, tell about student at home and school, student talks about own interests / strengths / areas for improvement etc. All agree on one /two/ three goals for the
month/term/semester, and then agree what each party will do to help achieve those goals. e.g. Everyone agrees Paul’s reading progress will be helped by more regular Home Reading.
Following initial PLP meeting- keeping the goals alive
To keep the goals meaningful, it is important they are referred to regularly, progress monitored and new goals set when needed. This should be done both formally and informally. Some schools build PLPs into usual school routines and work in conjunction with the school assessment and reporting framework. e.g. Formal PLP meetings mid term one, end of semesters one and two, as part of school parent /teacher/ student interviews; informal catch ups may be quick phone call once a fortnight (could be on speaker phone with teacher and student at school calling home); an award or note home; catch up at the school gate; digitally through email,Google doc etc.