Saturday, 11 June 2011

End of year reports...

It is that time of year again. In the midst of writing end of year reports and asking myself how this can be made a more meaningful exercise.

We meet the parents in the Autumn and Spring terms for ten minute appointments at which they are given a written report on their child's progress and targets for learning. In the summer term we write a comprehensive report for each child. As any teacher knows, this takes a considerable amount of time.

We don't use report writers, each report is two to three sides of A4. As a parent, I really am not that bothered about knowing if my child "is able to enter data into a spreadsheet" or "has become more confident with times tables". I want to know if they are 1) confident in their peer group, 2) well behaved, 3) trying their hardest, 4) making progress and 5) if there are any areas which need particular working on.


A grade would suffice for 1-4 with 5 needing elaboration.
Hours and hours are spent writing reports, and I really question the purpose of this. How does a lengthy report help anyone?
I plan to raise this at school to see how we can make the report writing more meaningful and useful. Our children know exactly what they can  and can't do due to class targets... I appreciate that there is a legal requirement to report to parents, but how many parents actually want all the information we provide them with?

Secondary schools seem to favour a graded report with minimal comments whereas primary school reports tend to be far more verbose...Is it time to change this?

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