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Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Dandalabra, May 16, 2011.
I'm just typing mine up - I could email you one if you leave me your email address
I think you are all very generous with your home time writing up these special reports for EYFS children at the end of reception. However, as a parent would find it more helpful if you printed off the EYFS profile assessment scale sheet, wrote the child's name at the top, put circles round the points you thought the child could fulfil not long after entry into reception,and circles round the points you think describe the child at the end of reception. Why are reports being written now ........ what happens to the progress a child makes over the next few months - hopefully quite a bit as things move on fast at that age.
Reports are written now because we work to a government time frame.
All data has to be moderated, QAd and back to the LA for June, and into the government by the year end so that they can do all the statistics and twiddly bits.
All school reports have to be written now because they take frickin ages and then they have to be submitted to the head who has to read them all (yes, 400 + reports, that's a great laugh I can tell you) and write an individual comment on each one, then return them to be sent out before the legal deadline.
None of this is the teacher's or the school's choice mystery 10.
As for your suggestion of sending out copies of profiles, I would heartily discourage anyone from doing so. Parents are entitled to see point scores if they so wish - I personally never asked as I didn't want my child reducing to a series of numbers and statistics.
I knew their early years experiences were worth far more than that and I wanted a personalised report about my child, not about EYFSP.
We once trialled such a scheme in the early days of EYFS. It was hell. The EYFSP is complex and even teachers who have worked in early years for a long time require quite intensive training to fully understand the descriptors for each point.
Cue parents demanding to know when the children sat the "tests" which gave the scores, why their little darlings hadn't scored 9s across the board and what were we going to do about it.
This was after a series of EYFS and EYFSP workshops inthe school, which was in an area with some very educated parents, where we explained that a 6 at EYFSP was considered a good score, that assessment is continual and ongoing and that it is based on what the child can do independently not what they can do with mummy sitting at the side of them holding their had as they write. (I actually had a mum make a formal complaintto the governors because I hadn't given a profile point 9 for writing, when her child could clearly write if someone held his hand while he did it, and I was failing as a teacher for not doing so - it went on for months, I kid you not.)
Once was enough - we never, ever did it again.
As a parent, I want to know that my child has made progress, I want to know what their strengths are and any areas in which they need to improve. I want to know whether they are polite, well mannered and considerate of others, and that they behave in an appropriate way and I want to know what they have learned over the year.
I do not want to receive a report with a series of numbers which requires a handbook over 100 pages long to explain it to experienced teachers, let alone lay people.
Ah well we are all different. I know schools where the scores are given out with some kind of explanation and it really isn't a problem. The parents are more involved throughout the year maybe in contributing to the profile and understanding where their child is on it so it isn't quite so goobledygook as it might be.
I don't particularly want to think that the teachers (and the headteacher - I pity you that job) have to sit there writing down if my child is happy or sad, friendly or unfriendly, good at concentrating or the attention span of a gnat etc, good manners or puts her feet on the table throughout the school lunch. I'd hope that I knew all these things from home, or from school if the child was the complete opposite at school (mine are).
P.S. my child can walk on a tightrope if I hold her tightly under the armpits but the reception class teacher does not seem to have noticed this - she has not received a 9 for physical development
PS. but like you I do want to know what they have learned during the year. The written reports we receive are much harder for a parent to interpret from this point of view than some circles on the EYFS assessment profile scale sheet. It is absolutely impossible to work out from the vague wording whether the child can add anything or not, if so what and how, whether they can read anything or not, whether they can write anything or not etc etc.
OK, please don't tell me again I don't seem happy with the school - there's lots that's good -- but this is one of the indifferent to poor areas. Also school is compulsory, and there isn't a real choice in many areas of the UK.
We did all this, and more, we were judged to be exemplary and outstanding for parental involvement in EYFS but it made no difference once they got their hands on the scores.
I presume this is sarcasm as that would not score a 9 for physical development.
By the way. You're wrong about school being compulsory. Education is, but school isn't- the 2 are very different beasts.
Sorry I should have said attending school is compulsory once you are enrolled. I do appreciate school - homeschooling would never provide the same social side, and there is lots about learning in a big group which is great, and that could completely change the parent-child relationship if you tried to do it at home. Also, homeschool is a big commitment to not working - worse than school fees depending on the number of children etc. All I was meaning really is that in some areas you could change school easily if you wanted to, and in others you can't.
The parent who wanted a 9 for hand-held writing must have been a bit of a fruitcake ----- why would it take several months of time to bat that one off even if it went through all stages of a formal complaint? That must have been extremely annoying, not funny at the time.
The report should be a summary of the profile written in clear non jargon language and as such should be much easier to understand than the profile points which no one seems to agree about.
It was but these parents were very good at getting their hands on government publications and would wave the EYFSP guidelines in your face.
To me, any system which needs a huge booklet to help define what the levels mean, and is then still open to interpretation is just ridiculous.
The parent in question was atypical of a number of members of the gate committee and was herself a teacher (albiet not early years, and I happen to have insider knowledge that she was pretty useless) didn't stop her banging on to the governors about me.
All part of working in poshville for parents who thought they owned me.
Give me the crack heads any day - I can handle them.
We simply have an a4 sheet which has a title and a text box with a lovely photo of the child in. Two further boxes titled mathematical dev and literacy lang and comm (obviously not abbreviated), which contain two or three sentences about each. We then have a box titled general comments where the teacher writes as much or as little about the child and a further box with 2 simple targets for parents to encourage should they wish to eg fasten their coat independently or write their name.
The reports don't take long to write as comments about progress in maths and lit are often very similar and therefore can be copied and pasted from one report to another.
We have not had any complaints from parents, only wonderful feedback on the parental feedback sheet sent out with the report!
That sounds simple. Is that nursery, or reception parents who are all crackheads?
I know what you mean - no one wants to admit they can't read (although some of my pupils parents seem to wear it as a badge of honour).
One of the most useful ways in which we've found is through PEEPS (google it) It appears to all intents and purposes like a playgroup to outsiders, but for some parents it allows them to gain their first qualification, which gives them tremendous self confidence and boosts their own and their children's achievements. It means that their pre school children are more able when they start nursery and that their parents are more confident in supporting them. See if you can find PEEPS running near you, I can't recommend it highly enough.
Another project which we're just starting with the library service is supporting parents to use their bookstart packs. Were trying to target the semi literate and non literate parents who won't have the confidence to open them. Volunteers are coming to the baby groups and toddler groups which we run in school and working with parents to support them in sharing stories with their children. We're hoping that this might be a way in to lead to some 1-1 reading tuition for the parents. They have to trust you first though and that takes time. It's only just started so I can't say how effective it is.
Thank you I will give this a try. When I used to live in a big city many moons ago there was an organisation that had volunteers who taught people to read English one to one - I think it was mainly Asian women - they are probably happier to come forward for help.
I always have at the back of my mind the idea that if a child is working their way through a systematic phonics programme, and that if material goes home for practice in a consistent way from Day 1 when it looks completely non-threatening, that there might be some parents who learn as a by-product of their child learning to read. But this might be wishful thinking. It could theoretically work for a parent who did not come forward for any other form of adult literacy help.
But you know, round here I'm not sure that not being willing to say you want some reading help is the problem - I have telephone numerous volunteer organisations now to find out who an illiterate adult wishing to learn to read would approach, and none of them know. The big society is not functioning round here!!
The Learning Journey and a print out of profile is enough! This was advice from my area consultant. It's nice to put a little comment at the end of it for the chidlren and the parents though.
Hi! Sorry it has taken me a while to reply. I would really love a copy! my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much!
Thank you so much for your post! It was extrememly helpful as the reports we have viewed so far have been very complicated, and as we are based in the Middle East, most of our parents do not read English very well.
Cheers once again!