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in your opinion, are reports a waste of time or what makes a good report?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by MrPrimary, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. I guess they just confirm what we inform the parents/carers of at Parent evenings. I don't mind as they are one of the few pieces of writing some of my kids get excited over ... until they've read what I've written of course! [​IMG]
  2. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    I think they are a mixed bag.

    Good: They inform parents what their child can do and give them an idea what they've been learning all year. They also highlight achievements their child has made and acknowledge the progress their child has made in a written way.

    Not so good: I don't think they are honest enough- we are told that ours have to be positive, and sometimes there just isn't a positive way to say somethings! Sometimes, there are kids who just need a kick up the bottom and a report could serve to do that (Following verbal notice via parents evenings as well so it's not too much of a shock)

    Plus, I have spent days on mine, literally days. And it has been one of the most tedious things i've ever done -I just repeat myself over and over again in different ways.

    How much notice do parents take of them? (Guess this depends on the catchment, but in an area like mine, quite a high number are illiterate anyway!)
  3. Reports need to be a positive celebration of what a child can do and what he/she has learnt. What's written down is there potentially forever. This is a chance to celebrate a child's achievements: any negatives should be given verbally face to face. This gives the opportunity to do something about it without the permanent stain on a child's character. It should not be the case that a parent first hears about a problem in a written report. The comeback: "why haven't you told me before?" is hard to refute.
    Yes, it's tedious at times and often hard to find the positives, but remember that this is also a celebration of your own achievements as a teacher. "Look what I've managed to teach your child despite his behaviour, poor attendance, etc!"
    Moreover, finally printing the final copy out is such a wonderful feeling. I always take the view that summer starts as soon as the last report goes off to the headteacher...
  4. I agree with you that problems shouldn't be brushed under the carpet; sorry if my post suggested this. But problems are also opportunities: "You have a chance next year to do something about this..." is fair enough, and a challenge. While: "... is poorly behaved and has no manners" is a write off.
  5. We aren't allowed to have any areas for improvement in our reports or mention of any behaviour problems, even if the parents are fully aware. They have to be all gushy and wonderful.
  6. What is the point of that - I have a few parents who I speak to every night about their child's behaviour (good as well as bad!) so for me not to acknowledge this in their report and say how wonderful they are and how hard they have worked would be a complete lie and they would challenge me on this (it has happened in my first year of teaching). I always try to write at least one positive comment for every negative. I have a few children in my class who have below 80% attendance which has a big impact on their achievement so to not mention this would be neglecting my duty and doing the children a dis-service.

    We have to write reports 3 times a year which just tends to lead to it being a cut and paste exercise with a few personal comments and I know not all parents read them as they are often still in their bags when they come back after the holidays! I think when reports were hand written and specific to the child they were valuable and I used to look forward to receiving my children's reports but now they quite often come back with a he instead of a she and one even had the wrong name in it!
  7. There is no point! It is absolutely infuriating. I've already had some back to rewrite because I had a few positives followed by 'however at times.....'
  8. Ridiculous - perhaps we should just have 1 generic report full of loveliness for a boy and 1 for girl and then all teachers could just download it and give it out each year! We have to put our levels on our reports, so if they are way below average it would be daft not to highlight it! I haven't given mine in yet so will have to see what the reaction is.
  9. @OP
    My children's reports from their primary school have been pretty much a waste of time for the last couple of years: just a series of report bank comments cut and pasted in. In fact, I play a game of "spot the original comment" with them. These are, I confess, a waste of time.
    The reports I write are about half the length of these, but entirely personal. I hope the parents and children find them useful and informative. I try to celebrate individual achievements and highlight good pieces of work they've done.
  10. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    That's not my idea of what a school report should be.
    Information - not celebration.
  11. How sad. I like celebrations. If I can't find something good to say about a child I've taught all year, what have I been doing? I like to think that my children have accomplished something over the time I've had them: this is, therefore, a celebration of what they have a achieved. And well done to them. Of course, I would add on challenges for next year if they have gaps in learning still.
    Simple information doesn't do the report justice - I might as well use a comment bank and hand out optional SATs scores in that case. Boring to write and boring to read.

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