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reporting to parents and PLPs!!

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by blondie101, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. I am interested in the opinion of others on current formats used for reporting to parents and the use of PLPs.
    This is what I am experiencing currently: ( I am in the primary sector.)

    Reporting to Parents
    Despite the fact that this is the year of engagement etc. with CfE, at our last staff meeting we were told to use last year's report formats for our formal reports to parents, these are very clearly "5-14" style reports with a big emphasis on Levels and attainment. They are sectioned into 5-14 areas, and place great emphasis on what level children are at, and how much progress they are making towards the next level.
    Currently our school is using CfE planning and and as an infant teacher I have planned for my class using the Early Level Outcomes (? or whatever they are called now!) Much discussion has taken place with SMT on why I now have to fit the children into these WTA/LevelA boxes, with the bottom line being that I have no choice and have to use the report formats provided by the authority!! We have basically been left to our own devices to implement CfE, but now they are imposing report formats on us which do not fit with what we have actually been teaching.

    At our school they go home weekly for parents to comment on, I feel the format we use in school in order for them to be managable means that the pupils tend more to reflect on what they have actually learned, rather than planning future learning, it tends to be a mad panic among staff on a friday to get the kids to churn out bits of paper with things like..."In maths this week I learned..." or "I was a confident individual this week when I........"
    Some of our parents think they are great as they provide a way of communicating with the school, the others, who would actually rather talk to the teacher, feel that it is a waste of paper/teaching time and their weekend as they are expected to sign their child's plp and offer their own comment on it.
    This process is repeated EVERY friday, with usually a different curricular area covered to that we can ensure we a targeting all of the curriculum, which means that pupils/parents reflections on learning are not actually used to inform their next steps as the next week we are on to a different curricular area of CfE target! (I hope this makes sense!)

    I am really wondering how other schools meet the demands of PLPs (as we are told constantly we HAVE to do them, my argument is that we dont HAVE to do them the way we do at the moment) and also what teachers/schools are using to report to parents - 5-14 of CfE based reports??

    Many thanks for ANY comments!
  2. Poor you! What a waste of time, effort and resources!
    How long does this all take if you add it up over a term?
    Your PLPs are clearly not being used for the purpose of planning anything and the fact that teachers are "churning" them out of a Friday shows levels of stress and pressure which cannot be in the spirit of a reduced workload.
    We send ours out three weeks in to the term for parents to sign/comment on for either the block just past or the block ahead. We also do mid-term reviews which are a bit like mini-reports which look back over the previous term and look ahead to the next one and it takes about 10 mins per pupil. In total I have to find 4.5 hours of time in small chunks where the rest of the class can work totally independently and let me talk one-to-one with each pupil.
    I really enjoy talking to each child individually as I've found out lots about each one that I wouldn't have necessarily found out during a 'normal' day. The big problem is finding that amount of quality time to do it meaningfully.
    The question in my mind is really, are these paper exercises doing anything beneficial for the children or are they just elaborate "homework diaries" that keep precious parents happy and 'informed'? Having asked my class, I know they hate them and are switched on enough to see it's just extra work for them.
    PLPs are a vain attempt to adapt a "Personal Performance & Review" model from the business sector and in my view and experience do not do what it says on the tin - unless it's a tin of re-constituted leftovers !
  3. At my old school PLP's and target setting was handled seperately: PLP's would encourage the children to review all the learning they had done over the week, then they would highlight what they enjoyed and what they found challenging, giving reasons for thier choices. They would be encouraged to list at least one maths and language activity then choose two others from environmental studies, health and specialist subjects. Once they had filled these in they would develop a target which would be reviewed on a weekly basis for them to evaluate whether or not they had achieved it. The targets would then be sent home with the PLP once a month for parents to sign. It did seem time consuming (it could take around 30 minutes between discussion and filling in the sheets for the most able children) but worked for most of the children, you could see that they really thought about what they had achieved that week. For some though it was just an unnecessary writing chore, these children might have been better off using highlighter pens for what was enjoyed/challenging. It also gave some interesting insights on the personalities of some of the children.
  4. misterroy

    misterroy New commenter

    I have a daughter in P1, she does this, not so detailed though. The first time in the box for what she liked it was "lego", the second time it was "the targets" themselves she liked. My daughter tells me nothing of what she's doing in school, she has done since day 3 or so, the reports could be seen as useful since they give a flavor of whats going on. I have met and trust the judgement of her teacher, I'd rather the teacher spent the time doing something a bit more constructive but she'll have little discresion.
  5. This thread from nearly 4 years ago cropped up when I was searching for ways of doing PLPs. I'm looking at a manageable and useful format for PLPs that I could introduce and use with a P2 class. The only format I've used before were unwieldy monstrosities which involved tonnes of printing photos and photocopying and shrinking work with a huge rush in the last weeks of term.
    Does anyone use PLPs in an effective way?
  6. Nope. Every version I have seen is a huge bundle of paper. The kids have to be forced to write something because only rarely does genuine reflection occur when they have the piece of paper in front of them. I think the process does make them think about their learning but the real reflection happens closer to the learning - sometimes right in the middle of it - and is often absorbed so quickly that they forget by the time they have to tick some boxes.
  7. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Isn't that the blue print for all HTs these days?

    Is this a policy of your employer or some wheeze which your control freak HT has cooked up? What consultation was done before it was implemented?

    Yeah thought do.

    Get the union in. Organise. Educate. Agitate
  8. I recently failed to get a permanent job in the school I work in and one of the DHTs suggested that I need to get myself noticed by the HT more. She suggested introducing PLPs as this is one of the HTs big things at the moment.
    I have a P2 class which makes it more of a challenge but would force us away from writing things down. If I come up with some amazing magical system I'll let you all know!

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