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Reports

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by grasshopper2000, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. grasshopper2000

    grasshopper2000 Occasional commenter

    I have a huge year 5 class with a huge number of SENs, behaviour difficulties and mental and emotional health difficulties and I don't think I've been well supported. I am currently struggling to get all the reports written in time.
    I'm just wondering, did you get any support the first time you wrote the end of year class reports?
     
  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Time management is always an issue. Are you struggling to produce relevant, quality, summative reports to the school's format ? I don't know whether you are confusing the make up of your class which you have found demanding ( which I suspect is par for the course in many settings ) with your capacity to write reports reflecting strengths and areas for development ? I suggest you ask to see some exemplars from more experienced staff members and I would hope the school exercises some quality control ( sampling ) measures as a matter of course .... parents and children are deserving .... is this the kind of ' support ' you are thinking of ? Everything is relative I know but an NQT in Secondary would be experiencing similar with a considerably greater number of comments to write and having also. worked with students across the ( age and ) ability range ......
     
  3. OneLooseCrank

    OneLooseCrank Occasional commenter

    The truth about most report writing is that teachers write a small selection of comments, and then copy and paste after altering the name. I don't know any teacher who writes a bespoke report for every child (excluding form tutor reports). At the very least, they start with a pasted comment and then add a personal comment.
    But, personal comments create a place for bias, and if a student doesn't get a personal comment they like, they feel left out. A personal comment also creates room for an error of judgement, where the comment isn't reflected by the reported grade. To that end, I have written an excel based report writer which reads the student's name, grade, and selects the appropriate comment for each assessment objective. Totally fair, non-discriminatory, attainment focussed reports that are free of any grammatical error. And the cohort of 360 is done in minutes.
    Isn't it cold and detached? Yes. But that can be a good thing.
    Doesn't the personal reflection show we know our students? No, teachers get their 'reflections' wrong all the time but comments drawn only on grades are quantitative remarks.

    Copy/pasting or using report writing software is very very common, and a massive time-saver.
     
    agathamorse and border_walker like this.
  4. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I am not a fan of comment banks but I do recall producing robotic reports to a formula to describe in an AFL format strengths and areas for development . They were of little use to the parents or the students as the aims / targets generated by reports produced at the end of the year largely went unaddressed ... so often a waste of time . Parents / carers want to know a ) any good at the subject ? b ) are they behaving ? I do think it is worthwhile celebrating students personal development / growth / emotional maturity as these are the things which are key to ‘success’ in / outside the classroom
     
  5. doteachershavesuperpowers

    doteachershavesuperpowers Occasional commenter

    I always made a note of which children's parents are friends, to make sure that their reports were worded differently because they will probably compare reports.
     
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Teachers write reports because that is what teachers have always done. Having been in teaching for more than thirty years, I have to say that I no longer believe in reports. What do they prove? What can they change? What difference do they make? Therefore my advice, grasshopper2000, would be to get them done as quickly as possible, as there are many other things that need and deserve your time and effort. You might even need a rest. Perhaps you could even have one of those strange things called "a weekend".

    So what if the reports are a bit repetitive and robotic? Some parents won't even bother to read them or they might not understand them anyway. The parents will just read them and forget them, so try to get them out of the way as quickly as possible. It sounds as though your SLT won't bother to check them thoroughly and they clearly do not know (or care) much about the students in your class.
     
    bonxie likes this.
  7. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    I didn't get support. Just got told to do one then they'd check it to see if it was okay.

    I wrote myself a bank of comments (HAP, MAP and LAP then SEND) for the academic parts and they were cut and paste, slightly modified if necessary for each child.

    For the personal comment, make it quicker for yourself in 2 ways.

    1) Give yourself a basic format. Comments can still be personal but follow a format. If anything it's fairer so that some children don't get an essay while others get a sentence.

    2) Give the kids a questionnaire. Ask them for their highlights, strengths, area they need more help in, clubs they've attended, etc. If you agree with what they've written, use it!

    I'm very rarely surprised by what they write on their sheets but it is quicker having it in front of me as opposed to racking my brains thinking, "Did they do the hockey tournament?"
     
    bonxie and agathamorse like this.
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, the questionnaire for the students, prior to the report-writing, can actually save you a lot of time. I have quoted the students' comments in some reports I have written, but these days I am not sure that my SLT would appreciate (or approve) if I were to do this.

    When writing reports, things become particularly tricky if you teach more than one class of students. Putting faces to names can be more than a little bit difficult, especially if you have not been at the school for a long time. Another perennial problem is having several children in the same year group (or even in the same class) with the same name.

    I am a great ClassDojo fan and usually I get rid of their monster avatars and use photos of the students instead. This makes it much easier for me to remember their names.
     
  9. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Would be good to hear back from the OP
     

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