Do teachers write 'handover notes' about each of their pupils?

(36 Posts)
MamOfTwo Fri 12-Jul-13 11:33:12

Do teachers have to write notes/case studies on each child in their class for the new teacher who will have the class next year, or just case studies for those pupils where there are concerns etc to flag up? Just curious really...

anothernamechangerreally Fri 12-Jul-13 11:36:27

They don't 'have to' but most do. There might be a staff meeting dedicated to talking with the old and new teachers so teachers can make notes on their new class.

They will go through every child, but obviously there might be more info on certain children.

Just my experience by the way, that's how I've always fine it.

anothernamechangerreally Fri 12-Jul-13 11:36:53

Done it

FishCalledWonder Fri 12-Jul-13 11:37:57

We used to meet up for an hour or so after school to discuss each child in the class, group dynamics etc. Did the same in all 3 schools I worked in.

PinkSippyCup Fri 12-Jul-13 11:50:07

Not in my experience.

We hand over all assessments etc, but nothing formally written about each child.

If a child is particularly 'challenging' or has special medical needs and so on, then we would verbally pass on information to next year's Teacher.

Generally (if moving year groups within the same school) you already have a good idea about your new children. Just from general staff room chit chat.

Fuzzymum1 Fri 12-Jul-13 12:13:47

Our school has verbal handovers - the teachers meet to discuss individual children and give some info about each child.

mrz Fri 12-Jul-13 17:11:24

Not in my experience. I've certainly never written notes for the next teacher.

clam Fri 12-Jul-13 17:19:03

We meet informally and the "incoming" teacher will make relevant notes. A couple of times I've written things down (unofficially) for the teacher I'm handing over to if we haven't been able to meet up for some reason.
We still make up our own minds about children - but I usually look at my notes a few weeks into the term and recognise traits.
This is very different from the sorts of info that must and should be passed on for smooth transition of learning - groups/levels/personality clashes/preferred learning styles/intervention strategies used etc... All groups are flexible, so this doesn't mean that a child will stagnate in one group for their whole school career if it's time for them to move up. Or down.

MrsBazinga Fri 12-Jul-13 17:56:17

We have class sheet, updated each half term with assessment levels and intervention groups/IEP info, and each child has a 'personal' block on it that you keep updated with useful info/notes. These could be friendship issues, S&L referral, issues from home (parents splitting, new baby, house move etc), particular progress/difficulty in a certain area, meetings about anything raised by parents, prolonged illness - anything really that might impact on a child's learning and progress. By the end of the year it contains lots of useful stuff that is passed on to the new teacher, and forms the basis of the 'handover' chat we have.

MiaowTheCat Fri 12-Jul-13 18:13:15

Verbal chat - what each kid's like, specific issues with SEN or similar, combinations that aren't a great idea to sit together... that sort of stuff.

CitrusyOne Fri 12-Jul-13 18:26:38

we also warn one another of the parents we have had difficulty with throughout the year so that the next teacher hopefully won't fall into the same trap

heggiehog Fri 12-Jul-13 18:29:55

We have a meeting where we pass up written information on levels, school work, group lists, SEN and IEP info, home language, any illnesses or suspected and undiagnosed problems that may affect their learning. Etc.

We also verbally exchange notes on parental support, home issues, friendship groups and who should be in different groups, teaching and assessment strategies that work for particular children. Which may or may not be jotted down for later reference.

Basically any things that may affect the child's learning.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 12-Jul-13 18:39:45

Our school has a verbal handover, and obviously the new teacher has all the reports and assessments that the current teacher has made.

GetStuffezd Fri 12-Jul-13 18:42:30

I've done this in the past by having a chat with the next teacher, while they jot down anything they want. However, different teachers see different aspects to pupils so I prefer to let the next teacher make up their own mind. I certainly don't take huge note of everything I get told about my future children. Apart from anything else they deserve the chance for a fresh start in September.

GetStuffezd Fri 12-Jul-13 18:43:50

Obviously levels and SEN data is very important!

Schmedz Fri 12-Jul-13 19:44:48

In our school there are handover meetings where each child is discussed and short notes taken and also as Citrus says

Most children are pretty well known already because there is a lot of cross-year group and House system interaction, but in regard to specific educational needs and learning styles the handover meetings are invaluable.

mrz Fri 12-Jul-13 19:48:56

Do schools not keep records that all staff can access?

Schmedz Fri 12-Jul-13 19:52:08

This is in addition to the endless paperwork in pupil files recording results of every assessment they have ever taken and their position in the class for each of these, and their expected progress.

Unlike data, the handover discussion is personal. So much more to know about children than academic results.

mrz Fri 12-Jul-13 19:55:37

We don't have endless paperwork just useful records ... interesting to hear how other schools work.

heggiehog Fri 12-Jul-13 20:15:59

We keep records. But why would I want to go rooting through different records and folders in difference places when the previous teacher can just have a quick chat with me and hand the information over in one go...? It's more personal.

mrz Fri 12-Jul-13 20:22:54

Why are they in different places?
I know all 30 of the children I will teach next year "personally" and the teacher who will teach my present class next knows them "personally"

PenguinBear Fri 12-Jul-13 20:26:00

We do at our school.. We hand on all assessment info, info on the child and another other with 'for your eyes only' notes e.g. Difficult parents, behaviour issues, family circumstances etc

CitrusyOne Fri 12-Jul-13 20:27:44

Records tell you how much progress the child has made. A chat with the teacher tells you why.

'He hasn't made much progress this year because the dog died and his dad walked out' is a lot different to 'she hasn't made progress because she chats all the time despite being nagged by teacher and parents'.

Likewise it's good to know any friendship issues, personality traits etc.

mrz Fri 12-Jul-13 20:33:23

Perhaps our school is different but we tend to know those kinds of details

heggiehog Fri 12-Jul-13 21:36:41

Why are they in different places? Is that a serious question? Why are IEPs and planning documents and assessment data and confidential information kept in separate folders?


It's lucky that you know all the children "personally." I wish I had the chance to see children in classes on the other side of our school but we seldom cross paths except in assembly when they are all sat quietly listening or singing.

pennygallops Fri 12-Jul-13 22:28:38

We do transfer files - A4 lever file - print outs of SIMS data on progress, this year's reports, notes from parents' evenings, APP, guided reading information, swimming info, IEPs, pen portraits, photograph info (those who are and aren't allowed to have their photo taken and where it can be published) and then an A4 hand-over sheet on each child - including family and medical circumstances, friendships and any other pertinent info. Oh yes, lots of paperwork!

pennygallops Fri 12-Jul-13 22:28:49

We do transfer files - A4 lever file - print outs of SIMS data on progress, this year's reports, notes from parents' evenings, APP, guided reading information, swimming info, IEPs, pen portraits, photograph info (those who are and aren't allowed to have their photo taken and where it can be published) and then an A4 hand-over sheet on each child - including family and medical circumstances, friendships and any other pertinent info. Oh yes, lots of paperwork!

PenguinBear Fri 12-Jul-13 23:20:36

Mrz, it's fantastic that you work in a school that is small enough to know your next class personally before you receive them smile - how does your school achieve that? maybe I can suggest to ours

Although not sure with just over 600 children that we would be able to achieve that in out school!!

BackforGood Fri 12-Jul-13 23:29:02

Like most of the earlier posters, all schools I've worked in, staff tend to meet up with the next teacher (and usually TA if there's one who works a lot in that class) and go down the class list. Obviously some children take up a bigger part of the conversation than others. It's up to the receiving teacher how much they write down and in what format.

mrz Sat 13-Jul-13 09:12:11

My school has 250 pupils so not exactly small but because it serves a village we know families and the community. We have a stable staff some are on their third generation. We know many of the children even before they start nursery because of older siblings or cousins or parents ... we chat to parents and they tell us about their child. Children from other classes see us in school and in the playground and chat ... they know the staff and the staff know them

thefuturesnotourstosee Sat 13-Jul-13 09:30:29

This is a fascinating thread.

What Mrz says about stable communities and teaching staff is true. My DD's best friend has severe dyslexia. When she sent her ds to school, the reception teacher took her to one side and asked if there'd been any signs of dyslexia as she remembered her having it. I suppose that's just one example of the sort of thing Mrz is talking about.

We live in a huge city with quite a transient community so I suspect hand over meetings are vital. DD's school is 3 form intake so it would be hard for the new teachers to know about all the children they're taking on. Also there is a school in our city with eight form intake. Its huge - almost the same number of children in a year as Mrz has in the whole school. I don't know how they manage

mrz Sat 13-Jul-13 09:38:52

Our transient children are the ones who are an enigma ...we rarely get the chance to talk to previous schools and often records never arrive

clam Sat 13-Jul-13 10:41:35

Anyone else wondering how long it'll be before someone pops up demanding access to these informal notes, in case teachers are talking about their child inappropriately?

heggiehog Sat 13-Jul-13 13:34:30

Frankly, if anyone does pop up they can pop off again. As if the majority of teachers would be writing "inappropriate" things about pupils! Talk about making your job harder than it needs to be. I doubt they'd even understand what half the written notes say, as it's all teacher talk and levels and other things.

Mrz, our school is in a catchment area with a lot of movement. We seldom have children all the way through school and many arrive during the year, sometimes without being able to speak any English at all. Notes and handover are essential for these children.

mrz Sat 13-Jul-13 13:48:03

We have 25% plus movement in our catchment

Jinsei Sat 13-Jul-13 14:00:11

There are around 420 children at my dd's school. It never ceases to amaze me that the teachers apparently know all of the children in other classes by name. DD seems to have chatted to nearly all of the teachers at different times - in the playground, on excursions etc. They also have lots of interaction between the different year groups, which probably helps. The kids all know each other too. It makes the school feel like a real community, it's lovely.

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