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Formulaic School Reports

(13 Posts)
zanzibarmum Sun 21-Jun-09 21:40:06

Was there ever a school or teacher sued by a parent because of the old fashioned school reports school's used to issue - you know the type: "Little Mary is wasting her time and that of her fellow pupils...".

Surely that level of honesty is better than the computer generated "reports" that we get today: "Little Mary is working towards level 3 iv C bis a...."

If our children are little s"£%G shouldn't we be told???

brimfull Sun 21-Jun-09 21:41:39

I agree
I have had yrs of reports that mean fuck all to me.
I hardly bother to read them now.

hocuspontas Sun 21-Jun-09 21:43:48

In primary I only ever read the handwritten personal bit at the end. The rest is a waste of paper. At secondary it's more nitty gritty and actually means something.

zanzibarmum Sun 21-Jun-09 22:11:09

hocus - good to hear secondary reports are more nitty gritty.

To the teachers out there are there a limited number of computer generated r eports. Do you have the choice to press one, two or three buttons to generate a report that says everything and nothing.

I suspect though the school reports are merely a function of the unitised, modular, broken-down, itsy-bitsy goals and objectives that children have set for them. Whatever happened to education for its own sake - not for some skill, not for some job but merely because it challenged the child and helped the child to challenge the world.

trickerg Sun 21-Jun-09 22:19:54

We used to have the computer aided reports where we imported statements. I agree - they were awful. Lots of jargon that confused and intimidated parents.

After introducing the creative curriculum, we now write very personalised statements for the core subjects and general comments, and cut'n'paste 3-4 levelled statements for the foundation subjects.

Seems to work OK, and, funnily enough, takes less time than importing all the formulaic statements!

magentadreamer Sun 21-Jun-09 22:53:09

The best comment on DD's computer generated report yr7 has to be from her English teacher who in the things you can do to improve put " you should find the time to read more at home" DD reads on average 3 books a week. Her BF again a book worm also got the same comment.

bloss Sun 21-Jun-09 23:17:28

Message withdrawn

Lilymaid Sun 21-Jun-09 23:23:48

Don't bank on secondary reports being any more enlightening. DS2's school just reported using a letter system most years (you only got something with words for Y7 and Y10). If you are prepared to pay for independent education you will probably get a report with more useful comments, though even there the school will want to ensure that most comments are positive rather than "X is a lazy clod who wastes our time".

forevergold Sun 21-Jun-09 23:25:31

I think the teachers definitely know them,but the reports don't tell you how they are really getting on for their age,their strengths,weaknesses and quirks,even if they know these things!
Instead it is "X can order numbers to 1000and beyond ...X can tap out a simple beat...???

bloss Sun 21-Jun-09 23:25:55

Message withdrawn

zanzibarmum Sun 21-Jun-09 23:33:45

Lilymaid - oh how I wish I had had as postive report as "... lazy clod who wastes our time.." My parents would have been delighted.

My sense is that (deep down though we wouldn't admit it in polite company) that most parents want to know not what DC are doing compared to some attainment targets but rather what they are achieving compared to the other children in their class.

trickerg Sun 21-Jun-09 23:57:39

I don't think you can compare to other children in the class on reports. What about the poor little ones ... 'he is not progressing at all and continues to be bottom of the class in all subjects...' It somehow softens the blow if you compare to national averages, and is more meaningful. Some years I've had really bright children, other years not, so comparison within the class isn't a reliable measure.

campion Mon 22-Jun-09 01:28:45

Blimey, bloss, how have those comments dropped under the radar? We have to creatively couch our comments in a positive, ' moving forward' sort of way. It was pointed out that frankness about little Blossom's inattention and general irritatingness ( maybe there isn't such a word) could reflect on our ability to ' engage' and ' stimulate' said child. Tis the way of things in teaching nowadays.

We do have optional comment banks for interim reports but I don't like them - I prefer to write about the child as I see them / their progress etc.It takes more time but what's the point of the flippin things if not to give an individual snapshot? I could say what's the point of them anyway, but that's a whole other discussion.

I had a few negative ( very) comments on my own reports which has served as a reminder to think about what I'm writing about someone else's child. ' Campion's work is terrible' ( Physics, aged 12 sad) didn't exactly fire me with enthusiasm for the subject. She may, of course, have been correct but I still hate the woman grin!

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