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does anyone understand school reports

(34 Posts)
pippi123 Fri 08-Jul-05 16:47:46

DD (yr 1) has brought her report home today. I do not think it tells me anything about how she is doing apart from one small paragraph entitled general comments. This is a shame as it is 2 and a half pages long!! It seems like a lot of standard sentences describing things she can do but nothing to suggest whether or not this is what she is expected to be able to do. Are all primary schools the same or does nayone have a report that means something to them?

SoupDragon Fri 08-Jul-05 16:58:41

DS1's Y1 report is clearly about him and offers both how he's doing and how he could do better. It also includes a section where the child writes about how they feel they have done and what they want to work on. Last year DS1 wanted to get better at climbing the climbing tree There was also a section with 3 levels explained on it for about 4 key learning areas where your child's level was circled - these "levels" were what they expect from a child at the end of KS1 (Y2).

I think they've changed them a bit this year because it has a covering letter saying that they realise parents want to hear the truth about theor child no matter how uncomfortable this may be.

robinia Fri 08-Jul-05 17:01:09

Our school reports are as bad as yours pippi, although some teachers are better than others about getting meaningful comments in. It's Open Evening on Monday so will be taking up with ds1's teacher the complete absence of any indication as to how he, as opposed to the class, is doing.

okapi Fri 08-Jul-05 17:07:27

ds1's (yr1) report sounds just like your dd's Pippi. "not quantifiable" was dh's comment when he read it.

beetroot Fri 08-Jul-05 17:21:34

Message withdrawn

Stilltrue Fri 08-Jul-05 17:25:59

I'm expecting impenetrable waffle from my dd's teacher next week. Coming to end of year 1; last report was full of "we have been looking at the local environment blahblah.. x enjoyed completing the blahblah.."
Yes I know she did, but how's she doing? Good points? Any areas to improve on?
My ds1 and2 (y5 and y7) tell it as it is, much more clearly, for better or worse!

FrenchGirl Fri 08-Jul-05 17:27:43

dd (Year 1) gets a lot of standard waffle too. She is a fluent reader but all we get is that she made huge improvements in reading! WTF! Only occasional sentence that actually tells you something. Makes me mad.

binkie Fri 08-Jul-05 17:28:11

I do like SoupDragon's school's option - specially re the levels. Don't need to know where ds/dd is within the class, but do want some sort of benchmark.

Ours full of template-speak too - yes I know ds can "confidently order numbers to 100" - he had that sentence in reception too, thanks.

tamum Fri 08-Jul-05 17:37:14

Dd, who is extremely good at art in spite of having inherited my DNA, got "now needs more practise at 3D modelling" as the main comment about her artwork. To which the most sensible response is "give her a lump of clay then FGS, you're the ones who are meant to be teaching her". Her whole class got the same comment, so I think we can guess what's on the curriculum for next year.

Yorkiegirl Fri 08-Jul-05 17:39:32

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beetroot Fri 08-Jul-05 17:41:11

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happymerryberries Fri 08-Jul-05 17:44:37

ds report is 4 pages long. The first part is full of very specific statements in what he can do, with those things not done yet on the list. So he scores most of his social development goals but lags behind on his language skills.

He also has some hand written comments about 'him'. A nice ballence of straight attainment facts and personal comments.

dd gets her exam mark, with the class average, and comment on effort ands attainment with descriptions of her strong points and areas for improvemnt.

I have just written 162 reports, so I understand why you sometimes need statement banks! That said I do write my own!. But there are times when I have wanted to write, 'Your child needs to learn to sit down and listen' 'Your child needs to learn that F* is not an approipriate word to use in lessons' 'Your child would imporve if they spent a fraction of the time he currently spends on finding excuses to leave the lesson, on work insead!'

But sadly it all has to be couched in PC speak.

If it helps reports drive us daffy as well!

pippi123 Fri 08-Jul-05 17:47:10

I like the 3D modelling phrase - DD has "she investigates shape, form, and texture in materials to create a three-dimensional form" What?? I think it means she made a nice model!! Although I don't really know if it was a nice model in teacher's opinion. My favourite phrase is "she recognises what she likes and dislikes" - phew.

FrenchGirl Fri 08-Jul-05 17:50:59

beety, sometimes you pay and you don't even get that!!!

Stilltrue Fri 08-Jul-05 17:59:53

Beety I pay too! Not that it should be relevant if all we parents want is clarity. Hmb - how frustrating for you. can you be more frank at parent/teacher meetings (assuming your problem families turn up of course!)?

tamum Fri 08-Jul-05 18:02:22

pippi123, your dd is obviously streets ahead of mine

WE do get "real" comments in a paragraph at the end, and what level the children have attained in each subject, and scores for effort and achievment in each, so they're not all bad, but I could dispense with the stock phrases completely, really.

Hmb, I dare you, go on

thedogmother Fri 08-Jul-05 18:02:55

I find this a real problem, Pippi. Teacher's don't give you any useful feedback, they just tend to tell you what your child has done over the year, rather than where they have excelled or not as the case may be. V.frustrating.

Fauve Fri 08-Jul-05 18:34:46

I think the comments on ours are cut and pasted from the national curriculum.

Eg, for Music: Strengths: dd 'can improvise short rhythm patterns based on four beats, writing these in simple stick notation...[blah blah blah in similar formal language...]
Area for Development: to compose a short song by devising a melody to match a rhythm sequence with a given structure.'

Ds' is the same.

SoupDragon Fri 08-Jul-05 19:48:57

Blimey, makes DSs report seem even better.

Tommy Fri 08-Jul-05 20:19:14

We were told in DS1's first report (from nursery - he's 3 and a half )that he "enjoys using a variety of writing implements to make marks on paper"
It just tickles me, that one.....

happymerryberries Fri 08-Jul-05 20:25:53

please remember that the teachers seldom choose these styles of reporting. they will be following a 'directive'

singersgirl Fri 08-Jul-05 20:44:11

DS1's school reports have always been those awful 'tick box' things with a couple of sentences summing up numeracy, literacy and - the only useful bit at all - an overall comment.
These Foundation Stage goals (don't know the correct phrase) also really annoy me. We got this massively lengthy report from DS2's nursery, when he was 3.5. For each achievement (eg "Knows numbers up to 10", "Can tie shoe-laces" etc) the teachers had a choice of "Not yet achieved", "Inconsistent", "Satisfactory", "Much improved" and "Good". It was completely meaningless, particularly as all you want to know about a 3 year old is whether they are getting on happily.
And (my pet peeve, illustrating how pointless it was) I couldn't work out how he got "Much Improved" for "Recognises own name", since he had recognised it at the start of term and still recognised it at the end of term. How much better would he have had to been at it to have got "Good" for it? Recognising it in Cyrillic perhaps? Recognising it in under 1.5 seconds? What a waste of time making his nursery teachers fill that stuff in.

nooka Fri 08-Jul-05 21:14:01

Last year we got a very complicated foundation profile, with lots of tick boxes about his achievements. Now I spend part of my professional life designing forms, but it was pretty incomprehensible. However it ended with some pretty comprehensible summaries where we could recognise our ds.

This year (year 1) we have got a great report that I am very happy with. It's three sides long, summarises his acheivements, shows that he is good at maths and improving at reading, (which is great) and lets us know what he's done in other areas. But then I don't really have a problem with a comment like "x enjoyed visiting the local church" (amoungst other things).

Then has a nice summary, with plenty of positive comments and some improvement points, all of which are recognisable.

I don't have any wish to know how he's doing compared with other children, just how he's improved. But then he has been border line special needs for the last two years, so it's nice to get what looks like a completely normal report.

Eaney Fri 08-Jul-05 21:15:35

So how do we get behind the 'blah blah' speak in the reports? What should we ask at open day?

Tanzie Fri 08-Jul-05 21:57:52

DD's report (year 1) told us a lot about what she was doing in the class, but nothing about how she compared to the national average. In maths, we got that she could double and halve confidently and add and subtract, and was learning her some of her times tables, and that she could use Venn diagrams (WTF are they??) and bar charts correctly. For English, we got that she was a good reader, but needed to read more non fiction, and that she produced good stories in creative writing, and was using full stops, question marks and commas correctly, but needed help with speech marks.

This all sounds a bit OTT to me for a bunch of 6 year olds. I think we just played with sand at that age, or am I having memory problems??

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