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Year 1 report got me thinking ....

(9 Posts)
BeaLola Fri 21-Mar-14 18:11:20

Have just had DS mid year report and really pleased with how he is doing. We get an opportunity on Mon to see the teacher and discuss.

Thing is its all lovely and positive and says how well he is doing which is great , showed it to my aged father who whilst proud of DG asked me what these days it really meant ... He went on to add that when me and brother were little the reports didnt need decoding and we had marks .

It got me thinking .... If DS were struggling what is the worst that a teacher would write and also there is nothing on it which says how he can move forward, nextsteps etc .... Oh wise ones what searching Qs should I ask his teacher?

Judyandherdreamofhorses Fri 21-Mar-14 18:13:09

Just what you said, I suppose. What can he do to move on?

If a child is struggling, you should already know about it. It's very late in the year to be told now.

pixiepotter Fri 21-Mar-14 18:58:07

I don't think they put anything nehgative in reports these days, everything has to have a positive spin

DeWe Fri 21-Mar-14 19:31:24

Yes, to the positive spin. Often though there are things that whereas look like they're presented as positive, you can realise that they are saying something else: Things like lively=can't sit still; contributes lots to class discussions=talkative; enthusiastic about X= either doesn't stop talking about it at irrelevant situations or isn't very good at it, but gets stuck into it well.

Galena Fri 21-Mar-14 20:52:40

I would use:
' beginning to...' if a child was struggling with something,
' able to...' if they were ok and
' confident with...' if they were doing particularly well...

But that could just be me.

CharlesRyder Fri 21-Mar-14 20:59:10

'.. has participated in..' was in the lesson but had no idea
'.. is developing awareness of..' noticed the lesson but had no idea
'.. is consolidating..' we have repeated it as infinitum but has no idea

sunsout Sat 22-Mar-14 10:21:01

Bealola, I am an old aged mum didn't have kids until very late 30s. I agree with your dad. I have mentioned that to my dc's teachers almost in every parents evening for the last 4 years. I wish the school reports can be more concise so less time consuming for teachers to write and for parents to understand. All I wish to know are the marks and a small brief report on my dc's behaviour in general.

Now during parents eve the first thing I ask the teacher is my dc's nc levels and which area need extra work on.

PastSellByDate Sun 23-Mar-14 20:44:46


Raises really interesting point.

Old fashioned system of marks meant that people were marked on quizzes or tests (on achievement) and not necessarily marked in relation to their own situation. Is it fair to fail a child because he's reading 1 year below his chronological age, when in fact he started the year unable to read at all and now has nearly caught up through lots of hard work at school and at home?

Long winded 'fluffy' report cards do go over the top with waffle about 'life long love of learning' and DCs being on a journey (like an X-Factor contestant) or exploring this or that. Personally I think it's the same report over and over, just tweeked here and there for each kid - but I did have a report telling me how much my child enjoyed a field trip she never attended (she was off ill).

So I think for those that hanker after marks - what you want is brevity but also reliability. You don't want the school to tell you your child a high flyer only to find out that really isn't the case. And you don't want some old battle axe of a teacher marking children so hard they give up.

In a way, SATs have become that brief report card and the assessments are based on national trends and that year's cohort - not just what Mrs. X or Mr Y feels. Now there are problems with SATs (certain providers telling teachers what will be on it comes to mind) but I think an independent check on the quality of learning at a school is a good thing. Reporting whole NC Levels instead of defining sub-levels is another issue of course - and I think we all agree there is a huge difference between weak 4C and strong 4A. However, what would be lovely is for SATs testing to be handled in a low key way, instead of spending nearly all of year 6 endlessly reviewing/ preparing for SATs papers.

NormHonal Sun 23-Mar-14 20:52:10

I did make the point to DC1's school last year that the report was waaaaaay too long and full of waffle. It was 8 pages! One side of A4 with some bullet points would have been plenty, especially as much of it was clearly stock phrases and copy/paste.

I made the point that I had written countless appraisals in my previous working life and none of them were ever that long-winded.

Essentially all that mattered was the overview and the assessment of each section.

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