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AIBU to be frustrated that there is still no report card?

(44 Posts)
PastSellByDate Mon 13-Jul-15 21:02:40

Hello all

Just curious - has your secondary DC had their report card? Our last day of school is in four days time (this Friday) and still no report card.

DH and I are just really confused why the school is so slow in getting them out. With school wrapping up at lunch on Friday, we don't understand how parents are supposed to deal with bad news in a report card (possibly unexpected).

Is this just me - I'd want to talk to somebody about what we could do over the summer to improve things?

Is this not done in Secondary?

I'm presuming end of year reports are as required as they were in primary.

Decorhate Mon 13-Jul-15 21:05:00

Around here "end of year" reports don't necessarily come out at the end of year. We had s1's a few months ago! Does it say on the school website when each year's reports are due out?

PastSellByDate Mon 13-Jul-15 21:15:16

Decorhate:

Unfortunately no - the website just says that each term your DC will get a report card.

The real problem is that DD1 has had teachers talking about end of year reports (hinting darkly) and even one teacher explaining that report cards were to come home today - but still not a sausage.

The school website is just really vague about the whole process - although lots of verbage about how the school values communication and the school/ parent partnership.

noblegiraffe Mon 13-Jul-15 21:32:10

At my school kids don't actually get a written report with comments for KS3, just a slip of paper with behaviour, effort and level. They won't be sent home until Thursday, I think.

If there's bad news then it's a fresh start next September. If there's anything that needs querying, an email would be better than phoning.

Leeds2 Mon 13-Jul-15 21:54:13

My DD, just finished Y12, got her report card three days after she had finished school for the year. It was just "working towards" and "expected to achieve" grades.

PastSellByDate Mon 13-Jul-15 23:25:26

Thanks for comments noblegiraffe & Leeds2:

Yes I'm also only expecting the sheet of A4 with subject / target (still old style NC Levels here)/ actual level achieved with shading indicating whether your DC is working below, at or above expected target

My understanding is this is a computer generated report card based on data entered - and this is from the Head of Year Teacher. I genuinely don't expect the novel that was primary school end of year reports.

End of Year Exams were held at DD1's school in the week before end of May half-term this year and with the exception of two classes, no further form of assessment has really taken place. Obviously they've started different sports in PE and had a new project this last half-term for D&T which is just now finishing up which I suppose are under assessment right to the end of school year - but surely work to a certain end point in time can be assessed? In many classes they're now watching movies - often related to the subject to be fair (so a movie of the book they have read or a historical period they've studied).

noblegiraffe - I don't want to put you on the spot and I have definitely received great advice from you in the past but genuinely can you explain why it is preferable for a struggling maths student (as I know this is your teaching specialty) to cease work over the summer rather than address a particular issue (such as working on times tables) over the summer? Surely it would help that student for parents to know that 'cracking the times table facts' this summer would make a big difference for Year 8?

In many cases around here at least most kids didn't do a lick of work after KS2 SATs in Year 6. Nothing was done over the summer - so effectively they have a 5-6 month educational hiatus. Although I get the reasons behind 'let them be kids' camp (and they do have some good points), I also am aware that 'learning loss' over the summer is a well recognised scenario (aprocryphal or not).

PastSellByDate Mon 13-Jul-15 23:37:18

Sorry didn't mean to post.

I just feel getting this information out to parents with a reasonable window to contact a teacher if there is concern is in the best interests of a child - but I have no problem with children doing a bit over the holidays to keep skills fresh. And perhaps that's the problem.

noblegiraffe Mon 13-Jul-15 23:39:28

When I was talking about bad news, I was thinking in terms of effort and behaviour, rather than levels. It's too late to address now, and with new teachers in September might not be so much of an issue.

With levels, the reports are going out this week, but in maths at least, kids knew what they got in their exams weeks ago, so parents mostly already know, this is just the official notice.

I wouldn't say that it's preferable for the struggling maths student to do no work over the summer, but if they need to work on their times tables, that wouldn't have been detailed in the report whenever it came out anyway. That would have been discussed at parents evening which was a while back. The kids also got detailed feedback on their end of year exam so should know what their weaknesses are from that. If parents wanted their child to work over the summer, they would know where to start.
Setting holiday homework is a bit of a non-starter though. Some kids are too busy, some too lazy, some parents object, it wouldn't be chased up at the start of next year because that would be a rubbish start with a new teacher.

BackforGood Mon 13-Jul-15 23:57:35

As others have said, we've had reports at staggered times during the year from our dcs' schools - to give a fighting chance to those teachers who teach hundreds of dcs in a week.

I agree it seems pointless to get a report on the last day of term. That said, if things are going wrong, you'd like to hope it would have been brought up earlier during the year. Have you had parents' evening and review days and review day grades / target sheets ?

PastSellByDate Tue 14-Jul-15 00:24:28

BackforGood

Review day was at start of year - so in our case (DD1 is year 7) it was more how are you settling in. Very brief. <5 minutes.

parent/ teacher meetings were meant to have appointments but some teachers weren't able to keep to schedules so ended up picking and chosing who to see. General gist was DD1 doing well. Reason no books coming home in English is they weren't returned so all reading of books/ plays is done during class time in calss. Reason for no maths homework is that worksheets are started in class and homework is work not finished. Didn't get to learn much else. Had some queries about PE kit clarified though.

So far DD1 seems to be on track or doing slightly better than expected.

Not the end of the world I suppose if I don't get a more up to date report card - just find it a bit bizarre I guess given the hoo ha over end of year exams at the end of May. Most classes have had no formal assessment (in class testing) since then - although all homework (much reduced from pre-May half-term) continues to be marked and obviously things like participation in PE or ongoing work in D&T continue.

It would just be nice to have some form of summative assessment for Y7 work for DD1. A bit of formative assessment (so identifying what DD1 should be working on next/ strengths/ weaknesses) wouldn't go amiss - but that's clearly wild talk and I've no doubt would be considered way out of line.

BackforGood Tue 14-Jul-15 00:28:03

It's not wild talk or way out of line. We get all that from my dds' school (and used to from ds's school before he left).

PastSellByDate Tue 14-Jul-15 00:31:11

I suspect the problem is I'm one of those wretched 'involved parents' - who actually is intersted to learn how their child is doing.

I get that's not the norm and accept it's probably cultural.

AmazonsForEver Tue 14-Jul-15 00:42:01

We don't get ours until the last day of term! School always say there should be no surprises, but teachers have emailed during the holidays in answer to our queries.
Are the report dates on your school calendar at all?

AmazonsForEver Tue 14-Jul-15 00:43:00

What do you mean by 'cultural'? Everyone is as keen as mustard to get hold of their children's reports IME!

Decorhate Tue 14-Jul-15 06:20:04

Have you had the results of the May exams yet? They would probably form the basis of the report.

catslife Tue 14-Jul-15 09:25:31

As other posters have said, actual written reports are staggered throughout the school year but there are end of term grade sheets with "grades" for what pupils are achieving now, their targets, and also behavior and effort. At secondary school no news is usually good as they will contact you if there is a serious issue that causes concern.
If dates for these aren't on the website they may be in your child's planner or diary (that's usually where I find year specific info).

titchy Tue 14-Jul-15 09:42:14

If you finish on Friday the report will probably come home Friday.

PastSellByDate Tue 14-Jul-15 13:09:51

Hello again -

Still no idea when the report card will be coming home but have just e-mailed Head of Year to ask.

I have never had a 'written report' - in the sense of a primary school style novella about how DC is enjoying developing her sense of rhythm, etc... etc....

I don't necessarily feel I need one - happy with just the summary giving subject - end of year target - mark achieved with colour coding for working below/ at/ above expected target.

Our school may be different but they made a huge song and dance about how end of year marks were not just based on end of year exams, but also on homework and in-class continuous assessment - so no, I don't know the whole picture. I haven't gone through every workbook, most in-class tests don't come home (although at the time they are reviewed in class - they tend to be collected back end). So yes, at various points throughout the year DD1 said test A or B went well/ good/ bad/ otherwise - but I fear I don't have the whole picture. Last report card was late March - so it's been a while.

The 'cultural' comment is just me wondering if perhaps 'end of year report cards' may be a bigger deal for American parents than English. I don't know - most friends in area are either incomers to Birmingham so not au fait with Birmingham school system or are foreign. English spouses are unfortunately getting a lot of 'Well why don't you know what happens - you're English?' which isn't fair either.

I think the thing that I'm really confused & maybe a bit shock by is this idea that schools are somehow doing their job by giving a end of year report at the last possible moment and leaving parents/ pupils to swing until the next meeting (for us in January - so that's no chance to discuss this for 6 months & by then it's a new group of teachers & perhaps DC has just decided to give up - I'm not good at x or y). Not really clear why educationally that's good pedagogy - seems like passing the problem on to the next teacher?

Maybe it's me, but I wouldn't e-mail a teacher during summer break - I would presume they're taking a well earned holiday.

I suppose what I'm saying is this system of reporting DC's progress at the last possible minute doesn't seem a particularly 'ideal' approach to assessment to me but does seem very efficient at dodging hard issues - like what to do now/ how to improve/ what can be done over the summer to help/ etc...

PastSellByDate Tue 14-Jul-15 13:23:46

catslife

totally get your comment on where that information should be - but have checked planner & website. Information genuinely is not there.

Now maybe I'm being unfair but that just smacks of disorganization or a kind of high handedness - we know what's going on and that's all that matters.

Certainly I would dearly love to know when exactly DD1 is meant to start Y8 - no information from school yet & nothing on school webpages/ calendar. I really resent that I've got no idea from DD1's secondary but DD2's primary told me by letter in late March and have had it up on their website since April.

derektheladyhamster Tue 14-Jul-15 13:30:15

I got ds1's (15) (private school) 2 weeks into the holidays grin, but that mainly told me what was needed to be done over the holidays.

My Yr 7 ds2 (state) grades came out at the beginning of July, but it was just grades, no comments. The yearly report was last term.

derektheladyhamster Tue 14-Jul-15 13:32:47

If your dd gets poor grades, I'd leave it until a couple of weeks into next yr and then email the new teacher to see what they have to say. Term dates will be on the councils website, and if you need clarification due to inset days etc, I'd just ring or email the office.

TitusAndromedon Tue 14-Jul-15 13:45:08

Have you had any kind of written report from the school at any point during the year?

It sounds a bit poor that their communication regarding essential information (such as start dates) is not more readily accessible.

However, I do think you sound a bit frantic about this, probably unnecessarily so. Even if you were to get a report today, if it only consisted of targets and achievement it still wouldn't provide you with guidance on what to work on over the summer holiday.

I would get in touch with your child's form tutor or head of year and ask for a quick roundup from staff on any particular areas on which he should focus over the summer. Just a couple of bullet pointed suggestions should be sufficient. Alternatively, let it go for now but request that information a few weeks into the new term, once his new teachers have got to know him a bit. Parents do this at my school all the time, and it doesn't take too long to collate.

For what it's worth, I'm both American and a secondary school teacher in England, and I certainly don't think your interest is 'cultural'. All schools run a bit differently. I imagine if we were to compare our high school experiences when growing up, we would find that they were quite different in terms of reporting information. I actually find that the system over here communicates much more information to parents.

catslife Tue 14-Jul-15 14:57:54

That does sound as if the schools rather disorganised OP. At dds school full written reports are sent out for each year group staggered across the year. So for Y7 it was January (with parents evening a few weeks later), Y8 November and Y9 March (in line with options evening).
For the full written report parents need to fill out a form to confirm they have received it.
Approx a week before the end of terms without full written reports summary grade sheets are sent out (approx a week before the end of term). This does give time to send feedback and ask questions. Dates are given on planner and calendar on school website.
Obviously some schools are different, but at least you now know that other schools do give out this information.

notinminutenow Tue 14-Jul-15 15:41:34

I don't think OP's situation is unusual. DS in y7 at outstanding comp - we've had a list of levels and effort scores in winter term and spring term plus parents' evening in spring term.

We have not had a written report yet nor any info about any changes in y8. They are streamed from the start of y7 but there will be setting within the stream for certain subjects in y8 and it would be nice to know some detail.

I am still hopeful for something beyond a listing of levels - they have been told they will get their 'reports' on Thurs, the day they break up!

I am confident that he's had great teaching and made great progress and I would rather his teachers spend their limited time on that, but it would be nice to have a few sentences to go with the marks, just some ackowledgement that he is an individual and not just a collection of data.

I don't want the report my pal got though. Hugely detailed in a lovely booklet with paragraphs from each teacher. Sadly at least 2 teachers had cut and paste and hadn't changed the child's name...

QueenOfNothing Tue 14-Jul-15 15:45:00

I have 3 DC at 3 different Secondaries and I haven't had any reports yet either!

I'm not happy, for the same reason as the OP. If my DC haven't done as well as I was expecting I'd like to talk to their this years teacher to find out what happened.

Otherwise their new teacher in Sep will just say don't worry, I'm sure they'll make 2 sub levels this year. And there's nothing you can say to that without sounding like you're accusing them of not being a good teacher.

Communicating with secondary is hard! If I have a concern I may have to talk to 6 or 7 teachers about it.......

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