Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Primary School Reports

Many of my blogs recently have been about football and they will continue as long as my interest remains in the Euros. However as I have said before there is more to life than football.

B has been embroiled in the task that is report writing if you like I have become a sideline to the important job of comment writing (ah! poor me). I remember this time of year with much loathing. It is a time where you have to become a diplomat and a judge all in one. You see the reports are written for several purposes.

1) To let the parents who are interested know how their children are getting on in the areas of Literacy, Numeracy and Science. This will include a target for their child to work on in the coming year in each of those subjects.

2) To let the parents know vaguely what they have done in all the other subjects and a cursory comment as to how they have done. These are not easy comments to write because actually the major focus of any primary teacher is on the three core subjects.

3) To write in teacher code for the next teacher taking over the children what the children are really capable of - particularly in the teacher comment on the back!

4) For the head teacher to write some inane comment about each child as if they know them so well!!! Hardly ever true, they rely on everything they hear in the staff room!!!

5) For the little darlings who inhabit the classroom each and everyday to know how they are doing in each subject, only to quickly forget by the time the new term starts after 6 weeks of doing very little in front of a play station or out on their bikes and skateboards with their mates!

Reports are time consuming, debatable in value and quite simply tire teachers out when they should be focussing on teaching. In fact the only benefit of writing these reports is so that if a child becomes famous, there is a record of where they have underachieved for embarassment purposes.

So why do we continue to do them? Well I guess it's because we always have!

Although this post is tongue in cheek, in case you hadn't worked it out, and just a bit of fun - I do question the value of reports. I know there are parents who read them and respond to them, however I think these are also the parents who will take an interest all the time and not just at report time. Maybe there is another way of recording the information that these reports give?

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