Writing Annual Reports to Parents
In previous years, QCA Assessment and Reporting Arrangements booklets have provided samples of annual reports with the last sample produced in 2002. Currently QCA are updating advice for reports and welcome teachers’ views about the samples available on their website.
Many schools have developed their own styles and formats and many choose to use electronic versions. There is no LEA recommended style or program, neither is this guidance comprehensive. The Assessment for Action booklet ‘Reporting at KS1 and KS2’ (Jan 2000) is still a useful resource. Links to websites for electronic formats are on eriding.net. Annual reports to parents are a statutory duty.
It is important to consider the principles of good report writing that ensure that the information provided fulfils statutory requirements and includes the following essentials:
Reports should be written for parents in a clear and straightforward way, avoiding unnecessary national curriculum jargon bearing in mind that pupils often read their reports, and parents are usually most interested in the overview
Comments should be kept brief and clear
Reports need to refer to whether or not the pupil is happy, settled, and behaving well
There should be advice to parents about how they can help and support their child
There should be reference to attainment and progress within the subject areas, but this can be general enough to suggest breadth and specific enough to give parents clear understanding of progress
At the end of a key stage, national curriculum levels must be reported as a statutory requirement (levels don’t need to be reported for interim years) It is particularly helpful to explain to parents that progression from one level to another will show ‘plateaux’ and ‘spurts’ and that as the levels get higher, there is also much more to cover, so a child in Y4 may well be working in level 3, despite having touched on level 3 at the end of KS1
The report should also include reference to national expectations for children of a similar age
Effort as well as attainment should be recognised
There should be reference to strengths and areas for improvement with some targets for improvement clearly identified, particularly for core subjects. (There is no requirement to include a target for every subject)
Attendance and percentages of unauthorised absences should be included, and in addition, there may be reference to punctuality
Report formats will vary according to the age/stage of the pupils and can be customised appropriately
In all cases, parents should be provided with an opportunity for discussing their child’s report.
Children with a statement of special educational needs
The annual review can be the annual report to parents and must provide contextual information. Basic information should be supplemented by including details of progress in relation to the curriculum that the child is following.
KS1 reports must include the following:
Year R/Foundation Stage
Brief comments about general progress within the six areas of learning, and reference to P scales where appropriate
For children at the end of Reception teachers must:
provide a written summary of progress against the Early Learning Goals and the assessment scales
offer parents an opportunity to discuss the outcomes of the Foundation Stage Profile within the term that the profile has been completed. A copy of their child’s profile should be available if parents wish to see it
Y1 and Y2
A brief commentary explaining the teacher’s assessments about progress in individual subjects, mentioning progress in relation to other children in that year group, and particular strengths and weaknesses
Extra information for Y2 (end of KS1)Subject / Teacher Assessment / Teachers should provide an explanation of how statutory tests and tasks have been used to underpin their assessment judgements that are made whilst the child is in Y2, (based on evidence from observations of the child’s learning), and how the work completed during the year has built up a picture of what the child can do.
Speaking and listening
In addition to this teachers need to provide school comparative information and national comparative information for children of the same age.
For years 3,4 and 5 teachers must again provide a brief commentary explaining the teacher’s assessments about progress in individual subjects, mentioning progress in relation to other children in that year group, and particular strengths and weaknesses.
Optional test results can also be included in the end of year report, and targets identified for ways in which children need to improve and how parents can support them.
There are many different electronic report samples available for schools to use. In many cases, schools have devised their own systems. Some build up the content of the annual report over the school year. After completing a unit of work, teachers can complete the relevant section, and of course copy and paste for similar achievements. There are advantages in this gradual completion, particularly since it can help to reduce the workload in June.
A QCA report sample for Key Stage 2 shows programmes of study references for each subject so parents know what has been covered.
Alternatively schools could provide this information in an explanatory booklet for parents, which could be sent out each year as an extra to the report. If you want to do this you can copy this text that I have included for you. The advantage of this would be that the child’s report would therefore be briefer.
Programme of Study for English:
During Key Stage 2 pupils learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences. They read a range of texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them. They explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how language works.
Programme of Study for Mathematics:
During Key Stage 2 pupils use the number system more confidently. They move from counting reliably to calculating fluently with all 4 number operations (add, subtract, multiply and divide). They always try to tackle a problem with mental methods before using any other approach. Pupils explore features of shape and space and develop their measuring skills in a range of contexts. They discuss and present their methods and reasoning using a wider range of mathematical language, diagrams and charts.
Programme of Study for Science:
During Key Stage 2 pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and phenomena. They begin to make links between ideas and to explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They begin to think about the positive and negative effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, and communicate ideas using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts and graphs.
Programme of Study for Information and Communication Technology:
During Key Stage 2 pupils use a wide range of ICT tools and information sources to support their work in other subjects. They develop their research skills and decide what information is appropriate for their work. They begin to question the plausibility and quality of information. They learn how to amend their work and present it in a way that suits its audience.
Programme of Study for Design and Technology:
During Key Stage 2 pupils work on their own and as a member of a team on a wide range of designing and making activities. They think about what products are used for and the needs of the people who use them. They plan what has to be done and identify what works well and what could be improved in their own and other people’s designs. They draw on knowledge and understanding from other areas of the curriculum and use computers in a range of ways.
Programme of Study for History:
During Key Stage 2 pupils learn about significant people, events and places from both recent and more distant past. They learn about change and continuity in their own area, in Britain and in other parts of the world. They look at history in a variety of ways, e.g. from political, economic technological and scientific, social, religious, cultural or aesthetic perspectives. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.
Programme of Study for Geography:
During Key Stage 2 pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments at different scales in the United Kingdom and abroad, and start to make links between different places in the world. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this they ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT.
Programme of Study for Art and Design:
During Key Stage 2 pupils develop their creativity and imagination through more complex activities. These help to build on their skills and improve their control of materials, tools and techniques. They increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art, craft and design in different times and cultures. They become more confident in using visual and tactile elements and materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think.
Programme of Study for Music:
During Key Stage 2 pupils sing songs and play instruments with increasing confidence, skill, expression and awareness of their own contribution to a group or class performance. They improvise, and develop their own musical compositions, in response to a variety of different stimuli with increasing personal involvement, independence and creativity. They explore their thoughts and feelings through responding physically, intellectually and emotionally to a variety of music from different times and cultures.
Programme of Study for Physical Education:
During Key Stage 2 pupils enjoy being active and using their creativity and imagination in physical activity. They learn new skills, find out how to use them in different ways, and link them to make actions, phrases and sequences of movement. They enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They develop an understanding of how to succeed in different activities and learn how to recognise their own success.
Programme of Study for Religious Education:
During Key Stage 2 pupils learn about Christian and other major religious beliefs and practices. They develop their own skills of discussing questions of meaning, identity and values.
Programme of Study PHSE(Physical, Health, Social and Emotional development) and Citizenship:
During Key Stage 2 pupils learn about themselves as growing and changing individuals with their own experiences and ideas, and as members of their communities. They become more mature, independent and self confident. They learn about the wider world and the interdependence of communities within it. They develop their sense of social justice and moral responsibility and begin to understand that their own choices and behaviour can affect local, national or global issues and political and social institutions. They learn how to take part more fully in school and community activities. As they begin to develop into young adults, they face the changes of puberty and transfer to secondary school with support and encouragement from school. They learn how to make more confident and informed choices about their health and environment; to take more responsibility, individually and as a group, for their own learning; and to resist bullying.
A sample of an accompanying report is shown on the next page:ANYWHERE PRIMARY SCHOOL – example report (source QCA)
Name: Heidi Jones Year 6 Date July 2005
Attendance: 350 Authorised Absences: 10 Unauthorised Absences: 0
Late arrival: 3
TA = Teacher Assessment level of pupil attainment
Test result = statutory end of KS tests/tasks
ATI Speaking and listening TA level 4
AT2 Reading TA level 4 Test result level 4
AT3 Writing TA level 3 Test level 3
Overall Subject level TA level 4 Test 4
Heidi has shown some good progress this year. She enjoys class discussions and makes a good contribution. She listens to the opinions of others and respects their views. She sometimes writes lively stories but need to take more care with spelling and punctuation. She needs to consider the structure of non-narrative writing such as report or argument at the planning stages of her writing in order to improve the quality of her work.
Using and Applying maths: Number and Algebra; Shape, Space and Measures; Data Handling TA level 4 Test result level 4
Heidi has made good progress in mental and written calculations this year. She has learnt the full range of times tables to 10x10 and can use this knowledge efficiently, both with larger calculations and to solve problems. Heidi has tried hard to understand the relationship between fractions, decimals and percentages, but remains unsure. She has a good grasp of shapes and their properties including reflection and simple rotation. She is very neat and methodical when working with data; she uses bar charts, line graphs and pie charts to present and interpret information.
Scientific Enquiry; Life Processes and Living Things; Materials and their Properties; Physical Processes TA level 4 Test level 3
Heidi displays good understanding of materials and their properties, forces and how they act on the motion of objects. She is good at conducting simple experiments, and works well with others. Her particular strength is the way in which she records data and presents her findings.
Heidi has a good grasp of the use of ICT in society. She can use the internet and understands how to use a word processor. She is currently working at level 4
Design and Technology
Heidi enjoys developing her ideas and communicates them in lively ways. Her work with tools and equipment is accurate and demonstrates her attention to finish and function. She is currently working at level 4
Heidi has a good knowledge and understanding of the topics covered. During one enquiry she was able to show how some Ancient Greek ideas have influenced aspects of life today. When studying the Tudors, she was able to use different historical sources to help her explain why Henry V111 married six times. She is currently working at level 4
Heidi can identify and describe different places and can describe some of the factors which make these places different. She has a good knowledge of different places and environments in the world and has developed a wide range of geographical skills, especially in working with maps. She is currently working at level 4
Art and Design
Heidi enjoys art and design and can use ideas from different artists to support her own. She responds well to the work of others and can compare her own work with theirs. Heidi needs to develop her skills in using materials and processes and to think more creatively about how these are used. Overall she is working at level 3
Heidi listens carefully to music and can explore musical ideas and musical structures. She can hold a beat with a percussion instrument and can judge how this affects the feel of musical pieces. She works well in a group and has put a lot of effort into this work. She is currently working at level 4
Heidi shows good quality in her movement. She creates and links sequences and routines well. She has particular strengths in dance activities. She has made good progress in games activities as she has become more confident with the skills and now needs to work more on her understanding of tactics. She is currently working at level 4
Heidi has a good understanding of the major world religions and the differences between them. She has grasped some of the main concepts of Christianity and Islam and responds thoughtfully to discussions about religions. Heidi needs to look more carefully at the variety of practices within a religion. She is working at level 5
PSHE and Citizenship
Heidi takes part in class discussions and works well with others. Her peers think highly of the way she listens to them. She shows good knowledge of topical issues and contributed well to the project on bullying.
Heidi has a good attitude to school life and is respected and valued by her friends. She is a good listener and concentrates on her work. She has made good progress in all subjects where she has previously had difficulty. Well done.
Arrangements for discussing this report
A copy of this report has been sent to your child’s new school/teacher
Headteacher’s comments & signature