The student names contained within this article are entirely fictional. Any similarity to an actual person’s name is purely coincidental.
A well-written school report can provide a student with useful feedback, great encouragement and even a stern call-to-action.
Despite their usefulness, however, school reports can be an absolute nightmare for the teachers who have to write them!
As teachers, we are constantly juggling multiple tasks at the same time. If it’s not lesson planning, then it’s marking. If it’s not marking, it’s teaching. If it’s not teaching, then it’s meetings and professional development. If it’s not that it’s student mentoring and tutoring.
Report-writing can come up at any point during these foregoing activities, and we just have to, well; get on with it. For many teachers, this means very late nights and sacrificed weekends: often with little sleep.
This article aims to give some easy-to-implement tips that will help us write good-quality reports in as little time as possible.
#1 – Remember S.W.A.P.
Every report should contain these four elements (at the very least):
- Weaknesses (including targets)
They don’t necessarily have to be in that order, but they should all be present somewhere.
#2 – Create a S.W.A.P. template
A good template can save you tons of time and will ensure that your reports are detailed and accurate. I’ve given an example of applications below. Please feel free to copy and paste and use this as you see fit:
x has had a disappointing/steady/good/very good term/half-term/year/semester. He/She has shown strengths in a number of areas including……………………….. . This is pleasing, but even further progress could be made by………………………………. x’s most recent recent assessment score was ……………., which indicates to me that……………………….. Progress has been disappointing/steady/good/very good, as exemplified by the fact that…………………
Let’s see this in action below:
Example 1: An excellent student
Joshua has had a very good half-term. He has shown strengths in a number of areas including modular arithmetic, definite and indefinite integration and differentiation. This is pleasing, but even further progress could be made by completing more of the Higher Level assigned tasks on MyiMaths, as he does have the ability to challenge himself further. Joshua’s most recent assessment score was 83%, which indicates to me that he is completing the necessary revision at home. Progress has been very good, as exemplified by the fact that he has jumped from a level 6 to a level 7 in the space of just seven weeks.
Example 2: An average student
Lisa has had a steady half-term. She has shown strengths in a number of areas including balancing chemical equations and completing laboratory practical work. This is pleasing, but even further progress could be made by completing more practice questions on Quantitative Chemistry and using the model answers as a good guide for improvement. Lisa’s most recent recent assessment score was 54%, which indicates to me that she has a good knowledge of some areas of the subject, but needs to work harder to revise identified weaknesses. Progress has been steady, as exemplified by the fact that Lisa’s assessment scores have been consistently above 50% since the start of the course.
#3 – Store and use your old reports
Keep copies of all the reports you write on a hard disc drive or usb/flash drive. You’ll find that similar student ‘types’ come up every year, and you can simply copy, paste and modify old reports to match new students.
This is guaranteed to save you oodles of time! Just make sure you modify well: reports still need to contain the personal touch.
#4 – Use report comment banks
There are some great report-building websites available online. In just a few clicks you can create detailed and well-phrased reports that will deliver all of the information you need to get across.
Check out these great sites:
This article was originally published at https://richardjamesrogers.com/2018/04/08/report-writing-nightmares-become-more-efficient-and-save-time/
Illustrated by Pop Sutthiya Lertyongphati