Friday, February 12, 2010

Reports to parents about achievement against National Standards

I have just read an interesting draft, written I believe by Michael Absolum, given to me by a colleague on National Standards which will go on TKI. I then investigated TKI further and read other articles by Michael Absolum, Lester Flockton, Mark Teadwell and John Hattie.

I agree that written reports should always have the children, parents and other family members as the audience and that children should be fully involved in the process of reporting, take ownership and understand the progress they have made. I agree reports should state what the child has learned and their rate of learning, the extent to which the National Standard has been reached (above, at, below, well below), next learning steps and what can be done to support these and be written clearly and simply without jargon. I write reports individually from beginning to end for each child rather than doing them by curricular area e.g writing all the maths comments then the english comments etc so I can create a picture of the whole child as a unique and special individual.

I also think the idea of avoiding damaging a child's engagement and motivation to learn is very important. A child who is consistently achieving below National Standard does not need to read that over and over again instead regular feedback and feedforward and the child, teacher and parents all working together to co-construct learning and support learning is important. The teacher should make overall teacher judgements based over time and on a variety of moderated assessments and in partnership with the child should form the content of a report.

I am interested to read more about this. At SPS the Principal is considering inviting parent opinions about National Standards to consult with them about the best information the school can provide to support each child in their learning journey. I am looking forward to parents voicing their opinions on this matter.

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