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End of year school reports: how can assessment be improved?

Is it time to modernise the end of year school report, or go back to basics? How teachers can make student assessment less time-consuming

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The end of year school report has become a controversial subject. Parents are increasingly critical of the level of attention they receive. Meanwhile teachers feel more and more stretched, undertaking hundreds of student assessments at the busiest time of the academic year.

Technology is already disrupting traditional pedagogy, making lessons more interactive and engaging for students. In an advanced digital age of real-time data, then, how can we make the reporting process more valuable for parents and more efficient for your teachers?

Teachers invest an incredible amount of time and energy in their report writing to meet parents’ expectations, but there’s a genuine struggle to be more thorough. For some parents, the end of year school report is one the few occasions in the academic calendar that provides a detailed overview of their child’s performance. They are keen to understand how they have progressed and where learning can be improved. Naturally, they expect a thoughtful and actionable report from your school.

Less time writing, more time teaching

Most parents would agree that your teachers’ time is precious. Every hour spent labouring over school reports is time removed from teaching, lesson planning, and marking. Efforts have been made to streamline the process, with a departure from extensive hand-written reports to tick box formats, shorter templates and automation software. These modern solutions are met with mixed responses. Some parents appreciate the more concise information, while others feel let down by the impersonal language and mechanical tone.

Impersonal edubabble

Some argue modernisation is ruining traditional pedagogy. Under the pressure to produce end of year reports, teachers often use banks of reporting phrases to save time. This leaves parents feeling short-changed, believing the education system has been cheapened by technology and filled with ‘edubabble’.

Failure to innovate is more to blame than technology. Perhaps it is time to address the true problem parents simply want more transparency on their child’s education. As consumers, we have come to expect information and communication at our fingertips, so why should parents expect any different? We have all the necessary technologies to disseminate real-time data, so there’s sufficient scope to rethink the annual report in its current form.

Real-time reporting

The modern classroom is a creative space for collaborative thinking, with a focus on technology to better pupils’ engagement. Teachers are using more digital practices to further learning in and outside school.

ClassFlow is a free platform for teachers, allowing frictionless information sharing from their classroom to pupils and parents. Within the platform, student progress can be monitored in real-time, identifying learning gaps and areas for attention. Teachers can collaborate with colleagues, parents and professional bodies, and report on progress at both an individual and class level. It facilitates the creation of up-to-date student assessments and provides pupils with immediate feedback, promoting positive performance and rewarding outstanding behaviour.

If parents and students were provided with more timely progress information it could alleviate the end of year burden for teachers. The result? Energised teachers with more resources, rewarded and motivated students, and parents that feel informed and valued.

The end of year school report is an ever-evolving task for teachers, and attempts are being made to simplify the practice. Find out how ClassFlow can help your teachers streamline their student assessment and reporting processes.