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Using Primary Report Writer at Halstow School

Using Primary Report Writer to produce our end of year reports to parents has lead to several improvements, not least being the amount of time saved for the teachers. We spend less time on report writing but our reports have improved because the reports are more professionally presented and of a consistently high standard throughout the school.

At the beginning of the summer term we have a whole school staff meeting to agree certain principles relating to our end of year report to parents, such as the amount we will write for different areas and a framework for content that includes reporting on achievement, attainment and targets or advice for improvement.

This meeting also provides an opportunity to demonstrate the program to any new members of staff and to pass on any tips or advice from the previous year's report writing.

Following this, the staff meet again in their year group teams. Our school is arranged in teams of three mixed age classes for Y1/2, Y3/4, Y5/6 plus an Early Reception and a Reception class and teachers are used to planning together.

For report writing they compile statement banks matched to the curriculum they have planned and taught that year, deciding on comments that will describe learning outcomes for children at a range of levels, typically above average, average and below average. They share the task of typing in the statement banks.

When individual teachers sit down to write the reports for their class, they choose appropriate statement banks for each subject for each child and then each of these is edited so that the report becomes personal to the child. For the core subjects and personal and social development, additional text is added to give a clear picture of each individual child's progress.

This process results in reports that parents, governors, pupils and OFSTED are happy with because they clearly describe progress, attainment and targets linked to what has been taught while retaining that all important personal touch. We have an agreed deadline for finishing reports: I then add a personal Headteacher's Comment at the end of each child's report before printing and they are then sent home to parents.

When a new member of staff joins the school they have this clear process for writing reports to follow which they find tremendously supportive and I know they will produce reports consistent with the high quality produced by the rest of the staff.

The professional appearance of the finished reports, with our school logo on the front cover, reflects the importance that we all attach to report writing, which is appreciated by both the children and their parents.

Mary Whitehead
Headteacher, Halstow Primary School, London

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