11 November 2012

End of Year Reports...It's that time of the year again

Some time ago when I was Principal at Chancellor SS the Year 1 classes hosted a grandparents' picnic. Grandparents were encouraged to share their memories and stories of when they were at school. One of the student's Grandad proudly brought along his own father's Report Card written in the early 1920s. It was handwritten in ink on thick creamy paper and gave a snapshot on attendance and punctuality; grades for Arithmetic, English, French, Science and History; and listed some Desirable Traits, for example, completes work, is generally careful, practices good health habits, and works and plays well with others. The teacher had written a brief comment on the bottom of the page 'Would do well to listen more carefully and desist from talking in the classroom.'

So perhaps not much has changed over the last 90 years! Teachers today still provide a snapshot to parents of these things in what is known as the Report Card. These days it is produced by photocopier on light card and the only handwriting you will see will be the teacher's signature - and in our school, my signature too.

At this time of the year teachers from Prep to Year 7 at Peregian Springs State School are spending many hours carefully assessing the work children have produced searching for the evidence of their learning throughout the semester, and considering the best way to describe to parents the growth a child has demonstrated over the year. They write detailed commentary on each subject area and on each child's social and work habits. They spend a lot of time thinking about the best way to record the child's achievements, they proof read them, their partner's proof read them, they rewrite many of them ... and then I read them - all 604 of them this year!

I personally make the time to read and sign every child's Report Card as I love to see their growth over time. Each child's Report Card is a testament to the wonderful work children and teachers are doing in classrooms every day. By reading each report I can ensure the quality of the information parents receive and I also want to affirm each teacher's effort in creating the most informative reports they can.

I, also, want to ensure that when your child's Report Card is read by grandchildren in a few generations it will stand the test of time in terms of the value your child's teachers have added to their life at school and beyond.

Contrary to opinion in the media and fictional accounts of book characters at school, teachers would not write a comment like this one!

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