Improvement cycles – reports
For the most part as a senior leader, you find yourself driving that improvement; designing, consulting, implementing, monitoring, assessing, reflecting, refining…
The move to headship has requires that you drive improvement however more often than not, you are not the lead. Take our recent improvement cycle to improve the consistency and quality of report writing. I was two steps back. Lead by our two Assistant Headteachers, consulting with the third, outlining their decisions at SLT meetings, weekly one-to-one meetings and informally.
I have not known a school leadership team that hasn’t debated their school report, each time a report cycle approaches. Surprisingly, the debates I have heard or been privy to, have tended to on what the reports looked like, as much as what they communicate and how accurate and reliable that information is.
I was proud of our team,as when this timely debate arose this time, the teams first question was, what difference with these reports have on students learning? Are they accessible to the students and parents and what will happen as a result of these reports landing on the doormat?
The team went about improving the quality and consistency of written comments and moderating the Attitude to Learning comments.
Advice for AP 4 Report Writing – March 2018
Following your feedback from the last set of reports where you highlighted the lack of time and opportunity to proof-read our own reports – and sometimes the difficulty of spotting our own mistakes, we have decided to allocate some time and support with a “Report Buddy” on Friday 16th March from 8 to 8.30am. A list was also provided and a check response to indicate both peer tasks had been completed.
Please bring your laptop to the staff room on Friday morning in order to proof read AP4 reports with your allocated buddy. Any corrections can be made on the spot and saved.
Before Friday, please proof read your own reports carefully for spelling, punctuation and grammar errors.
We held a proof-reading gathering / briefing with those staff not in on a Friday organise to liaise “remotely”?
In the last set of reports we had to correct:
- Comments that did not make sense.
- Sentences which were too long and convoluted.
- Lack of punctuation or too much punctuation.
- Comments about poor behaviour as opposed to comments for strategies for improvement.
- Use of “he” or “she” for the wrong gender – copy and pasting errors.
- Use of practise (verb) /practice (noun): eg: Tarquin needs to practise (verb) his handwriting.
- Tarquin should complete the handwriting practice (noun) regularly.
- Misuse of apostrophes – try to rephrase if you are not 100% sure how this use this! Eg: “the Values of the school” rather than “the schools/school’s/schools’ values.” !?!! J.
- Missing staff initials.
- Missing full stops at the end of the comment.
As we are reporting on ATLs only for Y7-13. Comments should be related to the ATL rubric and based on elements of 3 = “requires improvement” and 4= “inadequate”. Here are some suggested comments for each ATL level. However, they can be adapted for either level dependent upon your concerns.
|ATL score of 3 (requires improvement) could include:||ATL score of 4 (inadequate) could include:|
|(Name) needs to complete all work to the deadline. In particular, the weekly knowledge quizzes on Canvas. He should also contribute to online Canvas discussions.||(Name) is consistently late for lessons and which is having an impact on his/her learning. This is an area that requires immediate improvement.|
|(Name) should ensure that he/she arrives to lessons on time, with the correct equipment and be ready to learn.||(Name) must bring the expected equipment for (Subject) lessons. He/she is often ill-equipped to learn in this subject.|
|(Name) should consistently demonstrate that he/she can uphold the Values of the school in particular (choose a Value).||(Name) is expected to demonstrate all of the school Values in (subject). He/she should focus particularly on (Value) which needs immediate improvement.|
|(Name) should follow instructions at the first time of asking.||Disruption of learning in (subject) is unacceptable and (Name) must ensure that he/she focusses on all tasks at all times.|
|(Name) needs to improve the presentation of his/her work to ensure that it is of a consistently high standard.
|(Name) should ensure that they take responsibility for their own behaviour.|
|(Name) should make better choices about where they sit and who they work with, particularly when completing SDL tasks or in the Learning Centres.|
|(Name) should ensure that their contributions to discussions in (subject) are appropriate and relevant.|
|(Name) should endeavour to listen carefully to the opinions and points of view of other students in (subject).|
|(Name) is consistently late for lessons and which is having an impact on his/her learning. This is an area that requires immediate improvement.|
|(Name) must bring the expected equipment for (subject) lessons. He/she is often ill-equipped to learn in this subject.|
|(Name) is expected to demonstrate all of the school Values in (subject). He/she should focus particularly on (Value) which needs immediate improvement.|
The guidance didn’t eradicate errors, it vastly reduced them. The guidance help direct the comments to students and parents where “attitude to learning” fell short of he expectations. The Friday morning briefing encouraged a more collegiate approach rather than “I pressed submit and now I done.”
Standing back and trusting your team is a skill I am developing as a Headteacher, if gradually.