Students’ reports indicate progress through school but just as importantly they are an essential link, providing opportunities for continuing conversations at home and with teachers to discuss how learning challenges can be met.
All schools are required to give parents or guardians of children in Years 1 to 10 written reports at least twice a year. Many report more frequently and online reporting is becoming commonplace.
Independent schools are allowed to design their own report format but they must be written in plain language that is easily understood. Some will combine a number of subjects into one, integrated studies for example while others will report on separate components such as history and geography. Another example is English, which could be a single report or comprise reports on reading, writing, speaking and listening.
In some schools reports will only be provided for assessed work. Religious education might not include spiritual development for example.
Schools provide their own grading system with each level defined against specific learning standards described in the report or as an attachment. An Australian Government requirement is that the report must use, at least, a five-point scale of achievement for all subjects.
Most schools make available on request the student’s achievement compared with the peer group, or written information showing the number of students achieving each grade. They are expected to provide the information in such a way that it does not impinge on student privacy, particularly in schools with small numbers of students.
If a student is on an individual learning plan, reporting may be related to that plan. Students undertaking English as an Additional Language (EAL), for example, will be marked against EAL grades.
Schools will have their own ways of providing feedback about effort, attendance, behaviour and social and emotional development.
Demonstrating your interest in your child’s subjects and activities encourages the student − and helps teachers. Reading and discussing the reports will be valuable for you and your child and reward the teacher who has the student’s interest at heart.