How to use this exemplar to improve practice?
This exemplar along with the attached documents and reflective questions can be used to consider how schools can develop their reporting approach to engage parents further in their child's learning.
- What opportunities do you provide for parents and families to engage in their child's learning and to have information on how best to support this at home?
- How does your current reporting approach provide opportunities for parents and families to share relevant information about their child?
- How could your approach to reporting allow staff to provide a clear and individualised holistic picture of each child as a learner at key points throughout the year?
- Do staff and learners use a range of current, planned assessment information when reporting to parents and families?
- How does your reporting system allow pupils to participate and take ownership of their learning?
Explore this exemplar
What was done?
As a result of ongoing self-evaluation, teaching staff used Education Scotland’s ‘Reporting to parents’ guidance to review the school’s existing reporting to parents approach. This highlighted a need to change current procedures to help parents engage further in their children’s learning.
A meeting was held with parents to discuss the school’s existing format for reporting and to consider suggestions on a revised approach.
Staff also shared the school’s aims with parents which in turn allowed them to talk to their children using the Getting it Right For Every Child wellbeing indicators. As a natural progression from that, staff were then able to use the same reporting format and shared language.
Parents engaged well in the discussions and consultation. The revised approach to reporting now involves:
- replacing the current ‘meet the teacher’ event traditionally held in the autumn term with an individual meeting with the class teacher
- sharing significant pieces of learning including literacy ‘cold and hot’ (before and after teaching input) tasks during the winter and spring terms with a covering page reporting on the learning that had taken place through the school’s aims, while also detailing specific steps that parents and families could take to support their child’s learning
- issuing a final report in the summer term which gave a personalised and holistic view of the child through the four contexts for learning. This final report allowed the child to comment on their learning in literacy and numeracy while setting next steps in health and wellbeing
- a final parent interview would now take place at the end of the year
- changing timings and content of parents evenings to take into account existing good practice from the school’s early years approach
- using the ‘My World’ document as an aid for discussion during parents evening in the autumn term
- rescheduling the second parents evening to the spring term
Feedback received from parents regarding the new approach has been extremely positive.
The National Improvement Framework highlights the importance of engaging learners and parents effectively in approaches to reporting. It also emphasises the value of ensuring parents are supported to enable them to play an active role in their children's learning.
Changing the way that Burnside Primary reports to parents and families was prompted by:
- the publication of Education Scotland's Reporting to Parents and Carers Guidance.
- the need to improve communications with parents and families about their children's progress and learning throughout the year.
- the need to ensure that reporting is considered, relevant and manageable for teaching staff.
What was the impact?
The school has seen the following improvements and impacts:
- smoother transitions from early years to primary 1 and throughout the various primary stages
- greater parental access to regular and valuable information on supporting their child’s learning at home
- more parents engaged in their child’s learning
- increase in children’s literacy and numeracy
- better two-way communications and relationships between home and school
- increased sharing of learning that takes place at home, in school and the community
- greater identification by each child of next steps in their learning
- more effective planning by teaching staff to ensure progress
- better reflection for parents on their child’s achievements