Q. How do I know if teachers think my son or daughter is working hard enough?
A. The report will describe your child’s effort in both classwork and homework (separately so that you can pinpoint any problem) as Excellent, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate. Anything other than “Good” or “Excellent” needs your attention. The “Cause for Concern” information may give you the reason for the problem, and the Classwork/Homework Effort Grade Descriptor on the report will certainly help you and your child understand what they need to do more of, or less of, or how they need to change their approach to their work. If you would like more information, an email to the teacher to ask what exactly your child is not doing that they should be, or is doing and should not be is the right first step. Consistent effort grades less than good across subjects or ongoing within a subject will lead to your child being included in the compulsory Additional Learning Time programme (ALT). Please remind them of this!
Q. I want to help my child make more progress in a particular subject. Can the report help me do that?
A. Yes, it has been designed to do that. With your child, look at the Progress Steps Grid for that subject, and at the progress step that they are reported as being on. You can find these here. They need to consolidate their knowledge and skills in that progress step, and start to develop the skills and obtain the knowledge in the next progress step up. Now look at your child’s exercise book or folder in that subject with your child, and particularly the teacher marking, and talk to your child about what they can do to move forward and how you can help. This is a really great way to prepare for a Parents’ Evening, as you will then be able to bring your child’s teacher into the conversation.
Q. The “Current Progress” indicator is saying “Below Target”. What does this mean?
A. Your child’s teacher thinks that your child is not on course to achieve the GCSE grade that they believe he or she is capable of at the end of Year 11, and so is in danger of underachieving. The KS3 reports are specifically designed to highlight if it is the case, and it is important that you contact your child’s teacher to get more information if the “Cause for Concern” information does not make the situation clear. We will need to work with you to get to the bottom of what the problem is, and agree what to do about it. If you don’t contact us, we will contact you if this becomes a consistent pattern that indicates your child might underachieve. You can be sure that we are already working on it with your child!
Q. Why are there only effort grades in my child’s report for some subjects?
A. This should only happen in the first report, and it is because in some subjects a baseline assessment of your child’s potential in that subject needs to be made before we can report on their current position (their initial progress step) and on their current progress. In some areas this will take the whole of the first term of Year 7. We think it is better to be confident in our knowledge of your child in specialist subject areas before we report to you, Year 7 & 8 Reports to Parents – Questions & Answers but we do not want to delay reporting to you where we are able to do so. Remember, you can always email your child’s teacher in any subject if you need information on their progress.