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Quick and Easy personalised school reports

One of the most viewed blogs of mine is on Quick and Easy effective marking strategies (http://wp.me/p3kpaf-26).  I suppose this is as as teachers we are all so busy with preparation, teaching and everything else that goes into the job that we want to save time but still be as effective as we can be – it’s hard enough trying to have a work-life balance as it is.  To help with this blog you will need to access this excel file : Report Excel.

Well report writing season maybe upon us soon, and we all have totally different expectations on us with regards to writing reports.  Teachers standard 8 and 3 has within it teachers should :

communicate effectively with parents with regard to pupils’ achievements and well-being [and] demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of standard English, whatever the teacher’s specialist subject.

Now I am confident that we are all able to do this well, or else we wouldn’t be in the job we are.  BUT it does take time to write reports, proof read them, check for gender inaccuracies etc.

I have been musing about how it may be possible to speed up report writing and reports being personalised – I am not advocating the use of non-personalised comment banks.  Reports need to be personal to the pupil – I am just suggestion a method to do this which can be set up for you (I’ve attached the Report Excel file which will work in excel format).  I also know that most schools require very different things from staff so I am trying to create a process which should be fairly straightforward to adjust as needed and copy and pastable into any school based software.  This may seem a complicated post but it’s basically the thinking and instructions to get the personalised reporting system working I’ve created.

Excel is a great tool and I am sure most teachers have used it.  But under the hood of it it can do some pretty amazing stuff – I know this may seem a complicated blog on how to set it up but once you have done it it is really straight forward.  Just following my instructions to the letter.

1) Load up the excel document attached and go into input sheet. Report Excel
2) Put the surname and first name in (but if you have the your data preset as SURNAME FIRSTNAME in the same cell simply copy and paste all of this into calculation sheet in column A, then in column B the first name will appear. You can then copy and paste this out (but paste it as Paste / Paste Values into input sheet column B))
3) Put M or F in column C of the input to indicate the gender
4) Using any reports you have written previously copy in any positive comments you may have used WITHOUT the pupils name in column D. (for example John has done well in his course this year would read has done well in his course this year.  The more  you include the more options you will have.
5) In column E you need to include as many targets or areas to improve that you can – again with no names or opening structure – so To improve Charlie should write in more detail would simply read should write in more detail. You need a good amount of these (I suggest at least 15 but you’ll have these from your reports from previous years – 2 will be used in each report)
6) In column F you need to include a comments about homework (ie needs to spend longer completing his homework).
7) Next find and replace all he or she comments as a number 2 (using the whole words only box) – this will make your comments gender specific to the child automatically.
8) Next find and replace all his and her comments as a number 3 (using the whole words only box) – this will make your comments gender specific to the child automatically.
9) Remember to spell check your reports (F7) at this point.

THEN go to target sheet and the just select the phrases you have chosen from the drop down – the number 2’s and 3’s will be replaced at the next stage.

On the output sheet you will see the full report ready for you to copy and paste out.

I know it seems complicated, but it should be really fast once you have transferred your comments out – the set up is always the hardest.

Hope this really is a useful way of speeding up reports – ensuring that they are truly personalised.  As ever I hope you have found this post helpful and thought provoking. Please feel free to comment or reply or follow me on twitter @sheltont101

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