Drawing lessons from school reports

5 - 11 years
Child reading school report looking happy

School reports are a great tool to help you understand how your child is going at school – and they can be used to start a conversation with your child about their learning. Here are some tips to you help you analyse and discuss school reports with your child.

Stay positive

When reading your child’s report card, try to emphasise the positive. Praise your child for their improvement and achievements – and try to be specific with your praise. For example, “I’m really pleased with your progress in science. You have been working so hard and have improved so much since the beginning of the year”.

Focus on effort, not grades

Try not to focus too much on the grades your child receives. When children are too focussed on their marks they can develop a ‘grade orientation’ rather than a ‘learning orientation’ – and can become less likely to enjoy learning and to challenge themselves. Recognise your child’s hard work even if it is not reflected in their marks. The teacher’s comments can often tell you more about the effort your child is making at school than the results. For example, “Your teacher says you have really been concentrating in maths this term. I’m proud of you.”

Every child is different

Try not to compare your child’s report to that of an older sibling or friends. Your child is unique and shines in their own areas. Boost your child’s self-esteem by concentrating on the things they have excelled in, where they have tried hardest and where they have shown the most improvement.

Talk about it

It is a good opportunity to use your child’s report card to talk to your child about how they are feeling about school.  Ask your child what they think about school, their subjects and their report card. If your child raises any concerns, offer your support to help make a plan to address them. For instance, if your child wants to improve their maths skills, you can help them to set realistic weekly goals, like setting aside 10 minutes a day to focus on maths revision.

Valuable learning tool

Your child’s report card is a great indicator of academic areas your child is excelling at and where they can improve. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s report or their progress at school, or if there are any areas where your child needs some support, contact their teacher – they can tell you what they can do at school to support your child’s learning and how you can help at home.

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Last modified
18 April 2020