5 Top Tips to Make Writing Your End-of-Term Reports Easier
The school reporting season is notorious for being one of the most stressful times of the academic year for your teaching staff. With the recent announcement from Ofqual regarding the restructuring of this year’s GCSEs and A-levels, your school reports are even more important in helping determine your student’s summer exam results.
But with numerous templates, hundreds of students and unwavering deadlines, it already a daunting process without the added pressure for your teachers.
So, we’ve compiled our top 5 tips to help you make the process as smooth and painless as possible, so you can complete your end-of-term reports more quickly and efficiently:
1. Give yourself plenty of time
It’s easy for the deadline to sneak up on you, particularly at such a busy time of year. So, avoid late nights and last-minute panics by getting started on your reports as early as possible. Some teachers even find it helpful to have a weekly schedule to stick to, which breaks up the volume of reports into more manageable chunks.
We always ask our schools to submit their report requests to us a minimum of four weeks before they’re required, so we can ensure that all the data is entered correctly within plenty of time and, perhaps more importantly, so our schools have enough time to fully test them ahead of their submission dates.
Given the more extensive use of these reports this summer, it’s likely you may want more bespoke changes to your existing reporting templates. This makes it even more important to organise any changes you need as early as possible, so all the reports you need are ready in time.
2. Use templates where available
It’s likely that you’ll be producing similar reports year on year, which require consistent formatting and the use of similar data sets. So, to save yourself having to build new reports from scratch, you can save time by developing a set of templates you can populate each year.
To help ensure our schools have as seamless an experience as possible, we offer a Reports Catalogue. This contains a variety of different report templates, specifically designed to cover each of your reporting needs, which you can populate and amend in-house. All you need to do is submit a request via a form, specifying which report template from the catalogue you’d like to use.
3. Customise reports to meet your needs
Considering recent changes to the structure of this year’s summer exams, we’d like to know about our schools’ plans surrounding academic reporting for the remainder of this school year. Namely, if you’re going to be adjusting your plans as a result of the global pandemic or if your teaching staff will be writing their reports as normal using existing templates. To help our dedicated Reporting Services team prepare to assist you with any adjustments, we’re kindly asking our schools to participate in a short survey detailing any changes they’re expecting to make – click here for more details and to complete the survey.
If you’ve sorted out some templates for your reports, it’s nice to be able to customise them so they’re recognisably from your school. For example, including your school logo, name, and a header on your reports, and all in your brand colours and fonts, can be a nice personalised touch. That’s why our dedicated Reporting Services team will adapt templates from our Reports Catalogue, making all minor amends (such as the above) free of charge.
However, there may also be times when you need something more bespoke. In such cases you might be able to adapt existing templates, or it may be more suitable to design something new. If your MIS is able to support with these reporting requirements, then that will save you additional hours spent amending your report design. At iSAMS our Reporting Services team are available to build more bespoke reports on request, depending on your individual requirements. All you need to do is a fill out a form and we’ll get back to you to discuss more details.
4. Find a sustainable way to input data
If you’re filling in similar reports again and again, it can get a bit repetitive; especially if you have a lot of them to get through. So, help conserve some of your energy by finding a more manageable way for you to input your data.
Our iReport App, a companion to the iTeacher App, means you can now write and log reports wherever you are, with full functionality on smartphones and tablets. Easy to set up and use, with minimal training required, you can even check past reports and grades whilst you’re on the move. With this powerful and intuitive app, you can transform your report-writing process into something much more manageable and accessible.
Alternatively, our report wizard within the iSAMS application acts as a step-by-step guide supporting you in your report creation, and will ensure that you have all the right information to help the process run smoothly from start to finish.
5. Test each report fully before submitting them
Sometimes it’s easy to finish your reports and then set them aside, relieved they’re finished and can be ticked off the list. However, it’s very important that you thoroughly check them to ensure there’s nothing missing or that there are no errors before submitting them. If you give yourself plenty of time between the submission deadline and beginning your reports, then there should be lots of time for testing – meaning that you’ll have total peace of mind when it comes to completing your reports and sending them off.
Do you have any top tips surrounding end-of-term report writing? If so, we’d love to hear about them – please get in touch with any suggestions you have.
To find out more about iSAMS and how we could help you with your report-writing requirements, please send us an email for more information.