A shared understanding…facilitates conversations between teachers, students and parents about where individuals are in their learning, what progress they are making, and what actions might be taken to promote further learning.
Professor Geoff Masters
Reporting and its relationship to learning is an important part of the assessment cycle. Reporting is the moment where information about a child's learning is shared between all partners in a child's education (the child, parents, carers and the professional) with the intent reaching shared understandings about where the child's is in their learning, and what the next steps in the child's learning will be. Often practitioners will report to parents informally using email, a school CMS or face-to-face discussion. This page discusses the formal written reports practitioners provide to parents.
Reporting and its relationship to assessment are part of a larger context of learning, which the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) describes as four, interrelated steps:
The National Quality Framework (NQF), introduced in 2012, identifies quality standards to improve education and care in long day care, family day care, kindergarten and outside school hours care services. Quality Area 1Educational program and practice, within the NQF requires services to have an educational program that meets children's individual learning and developmental needs. The NQF specifically identifies that 'documentation about each child's program and progress is available to families'.
Read more about the NQF information for families
Kindergarten programs in Victgoria are required to write a Transition to School statement for all children as they transition into school.
Read more about Transition Learning and Development (need link reference)
Reporting of student performance across the compulsory years of schooling (Prep to Year 10) is also a legal requirement. In Victoria, under the 2006 Education Act,
A school must ensure that there is ongoing assessment, monitoring and recording of each student's performance and provide each student and parent with access to accurate information about the student's performance. Access to information must include at least two written reports to parents per year.
In addition, part of the Education Funding Agreement with the Commonwealth government requires schools to report student achievement to parents twice a year using a five point scale or equivalent.
Early childhood practitioners' use approved frameworks such as the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) to support documentation of children's learning and development and program planning. They use a range of styles and methods for providing information and advice to families about their child's learning and development, from informal conversations at pick up time to regular, structured discussions.
If your child attends an education and care service such as long day care, family day care, kindergarten program, the educators will discuss your child's learning and development with you. Every child has an individual record that guides the learning program and you can ask to see your child's record. Many educators arrange meetings with parents and carers and if your child attends a kindergarten in the year before school you will receive the Transition to School statement that summarises your child's achievements and disposition to learning as a helpful guide for the school your child will attend.
Reporting in the school years
As a general rule, schools report learner achievement against the achievement standards set out in the Victorian F-10 curriculum (AusVELS), consistent with the whole-school teaching and learning plan.
The exception to this is reporting student achievement at Foundation to Level 2, where schools report on the domains that form the core priorities of learning for young learners: English, Mathematics, Health and Physical Education, The Arts, and Personal and Social Capability.
For more information, see the
curriculum planning and reporting guidelines for the Victorian F-10 curriculum
Each of the school sectoral authorities is responsible for setting the guidelines for school reporting ie the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development sets reporting guidelines for government schools; the local Catholic Education Office for Catholic schools; and for Independent schools, the school's board of governors or equivalent.
Within these guidelines, schools have the flexibility to determine, in partnership with students, parents and the local community, the timing, frequency and format of the reports. For example, school communities may decide to:
report on English and Mathematics using a graphical representation like the NAPLAN reports so parents can compare student performance on NAPLAN with teacher assessments
in the early years of schooling, report on student progress in relation to the VEYLDF outcomes alongside reporting student achievement in relation to the AusVELS achievement standards
place greater emphasis on reporting at all levels on aspects such as effort, improvement and behaviour. A−E scales could be used for this purpose
retain the use of A−E reporting for reporting academic achievement but use it to indicate how well a student has performed against a particular standard rather than along a continuum of achievement
opt for reporting using a percentage result rather than a broad A−E judgment.
To learn more about how your school undertakes reporting, talk to your child's teacher and school leaders.
Discussions with maternal and child health nurses, early childhood educators and kindergarten leaders, parent-teacher interviews, and increasingly, learner led parent-teacher conferences, are an opportunity to discuss your child's learning with their leader/teacher. By preparing for the meeting you will find out more about your child's report and how to give your child the right kind of support they need to make progress in their learning.
ask for suggestions about how you can help your child at home and if at school what is expected for homework and assignments. Find out how much time your child should be spending on their homework and ask for suggestions on how you can help your child at home
share with the professional how you think your child is enjoying the
program or school and ask for their impressions of how your child is enjoying school and taking part in class activities and whether there are any general issues with behaviour or discipline that need to be discussed
You can also request interviews at other times. If you are concerned about your child's progress, make an appointment to meet with their teacher.
Questions parents/caregivers may wish to ask their child's teacher
How can I best help my child in their learning?
Before the discussion:
go through your child's report and work out which specific areas you have questions about
ask your child if there are any questions they would like you to ask or if there are any areas or subjects they feel that they would like more help in
write a list of questions you want to ask your child's teacher. These could include
if you need a translator, ask the school to help organise this before the interview.
During the discussion:
After the interview:
keep in regular contact with the teacher to follow up on your agreed plan
talk with your child about what you discussed with their teacher and how you can work together to improve their learning.
You can also request interviews at other times. If you are concerned about your child's progress, make an appointment to meet with their leader or teacher to discuss further.