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Demystifying School Reports

You’ve worked hard all year trying to keep all the balls in the air
Your child is exhausted from another year at school
The school report comes home and …
you feel like you’re having to start again!

School reports provide an overall summary of how your child has performed throughout the year and how they compare to their peers. It is important to read the guide from your school to understand how your school awards grades (“C” is average in NSW DEC Reports and something to celebrate!) and if in doubt, ask for help from your school.

Here is a great exercise for parents to demystify the end of school report. Take a piece of paper and fold it into four and label each quadrant with the following headings. “The Good”, “The Not So Good”, “Effort” and “Where to Next?” and re-read your child’s report to identify where the main changes need to occur.

The Good

  • Where are your child’s strengths?
  • What areas were stand outs?
  • Where can you celebrate?




The Not So Good

  • Where were the main difficulties?
  • Look for a pattern here …
  • Is it content your child doesn’t know      (and maybe a tutor could help)?
  • Is your child struggling to follow and participate in class discussions                     (a speech pathologist could help here)?
The Effort

  • What type of effort was applied?
  • You may have a different view from your child’s teacher and now is the time to be honest.
  • If effort is the main concern here, creating time for improvements to be possible is the number 1 priority.
  • Where to Next?
Where to Next?

  • Do we need more time at home for   work to get done?
  • Do we need to incentivise learning?
  • Is the help for our child working?
  • Do we need more or different help?
  • Do we know why our child is struggling  to learn?


There is not one straight answer to demystifying school reports and it will be different for each child and family. But this exercise is helpful to provide you with the confidence to seek the support your child will need next year. It may be an assessment to find out more, less/more/different tutoring or changes at home to create more time or prioritise/incentivise learning. January is a great time to think about what to change in the next year for more success for your child. Take another look at the school report, talk with your child and make a plan for the year ahead.

Learning Links provides assessments to determine your childs needs and determine if your child requires additional hep including specialist literacy and numeracy classes.

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