Free your teachers from report-writing frenzy: a case study

Hazelbury Primary School has replaced traditional end-of-year reports with pupil-authored learning journals. Teachers have better work-life balance, the headteacher saves over 400 hours a year and parents get all the information they need. Here's how you could achieve this too.

Last reviewed on 2 September 2021
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 38814
  1. What's different about this? 
  2. It'll work for you if ...
  3. How it looks: learning journals, teacher:pupil 'conferences' and reflection lessons
  4. Make it work for you

What's different about this? 

Instead of each class teacher writing 30 full reports at the end of the year – consuming their evenings and weekends – and the headteacher spending 466 hours checking over every report for over 1,000 pupils:

  • The whole process happens during school hours
  • Teachers and pupils add to learning journals "little and often" throughout the year 
  • Teachers have a 5-minute conversation (no longer!) with each child in their class each term to review progress and set targets
  • Pupils update their learning journals during regular reflection lessons 
  • Leaders monitor quality via informal 'book-looks' of journals during the year
  • Teachers fill in simple cover sheets that fulfil the statutory reporting requirements and go home to parents with the learning journals

You're in a primary school, where it's usually one teacher writing the whole report for a child  You can give your class teachers 4 days out of class a year. (Hazelbury decided the cost of supply cover was worth it for the impact on teacher workload and work-life