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Report writing

Soon you'll be facing the challenge of finding words to fill some 500 reports, probably for the first time. Here are some phrases to amend and use:

* Has a firm friendship base in the form.

* Actively participates in classroom discussions.

* Is a polite and friendly pupil.

* Needs to develop effective revision techniques such as mind-mapping.

* Takes a sensible and active role in group work.

* Is able to work independently within the class.

* Has shown evidence of independent study.

* Is a quiet and conscientious member of the form.

* Needs to write at greater length to demonstrate a better understanding of the topic.

* With guidance can engage with class activities.

* Once settled is able to undertake tasks set.

* Readily voices his or her opinion on a range of topics.

* Positive approach to study.

* Although finding the subject difficult has a very positive attitude to the tasks set.

* Works quietly and independently.

* Has produced some detailed, well argued work.

* Needs to ensure that all work is of sufficient length and contains good detail.

* Has potential but needs to apply him or herself far more.

* Easily distracted by friends.

* Needs to concentrate more on the subject and less on conversations with friends.

* Needs to concentrate more on developing the content of the work.

* Has ability in the subject and has produced some detailed, accurate work.

* Can produce acceptable work when away from the distractions of friends.

* Needs to increase the speed with which work is produced.

* With guidance is able to undertake tasks set.

It is also good to link any of the above with a "how to achieve" statement such as:

* This can be achieved by wider reading.

* Use connectives, such as because and also.

* Contributing verbally at least once in each lesson.

* Should concentrate more on work than friends.

* Re-reading work done will allow spelling to be checked.

* Reading at least one non-school text will help develop the work.

* Should ask the teacher for help when unsure.

* Should try the work before asking for help.

* In order to achieve higher grades should look to write with greater detail.

Use all of the above as a guide, mixing and matching as appropriate. Use them as starting points for your own reports and substitute similar words for variety, for example "pleasant" becomes "affable" becomes "friendly"

becomes "positive". This will help you break the back of report writing.

Roy Watson-Davis is an advanced skills teacher at Blackfen school for girls in Sidcup, Kent. His books Creative Teaching and Form Tutors Guide are available from

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