5 Top Tips to Make Writing Your End-of-Term Reports Easier
It's tense at the best of times: numerous templates, hundreds of students, and unwavering deadlines. The school report season is one of the most dreaded parts of the academic year for your teachers and staff members, but there are steps you can take to try and make the process as smooth and as painless as possible.
So, as we enter the school report season, here are our 5 top tips to help you 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 you need them, so we can ensure that all the data is entered correctly within plenty of time and, perhaps more importantly, so you have enough time to fully test them ahead of their submission dates.
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
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.