School reports…

I was digging around in a drawer just now, looking for something, and i came across something intriguing… 3 of my old school reports. Now i have no idea what they say but the way i remember it is that after every parents evening (particularly in primary school) i would get a bollocking for various reasons ranging from ‘being stupid’ to ‘not being able to write properly’ (I’ll explain that one) and basically because my parents were and still are abusive twats… (I’ve suspected for a while but only managed to confirm it recently… It does go a long way to explaining an awful lot of things ) They never tried to help… they just shouted like lunatics and expected something to happen…

 

Now… I already know about my year 11 report because i kept it in my possession to prove i’ve got some sort of an education. With the 3 new ones i can add Year 7, 8 and 9 to that list…

I wonder what they say and if they really are as bad as i’ve been led to believe…

 

I won’t detail every subject… just the ones that are important to me today and provide an overview of the rest to see how i was getting along and i’ll finish with my Y 11 ones… In the interests of fairness to current staff and pupils (It was actually a terrible school… don’t know about these days…) i won’t name where it was, just like i don’t mention where i’m currently living for the same reason. Protecting the innocent… You’ll understand.

Let’s start with Y7…

For a start, looking at it… it’s remarkably thin. I don’t remember skiving much that year… I don’t remember being off much at all apart from a short illness…

  • The Form Report describes me as ‘Quiet, Sensitive and thoughtful…’ in other words i didn’t say much and kept to myself… but apparently i was doing good work so that’s a plus…
  • In English for that year we can already see the blossoming of a self declared literary genius… It says ‘James always responds well in class with interesting ideas…’ and ‘He writes imaginatively and tries to organise his ideas and develop thoughts and feelings clearly…’ The only real problem in this one is something i’ve never really got out of… Capital letters where they should be lowercase. But to be fair, where I dump capitals is at least systematical as i’ve found I even do it on a computer (not so much these days). It also mentions I needed to ‘Proofread  very carefully to check for errors in spelling and punctuation.’
  • History was a good subject for me that year and i basically says i have a lot of potential. It says things like ‘James is a keen and hardworking pupil who contributes well to discussion and should aim to maintain his good efforts.
  • Music is brief and to the point saying ‘James has made a good start in his music lessons this year, demonstrating a real interest in the subject.’ So like with English… something was beginning to sprout (which you would expect at 12 years old). I just find it a shame that it was never picked up on or encouraged…

Surprisingly the handwriting thing barely comes up…  It never was brilliant to begin with and maybe this explains why nobody tried to help. It’s only mentioned in Maths and Design Technology, whilst English only mentions my poor use of Capital letters. Gets me wondering if it was ever really as bad as i was led to believe it was…  The only bad report of the bunch is PE… which i was never very good at and was mostly Football which i don’t like anyway…  Overall though, apparently i was hard working, doing well and making good progress in almost every subject… In fact i was almost what you might call a model pupil… Even Art… which i never was spectacular at…

One year on in Y8 and things appear to have gone down hill a little…

  • Music has now dropped the ‘Interest in the subject’ lark and is more about explaining the classwork… though it does say ‘Presentation is good but James must try to complete all Classwork.’ That does sound a bit curious… but might explain why the interest thing wasn’t picked up on in later years…
  • History meanwhile also seems to have suffered… Although i was ‘Making good use of Evidence’ it doesn’t seem to be as good this year… It says that ‘James needs to develop his written work more fully if he’s to progress further.’
  • According to EnglishJames’ Diary in the style of Jamaican Creole was impressive.’ ??? I honestly have no idea what that one’s about… But interestingly the report mentions ‘A sound understanding of purpose, audience, style and presentation.’ and finishes with the line ‘An excellent effort.’ In fact… i think that was my best report of the year…
  • Form meanwhile is hardly flattering, saying i need develop my group work skills… which contradicts everybody else’s reports which says i worked well in groups… It doesn’t say anything bad as such though…

Bad handwriting crops up again in RE, History and French… only one more than the year before. Science meanwhile says the exact opposite and that it has improved vastly. Curiously the capital letters don’t appear this year… even though they only appeared once the year before. For some reason PE improves though in my mind it didn’t… Maybe it’s because according to the report it was more than just football that year. There’s a hilarious sounding line in the German report where it says i’m keen on Oral Activities. (The teacher was French… you can’t blame her for not having a grasp of English innuendo…)

And so we move on to Year 9

  • Form this year is vastly improved… It no longer says i don’t work well with others, rather mentioning that ‘James  is able to work well as a member of a team or as an independent pupil and has worked hard to foster good relationships with other members of the form.’ It also mentions a pleasant attitude…
  • English i’m going to put the whole report because it just says it all…

‘James has shown enthusiasm all year. He has a vivid imagination and can produce very lively and engaging descriptive writing, using an excellent range of vocabulary. He is also able to present some very sophisticated arguments in a discussive piece.’

Short but notice one thing…That blossoming i mentioned earlier? It’s gone into overdrive… Not quite fully mature yet but well on the way…

  • History is also much better this year… citing ‘An excellent knowledge and understanding,’ It’s another brief one… but like the first year it’s back to mentioning extreme potential.
  • Music briefly mentions the topics studied… and nothing more.

Maths, Scienceand French once again mention sub standard handwriting… Like with Science the year before, German mentions an improvement. This year there is a sample of my handwriting… a ‘pupil comment’ section type thing… And i can see the point of the teachers that mention it… it’s a little scruffy and kind of shaky… but i’ve seen far worse. (This years Geography report for instance.) In my honest opinion it could do with being a little bigger… Overall though a much better year generally… Basically more of the same, only with a bit more praise…

and then we skip a year coz i can’t find that one and move onto Y11…

  • English this year has nothing new to offer… It says stuff like ‘James is a friendly and hard working individual…’ etc, etc… It’s an amalgamation of all the stuff we’ve seen before.
  • The Form Report is probably the best out of the four years worth of reports we’ve seen. The best thing it says is: ‘James can be trusted and relied upon to perform any given task. His commitment in all areas is admirable.’ I think, considering i went to an awful school (it ranked pretty low with Ofsted at the time and was full of Chavs they bussed in from the more scummy areas of town…) that’s pretty damn impressive to get words like that on my report… Or maybe i just looked good compared to everyone else…
  • History surprisingly says very little. It starts with an awful lot of stuff about the second world war and finishes with the words: ‘James should achieve an excellent GCSE grade,’
  • Unfortunately there’s no Music as my interest was never encouraged…

Overall though, Y11 is the most positive year yet… Yes, RE is brief and to the point but i failed that subject as i never really tried (I think i actually tried to dispute the existence of Jesus in my exam… No wonder i failed…) Generally, all the teachers say the same thing… that i was ‘A pleasure to teach,’ and do you know what? No bad handwriting comments 😉

 

It sounds mad and just generic, goody two shoes school report stuff… but reading through them properly, you do get the impression that it’s actually genuine. And my actual GCSE’s show that i must have done something right… Looking through my predicted grades (included with the Y11 stuff…) I out did myself on almost every occasion. I only failed RE.  And that was at a bad school full of Chavs… imagine what i could have done at a good school with no chavs… with decent Teachers… if my ‘interest in music’ had been encouraged…

And all the while i thought i wasn’t doing good enough because after each parents evening would come the annual, demoralizing, verbal beat down about how i wasn’t doing well enough, how my best wasn’t good enough, how i was stupid etc etc… and like an idiot i believed it… You do at that age because you don’t know any better… despite the fact that my grades were ok and i was in the top sets for everything.

What these show is that everything i was told about how i was doing at school was a barefaced, abusive lie (up until A-Level where i went to a better place that actually did it’s job…) Even my handwriting… was that ever as bad as i was led to believe? Probably not…

Maybe there’s something i’m missing here… this isn’t the whole story after all… but what’s the point of a school report if it doesn’t give a damn good interpretation of what’s going on? Certainly gives me something to think about…

I’ve got a couple of days spare to do some more digging on the matter. See what i can find.

 

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