Monthly Archives: July 2011

What would your 2011 school report say?

It’s about now that many of you will be opening the annual school report and beaming at the comments from the teachers.

You may want to tell people just how well little Johnny and Jemima are doing at everything.

I remember the real feeling of dread when handing over my end of school report to my mum and dad. There was always a teacher I didn’t like or didn’t get on with (maths, usually) and I waited with bated breath for the sarcastic remark about my inability to do calculus or something equally unfathomable.

I never received the kinds of glowing reports that many parents boast of today. They were positive enough and had contained both good points and constructive criticism that made me understand how I could improve.

There *may* have been the odd comment about being a bit too chatty at times, but apart from that I was a good pupil, who worked hard (usually) to get average results.

I love reading the school reports of famous or notable people.

For instance, Sir Isaac Newton’s school report is said to have complained that he was “idle” and inattentive”; John Lennon’s was famously told he was “on the road to failure”; while Michael Palin was described as being a “teeny bit pleased with himself”.

Apparently, novelist Beryl Bainbridge’s geography report read that “her knowledge of the subject is so poor as to make one wonder if she is simpleminded”.

This has led me to think about you received a school report – about yourself – today, what would it say? Would you get a glowing testimonial for maths? How would you fare in biology? And do you think your history would bear scrutiny?

I’d like to think mine would be along the lines of:

“Jayne tries hard in everything she does, but with erratic results. She is generally polite and well-behaved, but if someone crosses her she has a tendency to say things she may later regret.

She is an enthusiastic contributor and participates in many discussions. She has worked well and should not be so hard on herself.

Music: she gets frustrated that people do not appreciate her unique tone and musicality. She also gets cross when accompanying singers as she listens to the radio because she finds they often get the words wrong.

Home economics:  enthusiastic in the kitchen when it comes to eating cake and biscuits, but needs to take more care at tidying away.

Geography: Jayne really must look at a map before embarking on a journey so she does not have to stop the car several times to check if she is going the right way.

Chemistry: Understands how gin reacts with slimline tonic. Model student.

Absence through illness: 0 days.

Unauthorised absences: 0 days.

Number of times late: 0 (by the skin of her teeth, usually).”

What would your 2011 school report say?