One page profiles – getting better all the time
This time last year, we worked very hard to ensure that every single pupil at the school had a One Page Profile. We had a team of parental volunteers who worked alongside us, talking to the pupils and helping to type up all the responses.
Since then, we have reflected on what worked, and what didn’t work. We felt that although the one page profiles were effective, they were not as easy for people to use on a day to day basis. So this year we are going to create a postcard that the children can give to their new teacher. This postcard will be hand written rather than typed – so that the older pupils can write it themselves. The elements will remain the same; what we like and admire about the pupil, what is important to the pupil, and what they would like their new teacher to know about themselves. A copy of the postcard will be sent home with the child’s report.
We have written to the parents asking for their input on the ‘like and admire’ section, and also on what they think the new teacher should know about the child. This letter gave very clear examples of the type of response – to clarify and specify, avoiding ‘woolly’ advice and guidance.
Our Teaching Assistants have been briefed about the project, and indeed a parent has come up to ask if we are doing the profile again, and how can she help. The teachers are keen, as they can see the benefits of having information about the new children in their class. The Guide to One Page profiles in schools that we wrote last year to support the project will be used again, to focus questions and ensure that a true picture of each child is captured in a meaningful and useful manner. The more specific the responses, the better the quality of personalised attention we can give.
Our new Reception children will have their postcard completed in their initial 1:1 meeting that we are holding in July. Last year the teachers had a 30 minute meeting with new parents and their children in September. They completed their One Page Profile then. In retrospect, we realised that this was too late – this 1:1 meeting would be much better being held in July, before the children actually start school. So the teachers can start the new year with a clear picture of each child, and will have strategies to support a smooth introduction to school life.
We will also be completing a postcard for our year 6 children to send on to their Secondary school. Last year we had positive feedback from the profiles.
The postcards will be kept ‘live’ and teachers will be encouraged to revisit them as the term progresses, and write on them any changes that may become obvious. It will become a ‘working document’ that will inform teachers.
By reflecting on what worked and did not work about the way we are introducing and using one page profiles, we are able to get better and better at making them living documents that make a difference for all.