He points out that "without records, we have no way of knowing what we are doing."(18).
Record-keeping has always been an important part of the teacher's work; it would be easy, in concern about recording each child's progress in the National Curriculum, to forget the need for long-term records and for records which give their own input to work and the corresponding output from the children.
There are many reasons for keeping records besides those of recording progress in the National Curriculum. An important reason for record-keeping is continuity. If teachers should happen to have a long illness or leave their present school in mid-year, all that they have learned about their children will be lost, and appropriate records are needed so that someone else can take up where they left off.
Records may help the teachers to match work to individual children and help them to overcome learning problems. Something a child does once may not appear to be significant, but if it happens several times, it may give them important clues to the nature of a difficulty. They may not notice this if they do not keep appropriate records. It would be difficult to keep this kind of record for every child all the time, but they can do it for a small number who have problems.
Important items from a child's background noted over a period may help the teacher to understand his or her difficulties and put them in a better position to help. For example, a child who has changed schools number of times may be insecure and need in filling gaps in learning. A child who has a handicapped sibling may find it difficult to cope with the extra attention that the sibling needs from his or her parents. Background information of this kind is sensitive and the teacher or head may need to ask the parent concerned if he or she minds having it recorded so that teachers are aware of any difficulties.
School records or records to be passed on need to contain only what might be described as considered records. Teacher's own day to day notes may contain comments about individual children and the success or otherwise of particular pieces of work, recorded for their benefit alone. These notes will form the basis of their final records.
Teacher will also need records of each individual child. It is helpful to keep these records in a loose leaf file with a page for each child. They can then add material and put this into a longer term record when each page is full. Their file should include a check list for each child of the Attainment Statements from the National Curriculum arranged so that they can tick off items as they are achieved.
Historically one of the standard methods of keeping records was for the class teacher to maintain a weekly record book and to contribute to a cumulative record and termly or yearly report for the parents. This was quite a feasible approach for a teacher who used a class-based teaching approach. What this technique also created, however, was belief that because the teacher had planned and taught the material the children had, by implication, learnt it. With the onset of the comprehensive principle and the development of mixed ability classes, a wider range of ability in the children being taught exposed serious limitations in the approach.
It is an essential aspect of record-keeping that staff and