If you are working within the education sector, chances are that you will have crossed paths with the concept and rise of ‘real time reporting’.


Real time reporting is exactly what it claims to be. It encompasses the ability to see a student’s up-to-date progress at any time, and now with the advancements of technology, online and anywhere too. At its core, this style of reporting is the most efficient way to exchange timely evidence of learning between teachers, parents, and students. With all stages of the student’s learning journey being captured, 3-way learning partnerships are strengthened. It’s a win for all involved.


Hero’s ‘Why’ - reflecting on our origin

Our journey to delivering a real time reporting option for schools began in 2007. To take a trip down memory lane, this was a time when report writing was particularly labour intensive, with teachers writing biannual paper based reports. The result of this was a generic reporting style, which merely brushed the surface of the rich, everyday learning happening in classrooms.

At this time, traditional reporting also didn’t reflect the technological capabilities of a rapidly modernising world. Students’ learning had often progressed by the time parents received their reports. This provided limited value and direction for students and parents alike. It was clear that a shift in the reporting status quo was needed...


Which leads us to where we are now, with Hero

Hero functions to promote real time reporting, delivered online for the increased visibility and convenience of both busy teachers and families. We understand that building a picture of learning overtime not only reduces overall administrative workload, but also provides a better, more holistic snapshot of students' learning journeys as they naturally progress.

That’s why we have built a platform that is fully customisable - giving schools the power to shape and align reporting with their unique vision. It’s a journey worth embarking on, but one that involves Heroic planning and leadership!


Your school’s road to real time reporting

Recently, Hero Senior Education Consultant, Cara Taylor, had the pleasure of connecting with some local Heroes in schools. The mission was to gain insight into their unique roads to online, real time reporting. Having spent time as a senior leader in primary schools, Cara has firsthand understanding of the need for strong leadership to drive and direct how, and when, reporting happens. Here are three key takeaways which Cara and the Heroes from Cobham Intermediate School, Prebbleton School, and Te Matauru Primary School identified from their individual journeys thus far…


1. Easing the Transition


As with any new mission, creating a clear strategic plan, one that is flexible, realistic and inclusive, is paramount. It’s helpful to scope out your journey before diving straight in, to ease the transition for all (staff, students and community).

“When Hero came along, it just seemed like a natural progression going online. We started with a hiss and a roar, with lots of things happening, and realised that it was too much. We pegged it back a wee bit, and currently have teachers doing a minimum of about 3 posts per term.”
- Alli Williams, Deputy Principal at Prebbleton School


“Take your time, and take things step by step. Make small changes and do them well. There is the opportunity to do a whole lot very quickly and overwhelm staff with, 1. using the technology, and secondly trying to understand what reporting actually looks like. Small steps, keep it meaningful, and take your parent community along with you too.”
- Peter Fowler, Deputy Principal at Cobham Intermediate School


“We have split our year into 2, which has been a tactile decision. We thought about, if we were reporting in the old way, we would do that at the end of Term 2, and then again at the end of Term 4. So we have split our year into two parts, and know that at some point in the first 6 months you’re going to be reporting on reading, writing, maths, enquiry, key competencies and school values, and again another round in the second half of the year.”
- Amanda, Assistant Principal at Te Matauru Primary School


2. Clear Communication


Clear communication of changes, guidelines and expectations is fundamental to the reporting process. Whether it be communicating to teachers, students, or your wider community, ensure that the road ahead is clearly defined for a smooth journey.


“Real time reporting is our sole way that we are sharing learning with whanau. It is a learning journey to bring your community on board. We have now changed our communications process so that everything is coming through Hero, which has been key for us. They know Hero is their one stop shop to find out any information about our school and their children’s learning.”
Amanda, Assistant Principal at Te Matauru Primary School


“When it comes to a reporting period, we will communicate with parents about what they can expect to see on Hero over this period of time... Whenever there's a change, we send it out to the parent community. I think there’s an expectation that parents understand that we are trying to improve the way we report on student activity, and so we have had no negative feedback.”
- Peter Fowler, Deputy Principal at Cobham Intermediate School


3. Reflect and Review

Growth and success happens through regular reflection, reviewing and reworking of your processes.


“What we have done as well is a review almost every term, to get staff feedback, student feedback and community feedback. That has determined the changes that we have made over time.”
- Sophie Crawford, Team Leader at Cobham Intermediate School


For the full conversation, and more about our Heroic schools’ reporting stories, subscribe to our 2021 Hero Webinar Series here.


Wondering where to begin for your school?

If the idea of shifting to real time reporting has piqued your interest, then you’re in the right place. Our team has put together this Action Plan to kickstart your planning process, and help make reporting a Heroic success. Following the same step-by-step structure as our growing inventory of Action Plans, Hero has you covered - no matter what your school’s reporting journey looks like!