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Innovative assessment tools and methods - Belgium (French speaking community)

The file regarding support and/or the complementary year

This file is a tool to help the teacher in the support of children with SEN. It contains:

  • The introduction
  • The notes for the teacher
  • The profile of the child
  • The file regarding support
  • The file for the complementary year


It is important that the contents of the file only consist of the actual choices of the school:

  • priority with regard to the pupil and his/her ethnic background
  • the will of the adult to see the pupil in positive terms
  • the assessment of the pupil according to formative and personalised criterion
  • must be coherent and to progress with the educational priorities concerning the child
  • a humanistic view to education

Notes for the teacher

The note reminds the teacher of the general aim of the decree and the principal points of success the school would like to achieve.

Concerning the complementary year, the notes remind the teacher that certain pupils need a complementary year to take a step forward.  To provide results and fulfil the aim of the successful school, it is necessary that each pupil receives pedagogic support adapted to his/her needs. This measure must continue to be an exception and cannot be repeated.

Concerning the support file, this contains information on the competences already acquired and the difficulties detected and must be handled with care. The support file’s aim is to understand the particular situation of each child, to prevent intervenment, to avoid the complementary year. Contrary to the file for the complementary year, it can be open at all times during the school year.

Practical use

  • the file is confidential and must be kept in a safe place ( usually in the director’s office)
  • the file must be read by all concerned members. 

The cycle council allow the members of the teaching team to report their observations, so that it is possible for everyone to have a coherent attitude in order to support a pupil with SEN.

The file is considered as a co-ordination tool putting the pupil into the centre of the priorities and it is the cycle council who defines the actions needed to help the pupil to deal with difficulties. These actions are organised during the time allocated for meetings outside of the normal schedule.

The teacher is obliged to ask the principal to open the file whenever he/she detects a pupil who has difficulties in one way or another.

To be efficient and coherent, only one file will be used. This same file will follow the pupil during the years and will be consulted by the successive teachers even if the pupil no longer needs support or a complementary year.

The head teacher is entirely responsible for the file and it is the responsibility of the teacher to complete it. This responsibility passes through the administrative framework and commits all the persons concerned.

The following pages are of help when completing the file (examples and comments)

Only significant behaviour (serious and frequent) must be noted. It is necessary to write it in the term of ‘observable behaviour’.

For example: the pupil is violent or he/she does not respect the environment is non-observable behaviour.

But: he fights during breaks with certain children or he injures the teacher in the classroom, breaks his own or other materials, is observable behaviour.

Not all points are necessarily completed and it is advised to use the surname of the pupil.

The profile of the pupil:

  • the social and family profile : composition of the family, activities of the parents, educational and affective failure or possibilities, area of residence (city, country, wealthy or poor area)
  • the medical profile : information on health problems, symptoms and interventions, medication and contraindications, necessary precautions
  • relational aspect: behaviour (observable) of the pupil on their own, with fellow pupils, with adults, within the environment and so on
  • senses : body language, gestural and motor abilities, memory, time perception and perception of space
  • the pedagogical aspect : it is very important to complete the frame concerning the history of the pupil since registering at school. Absenteism and punctuality are important elements. The competences mentioned (strong and weak points) taking the pupils ethnic background into consideration
  • It is important to understand that this part must be taken very seriously. Everyone involved must work very carefully as a team, as reflection must result in improved understanding of the pupil and his/her difficulties. In very difficult situations, it can be necessary to call in the special services (psychologist, guidance service, etc.)

The file regarding support

It contains the document defining the prioritised aims completed by the cycle council, the action, strategy, tools, responsibility and assessment

The file for the complementary year

The cycle council for the complementary year defines the actions to be taken in terms of competence. This file follows the support file.

  • The file must be opened by September 1st.
  • The first meeting of the council defines a maximum of 3 priority competences.
  • The file must contain 3 meetings of the council and one evaluation.At each new council meeting 3 new competences can be proposed. This means that a maximum of 9 competences can be proposed during one school year.
  • To complete the competences it is necessary to refer to the study programme.


  • Programmes des études 2002 enseignement fondamental Ministère de la Communauté française, Administration générale de l’Enseignement et de la Recherche scientifique, Service général des Affaires pédagogiques, de la Recherche en pédagogie et du Pilotage de l’enseignement organisé par la Communauté française.(programme for the studies in the elementary education)
  • Socles de compétences enseignement fondamental et premier degré de l’enseignement secondaire Ministère de la Communauté française, Administration générale de l’Enseignement et de la Recherche scientifique (basic competence for the elementary school and the first degree ot the secondary education)
  • Pistes pour la mise en place des cycles à l’école fondamentale à l’usage des enseignants et des directeurs d’école Ministère de la Communauté française, Administration générale de l’enseignement et de la recherche scientifique, Service général du pilotage du système éducatif (road to put in place the cycles in the elementary school to be used by the teachers and headteachers)
  • Dossier au service du soutien et/ou de l’année complémentaire Ministère de la Communauté française, Administration générale de l’Enseignement et de la Recherche scientifique, Service général des Affaires pédagogiques, de la Recherche en pédagogie et du Pilotage de l’enseignement organisé par la Communauté française, enseignement fondamental organisé par la Communauté française. (file to put in place the support and/or the complementary year)
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