A Guide to Successful Parents' Evenings
We provide three opportunities for you to meet with your child's teacher(s). We hold the first parents' evenings in the autumn term, so parents and teachers can see how children have settled. The second sessions, in the spring term, are for an update on progress. The third sessions, in the summer term, are for an update on progress towards end of year targets. To avoid long queues, we have an online appointments system. You will see the member of the year group team that has the most relevant contact with your child, i.e. class teacher or teacher for maths or English. If you have specific concerns, please make another appointment, rather than keep other parents waiting.
You've got ten minutes one-to-one with your child's teacher. Here's how to make the most of that time...
Make the effort
Firstly, do make an effort to come. We offer after school and evening sessions to give opportunities for working parents to attend. By attending parents' evening, you're sending out a positive message to your child that you value school and that you're a supportive, interested parent, and of course you'll hear first-hand how they’re getting on.
Talk to your child before the parents' evening. Is there anything that he'd like you to ask or any work he'd like you to see? Is there anything bothering him, a particular time, place, person or subject?
The teacher will have prepared what she wants to say, but teachers will ask if there's anything else in particular you'd like to know.
What to ask?
It might be worth jotting down a few key pointers before you attend. These are the sort of questions you might like to ask:
Is my child happy at school?
Does he get on well with his classmates?
What are the expectations of his year group?
What should I be doing to help my child at home?
What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Does he work to the best of his ability?
Is he progressing at a reasonable rate?
What will he be working on next?
We give parents the opportunity to look at their child's work before meeting the teacher. Your child's work should have improved over time. If there appears to be little progress or work is rarely finished, try to find out why when you speak to the teacher. Most of the time parents' evenings will simply underline what you already know, but make sure you single out things to praise him for afterwards.
What you can provide
You might also want to tell the teacher about any changes at home, things your child enjoys or finds difficult and any worries he might have. If your child is mad about or excels at a sport or hobby outside school, now is the time to make the teacher aware of this. Children can be surprisingly reticent at blowing their own trumpets and it's helpful for the teacher to know what they're like out of school, to see the whole picture.
We hope you will have told us of any concerns as they arose, not waited until parents’ evening. We will have contacted you about any concerns from our side.
Occasionally a teacher's impression of your child won't match your own experience. It's important for both of you to try to understand what's happening. For example, if your child isn't eager to join in class discussions, is it because he's shy, switched off because he's not interested or worried about saying 'the wrong thing' and what can be done to encourage him?
Afterwards, make sure you give your child a thorough run-down of your discussion with the teacher: her praise and her criticisms, if any, and what the school and you are expecting from him now. If there is room for improvement, this might be the time to set up new home routines to encourage him to do his best.