So, He's in Yr8. We have already complained to the school at the almost non existent homework being set by them. We have complained that we have no idea what he is learning in class, so we cannot support him at home properly. (They are not allowed to take class books home!)
Now before they are fixed, a 3rd strike .. In the School Calendar, there are 3 weeks in February marked as 'Assessment Period Year 8'. I was waiting for him to come home with revision homework, or at least a list of dates when tests would be, what subjects, or some information of any kind.
So we are now into the said 'assessment period', and with no information coming home. A week into the 'assessment period' , I emailed the school at the weekend, asking what the situation was. Today (Wednesday), he comes home and says that he's just had a maths test. He also found out that he is having a Science test tomorrow.
So no warning to the kids, no guide for the parents or kids as to which subject to revise ....
Is this normal ?? I really want to help him study and provide the best I can ... but I just feel that I'm completely shut out by the school.
If it is not normal ... then I will be onto my third complaint to the school in as many months. I'm starting to get paranoid - am i expecting too much ?
And I probably shouldn't have said that either, sorry.
I just sometimes get cross at parents who feel they can do their children's schoolwork for them. Particularly since I would love to do ds's for him, it would make life so much easier. In fact, if I could just sit his exams as well, maybe [hopeful]
Homework - For every parent who complains about 'not enough homework', there will be another saying 'too much'. If you want him to do extra work at home there are plenty of websites etc where you can find some. Clearly his teachers don't think it is necessary at the moment. Alternativey, you could try something a bit more creative - writing competitions, etc.
Not knowing what he is working on - what do you expect the school to do? Contact you each time your DS starts a new topic in each subject? Really? How long do you think that would take? Who should be responsible for doing it? Surely you just say "so DS, what are you studying in history this half term?" and find out?
Assessment week - They did tell you (and, more importantly, DS) about the assessments. It was on the calendar. If staff felt that pupils need more preparation then they will have explained it in their lessons. A lot of my pupils did end of unit assessments last week. I discussed it with them; it wouldn't have crossed my mind to contact the parents of the 200+ pupils I teach to discuss it with them too.
I'm genuinely baffled as to why you've complained to the school about any of these. Is it the right school for you? Do you need to consider alternatives?
HisB - I'm really surprised by the number of people that are saying back off and don't worry about it. IMO the combination of hardly any homework, lack of books, and seemingly lack of information about tests would leave me feeling that school is a it of a black hole. I'd be concerned in your shoes. I also agree some children need more practical support than others otherwise they perform below their potential. Ds year 7 now much more organised than at junior level but starts to slip when tired so we keep half an eye on what's going on but leave rest to him. It's a good habit to read through books before tests - it doesn't need to be cramming - it's about being more familiar with the material. Is he allowed to bring his exercise books home - is there anything in them?
I honestly think three complaints on this count is three too many. I don't think parents need to know what exactly is being taught when for their child to do well. I never know when assessments are due. The DC sometimes tell me a result (I assume only if it's good ). They really do need to become independent learners once in secondary so constantly looking over their shoulders can seriously hinder. I'd leave him to it, really I would.
He has 'tracker tests' each half term, to assess progress and understanding of the topics covered that half term. Each half-term, he uses his own notes from lessons and the CGP revision guides to make short revision notes or a mind-map on the topic(s) he's just done, then tests himself using summary questions or revision questions. He saves the revision notes in a folder to use when revising the whole year's work for the summer exams, so he can remember what topics he did.