What's likely to be covered at a Parents' evening?
Most common areas for discussion include the following:
- Progress and learning: your child's progress, their strengths and areas for development, particularly in the core subjects of English (literacy), Maths (numeracy) and Science. You may also discuss your child's targets for the 'next steps' in their learning. This may involve the teacher giving you an idea of your child's National Curriculum level, but they are not obliged to do so at every Parents' evening.
- Behaviour and attitude: how engaged they are in class, whether they volunteer answers and ideas, how well they listen, how well they work alone/in a pair/collaboratively, their attitude towards success/failure (do they mind 'having a go' even if they are not sure whether they are right?).
- Social interaction/peer group/friendships: how well they get along with others, any particular friendships, their ability to share, negotiate and take turns.
- What are my child's strengths?
- What are the areas my child most needs to work on?
- Which topics are you covering/which topics will you be covering next?
- How can I support my child's learning at home?
- How does my child interact with others?
- Curriculum: topics they are covering in class at the moment, how aspects of the curriculum are taught, the school's approach to certain areas such as reading, or maths, to enable you to support at home.
- Homework: This is an ideal chance to check exactly what is expected, especially if you are having any particular issues with homework and to ask the teacher if they have any suggestions. Find out how often it is set (if at all, depending on the age of the children), how long they should spend on it, how best to help, how independently your child is expected to complete it and so on.
Bear in mind, this is often an area that parents have very differing views on. Within the same Parents' evening, a teacher may discuss ways to encourage a very reluctant child to do their homework with one set of parents and what to do if you want more, with the next set of parents.
Five useful questions to ask at Parents' evening