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16+ events for parents to attend in one academic year

(36 Posts)
Verycold Wed 26-Jun-13 10:33:49


This is for two children added up, one at infants, one at juniors. And I am a hypocrite because so far I hasn't bothered me because I've been a sahm. But now I'll be back at work I'm thinking my word, that is soooo much? Why do schools do it?

LIZS Wed 26-Jun-13 10:35:36

2/3 per term per child , doesn't seem that many to me . Are they all daytime ?

Verycold Wed 26-Jun-13 10:39:14

Yes all daytime. It just seems a lot to me now because I probably won't be able to attend any of them in my job, so not looking forward to disappointing my children 16 times...

Elibean Wed 26-Jun-13 11:18:05

They do it because a) kids love it and b) parents who can do it get to engage with the school/be involved and c) because all the other schools do it smile

It must be very hard to go from being able to do all of them to none, though. Any chance you'd be able to do one or two per year for each child? Or get another relative/family friend to go and take pics for you?

Verycold Wed 26-Jun-13 11:33:28

Hopefully dh and mil can go to some, and Im hoping that I'll be able to go to the christmas play and dd's leavers assembly. It is hard though ��

Bunnyjo Wed 26-Jun-13 12:09:34

At a quick count-up, by the end of term I will have attended at least 15 events at DD's school for ONE child! It is a small village school and the school relies heavily on parental involvement.

Harvest festival, parents BBQ, Christmas play, Christmas carol service, winter fete, Christmas school disco and Santa visit, parents evening x3, Easter service, Fairtrade afternoon, summer picnic, summer fete, sports day, end of term assembly x2, end of year celebration and leavers assembly.

And I'm sure I have forgotten some too shock

DH works full-time so has only attended a few events, I am a full-time student so have attended most and my grandparents have attended ones that neither of us can make.

Oh, and parents (DH and I included) have given up the odd weekend day to weed and clear the school pond, weed and tidy the school grounds and dig out the new vegetable garden amongst other things. The school staff also volunteered their time to doing these jobs. The HT and parents are pencilling in a weekend in the autumn term, where parents and teachers will come in and fully decorate the school with a fresh lick of paint. We do this because we want to, though - the parish is a very small and close-knit community and the school is at the heart of that.

Bunnyjo Wed 26-Jun-13 12:10:15

DD's grandparents, not my grandparents (who have all sadly passed away)

curlew Wed 26-Jun-13 12:14:38

At our school we had loads because lots of parents WOH- if there were plenty they could usually make some.

Can't do right for doing wrong, school, can they?grin

DeWe Wed 26-Jun-13 12:23:10

At infant we have 1 Christmas show, 1 assembly, 1 open afternoon (children show you their new class room) and 1 sports' day, which happen during the school day. After a school trip you are invited to come and see photos, which is 10 minutes before the end of school, on a loop, so if you're late you can still see them after school.
That's one every term except summer which is 2. Anything else is evenings or weekends.

At junior we have 1 Christmas show, 1 assembly, 3 parent lunches, 1 sports' day.
That's two per term.

For both things like parents' evenings are in the evenings, and PTA stuff is usually Saturday mornings, so unless you're working evenings and weekends that shouldn't be effected by work.

Verycold Wed 26-Jun-13 12:36:05

Is this a recent thing or did schools already do this say twenty years ago?

I'm not from the UK and we certainly didn't have any of this when I was at school.

duffybeatmetoit Wed 26-Jun-13 13:22:31

We have loads too. Daytime events include 2 sports days, 2 lunches, 6 special assemblies, harvest festival, mother's day service, nativity, christingle, 6 church assemblies, end of year play. Trying to fit any in as a single parent working fulltime with no family in easy travelling distance is a nightmare.

AlienAttack Wed 26-Jun-13 13:44:42

But what would you prefer schools to do? Not have these events? Ask your DC to come in on a Saturday for end of year play or sports day? I am a single mother working part-time but DD's father is not part of our lives and therefore the onus (and, honestly, the joy) of attending these events falls to me. It isn't easy, it requires juggling, calling in favours and working in the evenings to make up hours...and sometimes I have to explain to my DD that I can't attend something. But I'm sure both I and my daughter prefer her to have the opportunities of these events than not. I know i am lucky that my managers at work are willing to let me work flexibly when required. But i confess to being veryjealous that you've a child in juniors and you're only now having to confront this challenge!

noramum Wed 26-Jun-13 14:13:53

We have per year:

1x Christmas play
3x assembly
3x end of term service
1x Harvest Festival
1x Open evening (child can show parents around)
2x Parent evening
1x Summer fete
1x Grandparents assembly
1x music assembly where DD plays the violin
2-3 parent information evenings about school topics

DH and I try our best to be there every time. DD's grandparents are not living locally so she misses out but I would say 1/3 of the children are in the same boat.

Normally one of us is there, there is 1-2x a year where it is just impossible. Luckily the school is very good giving lots of notice and tries to schedule things first thing in the morning.

cakesaregood Wed 26-Jun-13 14:38:19

And don't forget teachers are unable to attend any of their children's events!

If you don't go, they're not judging you!

redskyatnight Wed 26-Jun-13 15:29:39

DS (juniors)
Sports Day
Info meeting about residential trip
2 x parents’ evenings
Christmas concert (included for completeness, DS wasn’t in it and I didn’t go).

Class assembly (which clashed with DS’s assembly, so didn’t go)
Year group assembly
Info meeting about moving up
2 x parents’ evenings
Harvest festival
Nativity play
Sports day
Christmas Fair
Summer Fair

Interesting the junior school has far fewer events. It’s noticeable round here that the majority of parents at juniors work (so wouldn’t come to daytime events) whereas more of the infants school parents are available during the day. So I think the junior school has adapted to cater for “demand”.

Generally both DH and I try to go to the “major” things and we try to share out the minor things. Sometimes we just can’t make it (3rd rescheduling of DS’s sports day). I think if you can’t make them all you need to prioritise which are most important to you/your DC.

MaybeBentley Wed 26-Jun-13 19:19:14

Would you prefer the school didn't do any of the events and just teach a 9 - 3 day? I'd be grateful if my school organised as many opportunities for enrichment for the children and involvement from me. I couldn't make most of them, either, but at least I have options of the couple I can take a day's holiday for.

lim1bd Wed 26-Jun-13 19:31:25

DS's last school had 2 parents evenings a year... and that was it. No fairs, plays, assemblies, performances, fundraising obstacle courses or anything. There was sports day, but no spectators.

His reception teacher said that it was to not make children with disinterested parents (which were legion) feel left out. I could see their point, but it seemed sad to draw such a massive line in the sand between home and school. We quite literally just dropped him off and picked him up for nearly two years. He's now moved to a school with events and (shock horror) a pta too and comparitively it just feels like he's at a school with a soul now.

I can see that too many events would be frustrating, but none at all was pretty depressing.

duffybeatmetoit Wed 26-Jun-13 19:47:21

cakesaregood the teacher's children are in the school so are the only parents guaranteed to be there. A few more evening events would be appreciated although that doesn't always help shift workers.

It does feel like you are being judged!

MaybeBentley Wed 26-Jun-13 20:41:03

Who do you feel is judging you? It won't be the school as they do know parents work! Other parents who are SAHP? Or is it you feeling guilty and judging yourself? If so, don't be so hard on yourself, I think every parent feels that way. You do sound a little uptight about the teacher with children in the school being there, but bear in mind they will have their teacher hat on not their parent hat. So are you saying you don't want school to do events because you can't go?

duffybeatmetoit Wed 26-Jun-13 21:06:15

Maybe not at all it's good for the children to have a wide range of activities but it is hard for them to understand why you aren't there when other parents are.

I am a shade narked with the teacher who let slip that their last inset day was just a day off for the staff as they did the training over a few evenings. Not the thing to say to a working parent who had to make very complicated arrangements for childcare to cover it.

MaybeBentley Wed 26-Jun-13 21:44:46

INSET days are taken out of the teachers' holiday. If they've done overtime by working late in the evenings for the training they have still given up their own time to train, so what is the difference?

cakesaregood Wed 26-Jun-13 22:15:05

Maybe that's the case at your school, Duffy.

I feel guilty when I apologise for my absence. Which is bonkers because I'm apologising to teachers who don't go to their children's events. Then I feel guilty for potentially making them feel guilty... The joys of motherhood eh?

Dealing with disappointment is a life skill though. Granted, one that we'd like to protect our children from but at some point it will come along.

There are a few perks of working. Like being able to pay for the trips and the photos etc wink

duffybeatmetoit Wed 26-Jun-13 22:16:00

In theory time off in lieu is fine but the school's attitude has been we're all (staff, children and parents) getting a day off isn't it great. Sadly we are not all getting time off and the logistics of providing childcare to cover isn't always that easy for odd days.

duffybeatmetoit Wed 26-Jun-13 22:37:35

Can you tell it came at a bad moment? I think it's just the feeling you get that the school thinks parents don't have any problems in covering all the school holidays, inset days and a dozen or more other events.

Hopefully they don't think that, it's just the impression you are left with.

cakesaregood Wed 26-Jun-13 23:13:45

smile flowers Duffy

It's less fun sitting in teacher training when your children have a TD day too than missing an assembly. Harder to explain to your children too sad

Childcare is tricky here too - the afterschool club is shared with the pre-school and the preschool is full of their own (preschool) children on TD days!

I accept that for me, these are problems to accept rather than to solve.

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