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How much annual leave for school events(25 Posts)
DS1 starts school in September. I already have details of school holidays and training days but I also want to keep in mind there will be days we are invited into school for things like parents evening, nativity, assemblies, etc.
Just trying to sort out my leave and want to keep some back for this sort of thing. How many days approx should I expect?
A fair bit of your annual leave if the school is anything like my dc's. Workshops once a term, class assembly, Mother's Day assembly, sports day, random come and have a picnic on the playground days...the list is endless. Most parents can't make all of it.
How long is a piece of string? It honestly depends on the school. I think it's 7 or 8 at my kids school, but half of those are "stay at drop off time to view work" mornings.
There will be a few in the first term, then a couple a Christmas, a class assembly, sports day in the summer.
Ask specifics from older parents at the school if you can - we nearly made a major faux pas in DS1 first year by going along to some less important informationy things, then nearly skipping the Very Big Deal session of kids presenting their authored "books" to parents - we really hadn't understood that it was a different league event.
I don't take any but I work 4 days a week and my work is flexible if I want to swap my day off. Parents evening are in the evening.
Also depends on school. Parents dont go to assemblies or sports week but do go to swimming gala at our school.
We have two teacher meetings each year. But they're only 15 minutes long so can you flexi at all? Sports day is a half day. That's pretty much it!
The rest is choice - parents craft days, school trips, etc
Ask the school!
Some do special lunch for Mother's Day, some don't. Some do Christmas Decoration Making Day, some don't. Some have the school fete on a weekday, others at weekends. Some have a special assembly once per term, some once per year. etc, etc
My ds is in reception and so far there have been 8 events, with another 2 planned (that I know of!), they tend to start at 2 ish so depending on your hours they would probably need a half day. Ds has had 3 days off sick which is pretty good talking to some of the other parents.
Also, school has changed the way they do parents evening in reception, so instead of one evening where everyone books a 'slot' to talk to the teacher, now they do them over several afternoons, after school and ask you to attend. They write a time and date in your dc's reading record with around a weeks notice. They usually do 3 or 4 after school so you can get anything from 3.30 to 4.30 on any random day, with the request (but not essential )that your dc isn't there. I'll let you imagine how well that's gone down!
My DC has about one event a term that I really wouldn't want to miss (e.g. nativity) and a few others that are nice to go to (e.g. fun run). In reception I think it's more important to the kids that someone's there to watch them - as they get older numbers dwindle.
Parents meeting once a term, but after school, with slots up to 6.30pm
Parents’ assembly once a term (harvest festival, Easter or Mother’s Day, School concert in assembly time in summer term)
Class assembly for each of my children’s classes once a year
Sports Day (1/2 day)
School play (1 hour in afternoon)
101 local schools sports events after school that one or both my children need taking to. (Actually about 2 per term, per child).
Open mornings once per term
Invitation to join the school at church once a term
School fairs at Christmas, Easter and Summer (evenings)
97000 additional leavers’ events this term for DS who is moving up to Middle School - with his entire class, on the same site; it’s nit like they are going that far!
This is all without PTFA
I don’t attend everything; some parents don’t attend anything.
Well what do you actually want to attend? If everything then at least three days a term ime. But you really don’t need to attend everything. These events are usually very boring.
Ours has 3 concerts, 1 play, 1 sports day, 1 half day for end of term and usually at least 1 special assembly (there were 3 or more in year R though). Mostly they start at 1:30 or 2pm. Parents' evenings are after school and you can choose your own appointment time. Working parents don't tend to go to everything though. E.g. my friend only does her kids' plays and sports day because it's difficult with her job (public service). I've missed concerts before and sports day one year when it was rescheduled but I or DH try to get to everything else.
If I went to all it would be min 10:days each child. But I don't as I work. I bob out of work for a morning prob 5 or 6 days a year. Most working parents do a few but some do none at all. Some jobs don't allow it
Presume DC has a dad too to share the load?
At our school there’s an assembly per class per term - 9am-9.30 max, so most working parents who can flex their hours don’t use annual leave.
There’s a nativity or carol concert, and there will be at least 1 more thing in the autumn term I reckon.
Then spring term maybe 1 thing (Easter or mother’s day or a special class something)
Summer is sports day and a show etc.
And if you can tap up grandparents for some of the less vital stuff all the better - the “come & listen to the reading cafe” or “admire the class homework showcase” etc.
Assuming that most of our school events start at 2pm and therefore need 1/2 day leave...
End of year performance
So just 2 days but appreciate we might be in the minority. Parents' Evenings are after 5pm so we can make it. As they go further up the school it's nice to watch some of the sport's matches but I tend to use some flexi-time for those if I can.
Thanks for the responses! Clearly quite a range in what different schools do. I don’t have to book annual leave too far in advance usually, but also have toddler DS2 to either negotiate or arrange childcare for.
DH is a teacher himself so whilst the school holidays aren’t a problem, he probably won’t be able to make many of DS1’s events in term time. In laws probably won’t be interested. My mum helps me a little with childcare for DS2 so have to take that into account. So it’ll probably just be me most of the time.
Is there an online calendar or newsletter to give you an idea of what went on this year?
Some schools have lots and lots of events in the hope that parents can make at least one or two of them and others have one or two high stakes events that you have to hope fall on days you can get off
None of it is essential bar parents evening.
I'm a teacher and will not get to anything apart from parents evening. The world will keep turning. Occasionally dh or grandparents might be able to go. It's just one of those things.
Really does vary and most people don't make it to everything. Thinking this year across varying age groups of the during the day stuff we've had at my kids' school (so not everything applies to every year group).
There's usually a meet the new teacher/routines for the class/initial mentioning of SATs or phonics screen or whatever one that's a half an hour deal just before hometime one day per class.
Christmas play - one per year group in ours (we'd never fit all the parents in the hall)
Couple of parents are welcome to come and join in our D+T afternoon ones (stand there in a packed classroom while your kid clags some cereal boxes together) - seriously don't stress if you can't make that kind of stuff.
We had an optional morning one to explain how the school were teaching Maths across the school - that one was fairly well attended because parents wanted to know what the hell they'd done to Maths since they were at school!
Each class does an assembly type thing throughout the course of the year for the parents - again an afternoon one.
Sports day - morning or afternoon but always a bugger of a one since there's usually a few stand by contingency dates in case it's pissing down - this one tends to be the real pain in the arse for booking time out of work for.
Think that's the in-daytime stuff we've had this last year - I'm in a hell of a lot more than that but it's through choice, and probably the only real must-try-to-get-there ones are the plays/assemblies and sports day somewhat less so. The rest of the time it tends to be the same few faces with time on their hands showing up.
We get a long-term calendar with draft dates for as much as they can give us right at the start of September which is a huge help in terms of organising things and planning ahead but some schools are a lot more last minute in how they arrange things and communicate them.
As well as the examples listed above,Dgs1 goes to a Catholic school, so as well as class assembly on Friday pm, about once per term for the younger ones, there is class Mass again about once per term but in the morning.
The school has a partner school in another country and once a year some of the teachers come over and each class does a song/dance/play for them and parents are invited.
The Friday pm assembly also has a praise element so each week a couple of dc for each class are given a certificate for an acheivement, the school seem pretty fair about this so each child usually get picked twice per year.