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Help me survive my first secondary school parents' evening

(9 Posts)
redskytonight Tue 19-Apr-16 14:45:28

As title says really. Used to primary school parents' evenings and one teacher.

Have a couple of specific question for specific teachers, but other than that wondering how best to use the time to get the most out of it?

AChickenCalledKorma Tue 19-Apr-16 16:38:25

Depends on the format really, but we get timed 5 min appointments and they are rigidly enforced by a scary lady with a bell!

My key advice would be to go armed with a specific question you want an answer to. It saves wasting time on meaningless "he/she is doing fine" type conversation. Even if you have no particular concerns you can always ask something generic like "does he/she contribute in class?" Or "does he/she always have the right equipment with them?"

And take a pencil and paper to make a few notes, because after six teachers it will all be a blur!

apple1992 Tue 19-Apr-16 21:52:25

Take notes!

bojorojo Tue 19-Apr-16 22:10:32

Occasionally I had a question for a teacher but mostly a conversation flows from what they have to say. They should highlight what your DC does well and where they can improve. Usually there is something you may want to query. I was happy to receive praise for my DC from teachers if it was given. Likewise if improvement was needed we would briefly discuss what we could do to help. You just have to do it like speed dating! You can always email if you want further clarification.

Taking notes is a bit ott in my view and you won't really have a conversation if you do. You will be looking at your notes and it looks a bit rude, quite frankly. The teacher may feel what they say will be used against them in the future, 'you said xyz'. Not a good idea if you want to have good relationships.

thatsn0tmyname Tue 19-Apr-16 22:16:46

We encourage our students to accompany their parents. It's worth jotting down notes or levels etc. Try not to get huffy with overdue teachers- they're running late because some parents won't stick to time.

cece Tue 19-Apr-16 22:19:12

I always find the teachers have things they need to say. Often they refer to their mark books to give you current levels and recent test scores. I would also be asking about their attitude to lessons and behaviour in Year 7.

TheSecondOfHerName Tue 19-Apr-16 22:21:06

You have a very short time with each teacher. The agenda is usually:
1. What level/grade your child should be aiming for.
2. What they can do to achieve this.

Sometimes you get given a handout, for example at this time of year, you might be given a list of topics they should revise for the end of year exam.

My third and fourth children are in Y7 and I went to parents' evening yesterday. The only question I asked was how the Maths sets would be structured in Y8.

I usually take a copy of the child's most recent report, which has their targets on. Sometimes I jot down a brief note next to a subject once the consultation has ended.

TeenAndTween Wed 20-Apr-16 09:40:50

My DD1 was often asked 'how do you think it is going' which is tough for a 11yo to answer.
Ask your DC in advance if they have any comments. Then you can raise them on their behalf.
e.g. "sometime he isn't quite sure on the purpose of practicals"
e.g. "finds the group work really hard as the others won't work"

I write down the questions/issues I want to raise in the order of the appointments and jot down the answers to help me remember them.
At most 3 per teacher. Can include praise for teacher too "DS seems much more confident with his maths this term".

AChickenCalledKorma Wed 20-Apr-16 22:08:35

We have a five minute movement break after each appointment. That's when I note down anything I really want to remember. I don't write notes during the appointment - there isn't time and I agree it would be pretty off-putting.

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