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What to ask at parents evening?

(4 Posts)
Tolivebythesea Wed 12-Oct-16 10:41:10

My dd is now in year 11, final year of GCSE's and this next parents evening is one of only two before her exams. I never seem to gain any insight into how things are really going. The school always just seem happy to reach their targets and make sure everyone passes. Each appointment just seems to go along of the lines of she's doing fine. Never really much info or information as to how to do better. When asked about the new linear GCSE's they barely know the answers. Just feeling like its going to be another waste of time, coming home none the wiser. What do you ask to actually get some useful feedback?

TeenAndTween Wed 12-Oct-16 11:59:28

Before going, I ask my DD how the subject is going, is there anything she struggles with etc. Often that has given things like
- teacher goes too fast
- don't get how to answer source questions
- don't know how to revise
or whatever.

Otherwise I would ask is she working hard, any issues, will she need to go to any extra revision sessions etc.

Also in y11, unless already done, I would be explicitly asking teachers of any subjects she is thinking of continuing to A level whether it is a good idea. (In my experience teachers are reluctant to give a view unless put o the spot).

Tolivebythesea Wed 12-Oct-16 12:55:23

Thank you for your reply. I do ask her if there are any issues but usually there aren't any except finding a certain area hard or not enjoying something.

Good idea asking about A levels, I have brought it up before but only gently asking whether she would be suited to a particular subject. This will be her only parents evening before A level choices are decided so I think I am going to have to put them on the spot and hopefully get a strong opinion rather than a vague one.

Mondaynightblues Thu 13-Oct-16 00:37:11

My DS's Year 11 parents evening is coming up. For subjects which DS is considering taking at A level, I am planning to ask the teachers not just for confirmation that they think he is capable of doing the A level (have asked last year so reasonably confident they will say yes) but for an estimate of what grade they think he is capable of, assuming he puts in a sensible amount of work.

Assuming your DD is planning to stay on at the same school for sixth form, for any subjects which may only attract small numbers it's worth checking whether the teacher is completely confident that they will have sufficient numbers of students for the course to run. It's also useful to understand what number of students they would regard as the minimum, as your DD may have a feel for how many others are likely to opt for the subject.

For subjects where there might be a question mark over whether they will have sufficient numbers of students at A level, just be aware that of the risk of teachers being a bit over-optimistic about your DD's abilities because they want to make sure they have sufficient numbers for their subject.

For subjects where there are assessments that count towards the GCSE before the final summer exams, it's worth asking questions about what the assessments are and when they will be (unless you are more organised than me and know all that already grin.)

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