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Year 7 parents evening-child needs to be in attendance?

(56 Posts)
amaryl Thu 23-Jan-20 13:37:28

Is this normal?
In junior school they didn’t want them there.
Is this just for year 7?
Ds has been recently flagged up for dyslexia, barely started to deal with that.
I’ve just received his school report, he’s doing ok, but I’m disappointed.
I’m not sure what else I can do, I just feel like he hates everything and me.
I’m not sure how I’m going to keep it together anyway and now ds has to be there, how can I have a conversation with them without conveying how disappointed I am.
I can’t find the right balance with encouragement/pressure
I’m failing, I’m crying and ultimately I just want him to be happy

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amaryl Thu 23-Jan-20 13:39:24

Disclaimer, his Dad died (5 yrs ago now) and he moved schools in yr5, so a bit of upheaval in his life.

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Mandarinfish Thu 23-Jan-20 13:43:15

Personally I don't like taking my DC to parents evenings. I think it's better to have the conversation without them there. My DC's secondary school seems to expect you to take them and most children do attend, but I've never taken mine (I have one in Y7 and one in Y9) and I haven't been 'told off' for it.

mumsiedarlingrevolta Thu 23-Jan-20 13:47:15

I think it's a very good idea to have your DC there-they are old enough to start taking responsibility and should be included in the discussions.
And I think if the school is asking for them they really should go. It is a part of taking ownership and maturing.

Often the teacher will look at DC and ask how they think they are doing as an opener.

I think you get a much more realistic picture with them there-on both sides! it is only to help and clarify and I think my DC benefitted immensely from the engagement.

You can have a chat before if there are any issues DC would like raised or supported about.

electricgem Thu 23-Jan-20 13:57:37

I was against taking my son with me initially after not doing at primary (so I could talk about them freely) but was pleasantly surprised in year 7 (now in year 9).
The teachers give him constructive criticism, praise (even in his worst subjects but didn't ignore any weak points) plus what to work on next. He seemed to take this from them much better than me saying the same thing and for me it has been useful to have him there. It was also reassuring to see that they did know him as an individual. I think it is one of few opportunities in our school to get the one to one feedback (it's a large school).
There were a number who didn't take the kids though so it's whatever you're most comfortable with.

TeenPlusTwenties Thu 23-Jan-20 14:01:06

It is standard at my school. Generally it has been good for my academic-strugglers to hear the teachers praise how much they try.

(Why are you disappointed? The only good reason is that they're not trying.)

However I have always managed to have quiet words away from DD with SENCO/pastoral/whoever if needed.'

Dodgeitornot Thu 23-Jan-20 14:11:19

I think if you're planning on speaking about his dyslexia I would do it without him. Otherwise take him. Our DD has an EHCP so we have plenty of time to have the awkward conversations outside of parents evening but she hates it when we bring up SEN stuff in front of her. She's in Y7 and this is something new as she wasn't like this before so I would tread carefully.

ticking Thu 23-Jan-20 14:16:32

I think you have to remember this isn't really for you it's for them... In this situation the teacher speaks to you both about what they think , kids tend to respond well at DS's school as it gives them responsibility.

This isn't the forum to have a private conversation about your DC - it's often done in a public area (Hall or similar)

Have you had an EdPsych done - that's your first step with dyslexia, then you know what you are dealing with, what he needs help in etc etc. One of mine is dyslexic, and writing speed test meant he needed a laptop - now he has that and is used to working in this way his results have got a whole lot better as he can now get his thought on paper.

amaryl Thu 23-Jan-20 14:31:50

Yes I think I’m thinking of it as discussing my issues with him at home with his school, not his issues at school.
It will help if the teacher tells him directly what he has to do to improve whilst I am there. He won’t listen to a word I say.
He says he’s trying, but he refuses to do some homework, can’t be bothered is his favourite saying. Can’t organise a pen and pencil, scrawls, will not even sit down to do any homework.
I have no idea how much of this is related to dyslexia so I have to tread carefully, but all his teachers are saying he can do better( not sure if reports were written before/after dyslexia test results).
I have spoken to hoy about the dyslexia, we decided to wait until exam results were in, and first parent evening to get an idea of what he needs help with.
Organisation and time management is definitely one area!

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dietcokeandwine Thu 23-Jan-20 16:02:15

Pretty much everything you have written about your DS can probably be attributed to the dyslexia, OP. It sounds really tough for you both but I would definitely see the parents evening as an opportunity for you both to get feedback, and arrange separate confidential meetings with SENCO etc to discuss how they are now going to support him given the dyslexia DX.

Struggles with organisation, unwillingness to do homework, scrappy writing - this is very common. It could well be that he can’t actually interpret or understand what he has to do and saying ‘can’t be bothered’ is actually his way of trying to tell you that he can’t cope or can’t do it. He’s quite possibly trying to deflect how hard he is finding everything by being truculent.

My DS is not dyslexic but has other SEN (ASD/ADHD) and the kind of struggles you outline are very similar across various diagnoses tbh. DS needed a LOT of micro-management and help with organising his bag, pencil case etc during Y7 but things did get easier as he got into the swing of secondary and became more mature.

I hope the school can offer you some support - these early days post DX can be hard.

amaryl Thu 23-Jan-20 16:31:43

His behaviour is nothing new, just intensified with the move to senior school.
He’s refused to even look at the report, saying he doesn’t care about learning.
I’m happy to do the micro-managing, but I need some sort of co-operation.
I want to run away

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SanjiNami Thu 23-Jan-20 20:42:15

We just had parents evening, and we had our child with us. It's up to us to take a child or not, but it works well for us. During the meeting, teacher mostly addressed to our child, and great that they can hear what the child is doing good, and what needs more work.

Personally, if I have a concern about sn, I wouldn't talk about it at parents evening. It's too noisy, and too time limited. I would make separate appointment.

TreeClimbingCat Thu 23-Jan-20 20:49:17

This was standard in the primary school my children attended. Even more so at secondary. It is the start of really taking responsibility.

Usually for any SEN there are separate meetings due to privacy as EHCPs cover more than just the educational side of things, sometimes toileting and such.

I would go and present a united front with the teachers. After all most reports will only tell you grades and effort. Nice to hear specifics about where to improve and where they have done well.

Landlubber2019 Thu 23-Jan-20 20:55:07

I understand your reservations, our primary started encouraging us to bring the kids to parents evening a few years ago and I was highly sceptical. However, we now find the teachers address the kids first off, asks for their thoughts, discusses good work but will also be critical of necessary. they then talk through the school report, nothing is hidden. I have to say it, I much prefer the new system and gives me the opportunity to observe my child interacting with the teacher. The only time we had a bad school report, was years ago when the kids were not present and frankly we really needed the child's perspective, as the school was underplaying discipline issues within class x

BackforGood Thu 23-Jan-20 21:08:58

Do two things.
Yes, take him with you to Parents evening, but also make an appointment (outside of parents evening) with the SENCo and discuss the recent diagnosis, what it means for him, what adjustments the school are going to make, ask if there are things you can do to help him at home. Let her / him know about him losing his Dad - it all impacts. The more the school know, the more they will be able to keep an eye out and support him, subtly.

pointythings Thu 23-Jan-20 22:09:18

Our primary expected the kids to be present starting from Yr 5. In secondary it's pretty standard and a good thing.

Your DS sounds like he's really struggling. Everything you describe sounds to me like a young boy with a learning difficulty who is finding secondary school tough and overwhelming. Being disappointed isn't going to be helpful - he needs support, now, so that he can achieve his potential. What form that support takes is going to have to be decided between you and the school.

Raspberry123 Thu 23-Jan-20 23:20:23

Our primary school encourages you to take your child. Personally I am uncomfortable with this as you cannot have a direct conversation with the teacher. As discussed above I suggest taking the child for the parents evening and booking a separate session with the teacher. (although this doubles the workload for the teacher...)

RoseMartha Thu 23-Jan-20 23:40:33

Even at Primary I have had to take dc with me. No childcare options so they come too. One of my dc is SN so still has to come with me.

Michaelahpurple Fri 24-Jan-20 08:42:21

I was delighted at my first parent's evening at my year 9 child's new school to find it was without children. The time slots are necessarily so short that a have no interest in wasting most of it listening to teacher ask my child "so how do you think you are doing" and then for him to say "not too bad, perhaps could do better" or whatever.

I have unlimited opportunities to hear meaningless mumbling from my child and the teacher can talk to him whenever. I want to hear what the teacher has to report about him and to be able to discuss my concerns openly and without tactful euphemism

My older boy's school has him there and I suspect half the time the "how do you think it is going" is a cover for not having much individual comment on the child. Plus he and, looking around, most of his cohort seem to find it excruciating which doesn't make it any more productive.

A low point was me explaining once again why the process was needed and then his maths teacher saying to me "well, what do you want to know". I restrained myself from tartly pointing out "whether he is good at maths, is working hard and speaking up in class and no track for a good grade at gcse - or if you prefer just tell me if you think he should take up country dancing" but tbh was pretty stuck as to what on Earth she thought I wanted to know other than that I can't imagine.

Raspberry123 Fri 24-Jan-20 09:30:27

I totally agree with Michaelahpurple. Time with the teacher is short and precious and if more than half of it is spent by mumbling child its a total waste of time.

TeenPlusTwenties Fri 24-Jan-20 09:54:49

In conjunction with DD beforehand I make a list of no more than 3 questions/comments per subject.
e.g.
- finds you go too fast sometimes
- gets distracted by behaviour
- is really enjoying
- how best support at home
- what revision guide
- what tier are you aiming for
- how is SPaG holding up
- how are they getting on
I find this approach helps me make best use of the 5 min slots.

lanthanum Fri 24-Jan-20 10:43:07

"My older boy's school has him there and I suspect half the time the "how do you think it is going" is a cover for not having much individual comment on the child."

I'll confess to having used this (or "What do you think I'm going to say?", or in their absence, "What have they said about this subject?") as a teacher, but it's very definitely not because I didn't have anything to say about the child. I used it for two reasons. One is that very occasionally there's something I don't know, and there's nothing worse than saying how well they're doing and then discovering they're in tears over every homework. (I've been on the receiving end of "she enjoys geography" when it was her least favourite subject.)
The other reason is that if the child says "I talk too much", then I can briefly agree and then get on to the subject specifics. That usually means the child hears a lot more positives than if I have to bring up the talking.

reluctantbrit Fri 24-Jan-20 11:06:50

Our school expect the children to attend and receive praise and constructive criticism. It is only 5 minutes anyway.

DD is current,y under observation and will be assessed for dyslexia and we are asked to seek medical referral for a ASD assessment, so the teacher do know there are issues and we deal with these outside parent evening anyway. We have meetings with the Senco and the teacher do give us more detailed feedback by email. That may be a way forward for you as well,

But the parent evening will be good for your DS to hear from the teacher with you being there to put more effort in, regardless of what he is able, effort is a different thing.

amaryl Fri 24-Jan-20 18:07:38

This is going to be fun.
He came out saying today had been terrible.
I can’t really make head nor tail of it, but seems there’s a detention next week.
Then 3 different incidents, in which he’d none nothing wrong (hmmbut got sent out, got told off, etc. Then I get 2 emails with behaviour points about different incidents. Seemingly innocuous things.

I don’t know what’s going on.
I think the teachers are taking his sullen miserable attitude as insolence

He of course can’t see what he’s done wrong

I’m having a glass of wine!

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amaryl Fri 24-Jan-20 18:53:27

He’s never had any behaviour problems before

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