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(21 Posts)
unknownrebelbang Tue 25-Sep-07 22:43:29

Which do you prefer?

and why?

I have no experience of parents' evening since DS1's school has only done Review Days since he's been there, so am curious as to other people's opinions.

unknownrebelbang Tue 25-Sep-07 23:53:16


unknownrebelbang Wed 26-Sep-07 08:37:36


unknownrebelbang Wed 26-Sep-07 13:14:36


Donk Wed 26-Sep-07 13:39:57

Don't know since the schools I've worked in have only done parents' evenings - but will be interested by any replies.

unknownrebelbang Wed 26-Sep-07 13:53:53

I would too...if there were any - other than yours of course, lol.

bluefox Wed 26-Sep-07 13:56:25

By review days I hope I am right in thinking that this is where you get an appointment once or twice a year to meet with your childs form tutor. My dds school stopped parents evenings two years ago and replaced them with this system. I have to say that I much preferred the parents evenings because that way we actually got to meet the teachers, well most of them - some had queues so long that it was impossible to see them all. I felt that it was much better discussing dds progress with the actual teachers rather than with the tutor. There must have been a few parents think the same way because parents evenings are going to be re-instated this year.

Lilymaid Wed 26-Sep-07 14:02:14

DS2's secondary school had review days for most years. His tutor was an art teacher and though she was very experienced she couldn't discuss problems that DS might have had with say maths or science. He's now at an independent school with termly parents' meetings so we have a very good idea of how he is doing.

Blandmum Wed 26-Sep-07 14:03:00

We run both. parents tend to prefer review day, since you have a longer time with one teacher, and the teacher has the 'big pricture' of how the child is doing, are they making the progress that they should.

We then make priority appointments for the parents of any child who is struggling/ having issues, with the approriate teachers.

I wouldn't be happy with review day alone, but just having parents evening means that you end up seeing all the parents you don't need to see ie 'Yes, X is making progress and is fine'

and you don't get to see the parents of the children who are in difficulty.

Its very nice, as a teacgher , to tell parents that their kids are fine, fab and doing well, it just isn't very helpful! smile

gawkygirl Wed 26-Sep-07 14:08:35

I don't rate review days.
Each child gets 10 minutes of tutoring: this only takes 10 minutes of the child's time but takes all day for the tutor. So all the kids lose a day's schooling for little benefit. And if the parents want to attend the meeting, you can bet that WOHM are given 11:20 or some similarly awkward time. And then there is the worry of what mischief they are getting up to whilst they are not in school.

I'd much rather meet the individual subject teachers at parents' evening, except that you never get to see the teachers you really want because they always run past their allotted time (and therefore make you late for the next appointment) and/or have a huge queue.

Blandmum Wed 26-Sep-07 14:18:10

'I'd much rather meet the individual subject teachers at parents' evening, except that you never get to see the teachers you really want because they always run past their allotted time (and therefore make you late for the next appointment) and/or have a huge queue.'

And that is the basic problem with parents evening. The system should run that the parents who need to see members of staff should get priority.

Review day should run so that you get feedback on how the child is doing in all the subjects. (our parents get 20 mins each) For the sake of argument your dc is doing fine in all of their subjects except say, Maths, science and PE. The tutor should then make an appointment for you to see those teachers on parents evening.

that way you get to see the teachers that you need, rather than spending time queueing to see teachers who are going to say 'Your DC is fine'

The problems with the booking is that you only physically have so many slots in the day. Our review day runs from 8 to 7, and we do work very hard to try to give parents the slots they want, but sometimes it isn't possible.

unknownrebelbang Wed 26-Sep-07 14:30:45

ooh responses, including a teacher's, thanks.

At our school, we have an annual review/target setting with either form tutor, head of year or similar, in theory 15 minutes I think, but in reality, it takes as long as it takes.

I don't know about follow-up appointments, but I do find the staff very accessible throughout the year anyway if you need to speak to them (just found out how accessible blush blush ).

I have no experience of parents' evenings (can't remember my own, lol) but can't see the point in queueing for ages to spend a couple of minutes being given fairly bland information (if there's a real issue, surely it should have been raised before parents' evening anyway?)

It's what we're used to, and we're quite happy with the format, but I just wondered if we were missing out on something.

unknownrebelbang Wed 26-Sep-07 14:33:42

And I accept the fact that lots of parents do work, so a daytime appt is difficult, but the school do their utmost to accommodate the parents with evening appointments etc where possible.

Having said that, if it's on the wrong day, evening appointments can also be damned inconvenient - DH works shifts, and then there's childcare to arrange etc etc.

Blandmum Wed 26-Sep-07 14:35:22

The feed back that we have had from running both a review day and a parents evening has been very positive.

The only negative comment that I have been given was in the first year that we ran it, and I had a Year 11 group. The parents in that group felt that the benefits of review day had come too late for their children.

The other advantage is that it should also help to build a relationship between the child/patents and form tutor, so that if there were issues, it would be easier for parents to make contact with a tutor that they knew rather than talking to an unknow Mrs X on the phone. This was also thought to be a potential benefit for parents of children in year 7, who were coming to terms with their child having a huge number of different teachers, rather than the one or two that they have in Primary.

From the schools point of view, review day is very helpful, since our attendence of parent to RD is over 95% and attendence at parents evening is often less than 50%

unknownrebelbang Wed 26-Sep-07 14:41:10

Yes, I found getting the balance right with the communication between parents and teachers once DS1 started secondary school was quite difficult, especially as the lads went/go to a small primary school where everyone knows everyone (and their business, lol), and DH is the Chair of Govs, so we went from knowing everything there was to know about the school (well not everything but ykwim), to knowing nothing, and where DS1 was one of only three pupils from his school in a year of 160, so no other parents to gossip...erm, I mean compare notes with.

portonovo Wed 26-Sep-07 21:08:37

I'm not really sure what review days are.
At my children's secondary school the parents get one chance per year to meet the tutor - this is always in the evening (4-7 p.m. or thereabouts), and is only about 10 mins per child. Of course parents can ring and make appointments outside this time if they have specific things to discuss. The tutor also has 'one-to-one' interviews with everyone in his/her tutor group - each pupil gets this 2-3 times a year and it's a general review of how things are going at school, any problems, things that need addressing, any issues in specific subjects etc or in pastoral areas.

Then once a year there is the parent/subject teacher consultation evening. Again, takes place about 4-7 p.m. That's when parents book appointments with as many or as few subject teachers as they want to. We tend to see the core subject teachers (maths, English, science), then add in either any we feel we need to see for any reason, or we let our children pick 1-2 teachers they want us to see, for example if they are really keen on that subject.

Each year group also has termly parents' forums where we discuss anything of interest/concern, so that's where we tend to talk about general school things rather than things specific to our children, and it's a good place for giving feedback.

Having quickly read the other posts, am I right in thinking other schools give pupils a day off for review day?

bluefox Wed 26-Sep-07 21:30:28

Yes my dds school gives pupils the day off. I always seem to be given an appointment around lunchtime so usually have to take a days annual leave to attend. Some of dds friends have to go to their review alone because their parents cannot get time off work. Im glad her school is scrapping review days this year and reverting back to parents evenings.

unknownrebelbang Wed 26-Sep-07 22:05:53

We're asked to choose time slots which are convenient to us. If it's not convenient, then the school do their utmost to fit parents in elsewhere.

As for the day off, yes, it's another day off school (supposedly with work set) but tbh, we tend to book an appt in the morning and take DS1 out for lunch on the way home to discuss further what has been said and use it as an opportunity for both of us spend some time with him (DH's shifts permitting).

evenhope Thu 27-Sep-07 12:00:51

We've never had a review day and I don't find Parents Evening at all helpful. Ours are set up so the boys make the appointments- you invariably end up with an hour between 2 of them plus he makes sure he doesn't ask the teacher you really need to see. They are also far too late in the year for you to do anything if there is a problem. They follow the Monitoring grades but as they are sent via pupil too I don't get those either angry

What would be useful would be a letter via the post or email, listing all the subjects he takes, with teacher name, and a note by each one saying either all is OK, cause for concern, or need to see me. That way you could just make an appointment with the teacher you needed to speak to.

Might suggest it to our Head grin

Blandmum Thu 27-Sep-07 13:46:11

We have to give the children the time off school for review day because most of the teachers in the school are form tutors.

If you have 30 children in your form (the norm in our school), and you allocate 15-20 minute sper appointment, that will take you between 8-10 hours to see everyone!

You can't do all that and teach lessons, it just isn't possible

We will supervise any child who cannot be off school, we supervise them in the library

unknownrebelbang Thu 27-Sep-07 16:27:16

(I like the day off with DS1 - it's so rare, with three lads, to get a whole day off together with just one of them.)

Any letters to do with DS1's progress, we get through the post - last year that included two progress sheets. It doesn't give massive detail, just the last level noted, the level he's at, and the target level, with a covering letter.

They are slowly moving towards informing us electronically.

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