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Secondary school /Your Parents evening wishes.

(19 Posts)
gillybeanz Sun 22-Jan-17 14:49:11

What do you really wish the parents would ask you, that many forget or don't know to ask?

Have parents evening coming up and haven't got a clue what to ask.
I have a Y8 dd and worried about her level of attainment for her age, especially in the core subjects.

Is it too soon to ask if they are on track for GCSE?

We have received reports and I know her effort is good as got mostly 1 and 2 with just one 3.
This doesn't give us any indicator as to ability though.

As we have parents evening coming up after half term, I'm starting a list of questions for each teacher.

Tia thanks

noblegiraffe Sun 22-Jan-17 14:54:27

How long is your appointment?

Generally there isn't much time for parents to ask questions at my school, (5mins) so I say how they are in class, how they get on in tests, how their homework is, then highlight some areas for improvement. Then when I say 'any questions' most say I've covered everything and we're done.

Predictions for new GCSE will be tricky as no one has sat them yet. However teachers should be able to say if she's broadly high, middle or low attainment at the moment.

gillybeanz Sun 22-Jan-17 14:57:17

They are really good and don't rush you, so you can be as long as it takes.
Obviously, if your child doesn't need much info for a particular subject then you are about 5 mins, but we had about 20 mins with maths teacher last time, as so much to discuss.

gillybeanz Sun 22-Jan-17 15:00:25

Thanks noble, that's my main concern, the High, average or low.
I know she is low for Maths but improving all the time from 3% to 55% in last test.
It's only because there were huge problems though and lots of intervention that we found this out and it wasn't at parents evening iyswim.

I suppose I need to know that she'll pass some GCSE's in the future as she has her heart set on further Ed.

MrsGuyOfGisbo Sun 22-Jan-17 17:28:55

Why wait for parents' evening? You could just email her tutor, or her teachers about your concerns.

gillybeanz Sun 22-Jan-17 19:27:11


We can't contact them directly and tutor would only get a vague doing ok response.
They let you know if there is a problem which is the most important thing, but this isn't communicated to parents through the individual teachers but via a house parent or tutor.

I know when I taught post compulsory (A level) I wished the parents involved in their dc education asked particular questions.
I'm just not 100% sure of the things I should ask, or what a good teacher would automatically tell you.

CuckooCuckooClock Wed 25-Jan-17 13:32:41

I personally wouldn't discuss a student's ability in relation to others. So I wouldn't say average or high for eg.
If a parent asked, i would say for eg "if she wants a c (or 4) at GCSE, she will need to put in a lot of work" if she was a weaker student.

By year 8 I expect NT kids to take some responsibility. So would want them to be able to say how they're doing themselves and ask me if they don't know.

Strange that you can't contact teachers directly. What's that about?

TheSnowFairy Sat 28-Jan-17 18:13:45

Don't the reports give any indication of where they are academically?

Ours has the same grading as you for effort / attitude, plus an end of year target grade and a 'currently at' grade. I would ask what both of those were anticipated to be.

clary Sat 28-Jan-17 18:21:57

Yes I agree, it's odd that you can't contact teachers directly. I never mind that.

I would also be loath to place a student in the class - someone asked me that this year actually, where was their child in the group? and I thought it was a bit cheeky, I'm hardly going to say well she's doing better than Josh but not as well as Will, am I? Or even that she is top or in the middle etc. What will help is to know if she is making progress, if not, what does she need to do and how can you help?

I don't think I' be very keen to tell a parent my views on their child's academic ability either; for one I can only talk about my subject and there may be a variation. But you could ask whether she should be thinking about GCSE in a subject, I think that's fine in year 8, it's only a year till she needs to choose (and in fact some schools do choose in yr 8).

clary Sat 28-Jan-17 18:22:47

When I said "I never mind that" I meant as a teacher, I don't mind being contacted by a parent, tho email is preferable for practical reasons

BizzyFizzy Sat 28-Jan-17 18:39:50

I don't want parents to ask me anything. I want parents' evenings to be a "mutual admiration society". No good can come of them!

noblegiraffe Sat 28-Jan-17 19:08:52

In contrast I have no problems telling a parent where their child is in the class. 'Based on recent tests, little Johnny is currently in the middle of the group, but I know he should actually be working near the top of the group so this tells me he needs to pull his finger out' or 'Little Johnny is near the bottom of the group and is obviously struggling in class too - it's not because he's not working hard enough, he's just genuinely finding things difficult. I've moved him to the front to keep a closer eye on him but it might be that a different group would work at a more suitable pace - we'll review this at Easter'. Depending on year group I would also say 'this group would be expected to get B/C at GCSE' (or whatever).

Parents want to know how their kids are doing, it's not fair to say that they're 'making good progess' when that progress still means that they'll fail at GCSE. Ultimately the kids are going to be judged and graded against their peers, so hiding this info isn't doing anyone any favours.

clary Sat 28-Jan-17 22:53:37

Parents want to know how their kids are doing, it's not fair to say that they're 'making good progress' when that progress still means that they'll fail at GCSE now that is very true Noble.

DS1 really struggled all the way through school, but his behaviour was good and he is a nice boy, so it was only about now in year 11 that anyone told me how badly he was doing. I knew but I really don't know why no on said.

So I don't hold back at parents' eve; I had someone come and see me a year or so ago whose son was rude, disruptive, late to lessons, disrespectful and refused to work. So I told her. She needed to know.

Luckily (? or not?) mostly the parents who come to PEve (at my school anyway) are the ones whose children are lovely so I don't have to do that very often.

freddiethegreat Sat 28-Jan-17 23:03:12

Clary, I have just such a young man (well, actually, not at the moment, he's in a good phase). I have attended meeting after meeting around him (Y9), he has an SEMH statement, lots of external professional involvement, I go to every Parents Evening, email teachers, work with them as far as I can, bearing in mind I am not in school every day etc etc etc. I dread Parents Evening & am very aware that some teachers tell me kindly what 'I need to know' & generally know already & some are pretty rough. I have sat in the car park afterwards & cried more than once. I am sure you are of the kinder disposition ...

clary Sun 29-Jan-17 01:53:29

Sorry you are having a hard time freddie. I think your situation sounds different though. This particular student had no SEN and there was no very good reason why he couldn't come to my lesson on time instead of hanging about outside, nor why he couldn't sit on his chair and write the date and title instead of wandering about the room an when asked to sit down, sitting down on the floor (so hilarious!).

I would never lay into someone with serious SEN, and I would of course know if they had SEN; I have a good number of diagnosed dyslexic students so of course I don't haul them up on their spelling/presentation/speed of writing. This lad was just rude, clever and rude, and since his mum had come to talk to me there wasn't much else I could say. I am sure teachers who tell you about your son mean it well - sometimes it comes out wrong. sad

freddiethegreat Sun 29-Jan-17 22:37:51

Yes, it does. And no less ironic, because I am a teacher, in fact a SENCo, myself. I frequently wonder how less experienced parents cope with schools ... But I am not convinced that all teachers realise how much they can devastate a parent. I certainly didn't before my son arrived.

fritillery Sun 29-Jan-17 22:47:53

Our school has a policy of only caring about effort, not results. So as long as a pupil seems to be working reasonably hard in class, they are not criticised, or their parent told, if they are doing badly in the subject. They are doing ok for them, and that is totally fine. I really hate that. So patronising of the school, not even to allow the parents the opportunity to give the child extra help at home, get a tutor, or whatever. And there is no ability setting, so you can't work it out from that.

miracleplease Thu 02-Feb-17 21:32:52

I'm always surprised how few parents ask if their kid seems happy.

I always ask that about DD, although she's only in Y6.

There are a few parents who I wish would ask that.

OpalTree Thu 09-Feb-17 09:02:05

I don't think I'd ask that as i think I know from how they are when they get home. I know dd1 is happy at high school but wasn't so happy socially at primary school. (She used to say she was not popular.) I know dd2 is happy at primary school because she talks about her friends and fun stuff that has happened and i can just tell.

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