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Getting the most out of parents evenings

Parents evenings are a great opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher and build up a partnership of support and challenge that will help your family get the very best from a Staffordshire education.

What to expect from parents evening

Parents evenings are run differently from school to school, but you can generally expect to spend around 10 minutes with any one teacher, so you’ll need to be prepared to get the best out of them.

At primary school, you’ll normally spend time with your child’s class teacher. It’s unusual to take your child with you to these meetings.

At secondary school, you can expect to sign up for a slot with each of your child’s subject teachers and your child will normally come with you.

Top tips for parents evening

  1. Don’t save up any big issues for parent’s evening, there’s not enough time. Speak to your child’s teacher straight away so that you can work together to address any problems and ask what you can do to support your child's leanring at home.
     
  2. Time is short, so use it well. Plan the questions you want to ask in advance, write them down and take them with you so you don’t get carried away in the moment.
     
  3. Teacher's will want to be open and honest with you. Set them at ease by saying that you really value their honest opinion of how your child is getting on and you want to help support with their learning.
     
  4. Read through your child’s latest school report to remind yourself of where the school feel their strengths and challenges, then ask your child if there’s anything they’d like you to bring up.
     
  5. Ask for another meeting if you don’t get through what you’d hoped. Getting the best from your child’s education is an ongoing partnership between your family and the school.

Top questions to ask at parents evening

For parents of primary and secondary school children

  1. What can I do at home to support their learning?
     
  2. Is my son/daughter doing the things you’d expect at their age?
     
  3. What do you feel my son/daughter’s strengths are?
     
  4. Are there any areas where my son/daughter needs some extra help?
     
  5. Is there anything that has really worked to get my son/daughter engaged in their learning at school?
     
  6. Does my son/daughter seem happy at school? Has he/she made friends?
     
  7. Is there anything that is causing you concern?

Parents of secondary school children could consider these questions as well as the above:

  1. Does my son/daughter contribute to class discussions?
     
  2. Is my son/daughter on target to get the grades they are capable of and is there anything we can do at home to help?
     
  3. What opportunities has my son/daughter been given around planning for their future career?

Video: Getting the most out of parents evening

Are you reeling from your last parents' evening? Already dreading the next one?

You're not alone. In this video parents talk about the best ways to prepare practically and emotionally to get the most out of parents' evenings.

 Video Credit: Parent Channel 

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