Making the Most of Parents’ Evening (Exam Years)
Parents’ Evening can be quite a daunting prospect. What will teachers have to say about your child? Will teachers think you’re supportive enough? Will you “look like a pushy parent?!” These might be just some concerns.
However, what remains at the heart of it all is the hope for your child to do the best they can. At exam level, a parents’ evening can be a particularly important meeting- and some really productive discussions can be had. Here’s some thoughts to help you make the ‘most’ out of a parents’ evening:
Firstly, don’t be afraid of a note pad (or phone/device app equivalent!) At exam level, expect to be overwhelmed with information and advice at parents’ evening. It is likely that most teachers will have lots to say, and many will make recommendations for books, websites and revision resources.
Don’t expect to remember it all. It’s a good idea to write these things down.
Even if a lot of it all sounds like school-style jargon to you, you never know when you may want to refer back to it closer to exams. Also, most students will have a good idea of what it means at this stage- so your notes can help to open up discussions with your teen about their studies after the evening.
Ask questions at the parents’ evening. These parent-teacher meetings are a great opportunity to ask about your teen’s studies.
Ask how you can best support them in the months ahead. Most teachers will have a subject-specific answer to this.
Raise any concerns. Now is the time to do this: waiting to ‘see if things will sort’ could end up with it being too late to sort later down the line.
It’s always helpful to know if there is any scheduled class test planned, so you can help prepare your teen for this.
After the parents’ evening, consider whether your teen could benefit from using additional resources. Perhaps you learn your child is falling just shy of a grade? Perhaps you spot an area of real potential, and your teen could do with something extra to ensure exam success?
Finally, then: don’t leave the parents’ evening feeling daunted! There’s lots of resources out there- and lots of parents turn to us in the lead up to exams.