Parents’ evenings are an excellent way to see how your child is doing in school and find out how you can support them at home. They’re also a great opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and identify any areas where they may need a little extra support. Super parents at the ready!
Planning ahead is a great way to ensure that you cover all of your questions, as parents’ evenings can be extremely short. By preparing in advance, you can make the most of your time with your child’s teacher and find out the information you need to help your child thrive.
In this blog, we’ll explore when parents’ evenings occur in the school year, along with the most valuable questions to ask and some general tips – let’s go!
In this blog, jump to:
- When do parents’ evenings take place?
- Questions to ask at parents’ evening
- Parents’ evening bonus tips
When do parents’ evenings take place?
Parents’ evenings are a great way for parents to stay updated on how their child is doing at school. Most primary schools have two parents’ evenings a year: one in the autumn term and one in the summer term.
At the autumn parents’ evening, parents can discuss how their child is settling into their class and any concerns they may have. The summer parents’ evening is usually focused on discussing test results, such as SATs. Parents can also ask teachers any other questions they may have during both events.
Questions to ask at parents’ evening
Let’s dive into some of the helpful questions you should look to ask your child’s teacher. As previously mentioned, this opportunity only happens twice a year, so you’ll want to make sure you understand where your child is (both academically and socially) and how you can help them at home. Here we go!
What are my child’s strengths in [subject]? What are their weaknesses?
This question will help you to identify what your child is good at and where they may need a little extra support. You can use this information to help your child in their studies at home.
For example, if your child is struggling with maths, you can focus on helping them with their maths homework. If they’re finding a particular topic within maths tricky, you could work with their teacher to develop a plan to help them improve. The next question could help with this!
How can I support my child with [topic]? What resources would you recommend?
If your child is struggling with a particular topic, this question is a great way to find out what their teacher would specifically recommend to help them improve. For example, they may suggest a book or website that you can use to help your child with their maths homework.
Alternatively, our Doodle apps are specifically designed to help children get back on track in their learning. Designed for ages 4-14, they’re filled with thousands of interactive exercises that top-up knowledge and bring the curriculum to life – and you can try them for free!
What could they do to improve?
This question can help you identify what you can do to help your children with their schoolwork and how to support them in general.
For example, if your child struggles with times tables, you could include learning about them in your daily activities. Or, if this isn’t possible, you could have dedicated home learning activities to help develop these specific areas. Why not have a look at our home learning ideas or outdoor learning activities for some inspiration?
Remember: if you feel you need more support, ask your child’s teacher if they’d be happy to have a chat with you again or work together to create a plan to help them improve.
What do they enjoy most about lessons?
One of the best questions to ask at parents’ evening is what your child enjoys most about school. This is not only a great way to see what aspects of learning they enjoy the most, but can
Also help you to see what type of learner they are, such as whether they learn best by reading information or enjoying hands-on activities.
You can also use this information to help them in their studies. For example, if they enjoy creative writing, you can help them by providing encouragement and support.
Do they contribute to class discussions?
This question can help you to understand how your child interacts with their classmates and if they feel comfortable speaking up in class.
If your child is shy, their teacher may be able to provide tips on how to help them become more involved in class discussions. You could also chat to your child about how putting their hand up from time to time will help them to feel much more confident about their learning.
Take a look at our top tips for boosting your child’s confidence for more tips!
Do they get along with their peers?
Finally, another question you might like to ask your child’s teacher is if they get along with their classmates. This question can help you to understand if they’re happy at school (the most important thing of all!) and if they feel comfortable around their peers.
If your child is having trouble getting along with their classmates, their teacher may be able to provide some tips on how to resolve the issue.
Parents’ evening bonus tips!
While parents’ evenings are an excellent opportunity to meet with your child’s teachers and get an update on how they’re doing, they can feel a bit daunting – especially if you’re not sure what to expect.
With this in mind, here are a few practical tips to help you get the most out of parents’ evening:
- Take a notebook and pen with you to make notes during your discussion. This will help you to remember what was said and identify any key points you’d like to follow up on.
- Before the meeting, make a list of all of the questions that you’d like to ask. This will help keep the discussion focused and on track.
- If you start to feel nervous, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that this is an opportunity to help your child succeed.
- If you need to ask difficult questions, try to frame them in a way that shows you’re looking for solutions rather than criticism. For example, rather than asking, “Why didn’t my child do well in this test?”, try asking, “What can we do to help my child improve their grades in this subject?”.
- Try to avoid bringing up unrelated topics or being argumentative. Instead, if you have any questions or concerns, take notes and save them for later. This will help you stay organised and ensure that you can follow up on any critical points.
- If you have any concerns or questions, try to express them politely and constructively. This will help the teacher to understand your point of view and make it easier to find solutions to any problems.
By taking these practical steps and asking the above questions, you can ensure that parents’ evening is productive, informative and helpful for your child’s development!
If you’re looking for more ways to support your child’s learning, don’t forget to download the Doodle apps. Powered by our award-winning technology, they’ll create your child a personalised work programme specifically tailored to their needs, helping them to get ahead in maths and English!