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What to expect at parents evening

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Are you a first time parent wondering what to expect at parents evening? Whether your children are at primary or secondary school, parents’ evenings can be a daunting prospect. You’ve only got a short period of time to find out everything you can about how they’re doing and where they can improve. Therefore, it’s important that you know exactly what to expect and how you can prepare.

Before the Parents Evening

It’s important to consider in advance any key points or questions that you want to raise. These can include how your child is settling in, what areas they excel at, where they could improve and how they interact with the rest of the class. Appointments are not very long and you need to make the most of the time you have. You don’t want to come out of the meeting wishing you’d asked something specific.

Talk to your childwhat to expect at parents evening

Talk to your child beforehand about anything they want to ask, what they like or find difficult and any work that they particularly want you to see. They’re the one that spends the time in the classroom, so it’s important to get their input, whatever age they are.

Consider whether you want to take your child to the meeting with you or not. This might depend on your school’s policy, but many of them recommend it, especially at secondary school. You will know your own child and if this will benefit them or if it would be better to have an adult conversation with the teacher.

At the Parents Evening

Make sure you arrive early for your appointment. There’s often the opportunity to view your child’s work beforehand and this will give you an idea of what to discuss with the teacher. Even though teachers can often be running late, it’s important to be ready for your time slot.

The teacher will often start by discussing how your child has settled into the class or their progress so far in the year. At primary school, they’ll discuss their achievements in the key subject areas, attendance, attitude and behaviour. At secondary school you usually see the individual subject teachers separately.


You should listen to what the teacher has to say and don’t go in with any pre-conceived ideas about them or the school. Remember that you’re both working in the best interests of the child. There’ll be an opportunity to discuss how you feel they’re progressing and areas in which you can help them at home.

It’s also important to see how your child is socially at school. Ask about what friendship groups they have, how they interact with their peers and any clubs they belong to. You can also speak about how your child is at home, as often their personalities can be completely different at school.

Next stageswhat to expect at parents evening

Before the end of the meeting the teacher will discuss the next steps. These can include areas they need to work on and what level they expect them to achieve. It’s important that you’re aware of these and encourage your child to meet the targets set.

Following the parents evening you should discuss the outcomes with your child. Remember to praise them first and tell them what their teacher thinks they’re good at. Then go on to talk through the areas they need to develop and any actions they need to take.

Parents’ evenings are an important part of your child’s learning development and you should make every effort to attend them. It’s an opportunity to have uninterrupted time with their teacher and gain an insight into their days at school.





About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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