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Parents Evening

Discussion in 'Primary' started by impulce, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Ive just returned from a hectic parents evening (Primary) and wondered how others are arranged.
    We let parents tick a preference within a half an hour slot, and then we allocate them a time - but in order to fit them all in we only give them a 5 minute allocation. A few of the nice, quick ones do only last this long but we normally run behind quite drastically. However - if we gave them all 10 minutes, we could well be there until gone 8 o clock - probably longer as there will always be a few who talk for longer.
    I dont find 5 minutes is nearly enough time to cover everything, especially when there is a concern to be discussed. Our head also asked us to explain a new system we are putting into place to monitor home reading, which took 5 minutes each alone! Some of my parents were waiting over half an hour and I felt terrible, but then consequently once they are with me feel that I should give them an adequate amount of my attention and not rush them out in order to get back on track. I dont actually mind parents evening and quite like the opportunity to share feedback with parents, but hate keeping people waiting and feeling under pressure to get them in and out!
    I just wondered if anyone else does it more productively?
  2. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    When I had to do them I -
    Always put in empty slots in my timetable so I could use these as catch up time if needed.
    Did two sessions - different evenings - just after school for the first and then from 6pm for the second one.
    I always had a clock in my view to help keep track of time.
    Too late now, but perhaps your head could have sent home a letter with info about the new home reading scheme in advance so that all you had to do was answer any questions.
  3. 10 minutes per appointment over 2 nights, one early and one later (3 hrs each). Autumn and Spring term and then 'Open Evening' in the summer after written reports.
    Parents sign up for their appointments on prepared sheets with a break halfway through for all staff so they schedule and fit in siblings themselves. Meetings take place in the hall all together and I (Headteacher) ring the bell at 10 minute intervals to signify 'moving on' time. Parents wait at nearby tables looking through books/trays. Only a few parents need a word from me to finish and we do not run over.
    It works brilliantly and the parents love it as they don't have to move around the school and they are never kept waiting more than a couple of minutes.A few concerns about confidentiality (from staff) when we first began, but the buzz of conversation in the hall prevents eavesdropping.
    I agree that any new initiative should be presented separately so that P.E. is only about reporting on progress
  4. We do ours over two evenings. Parents tick a box in an hour and a half slot, and we give them 10 minute slots. We also leave occasional gaps for catch up, and quick loo breaks if needed etc. Day 1 we do 4 until half 6, but day two is 5.30 until 8 with only a 20 minute break in the middle :(
  5. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I'm afraid every school I've been in has done 2 nights, usually 1 early 1 late and 10 minute slots. I agree you cannot possibly keep to 5 minute slots.
  6. Doing 2 nights makes much more sense.
    By doing a 'late' slot, do you literally not start until 6? That must be such a horribly long day. It'd be ok if you lived close enough to nip home, shower and have dinner!
  7. This is what we do. We have an "early" night (3.30 till 6.00) and then a "late" night, Our late night is 6.00 till 8.30. I don't have time to go home and change or have dinner, and last year I didn't get home until just after 10.00 on the night, meaning I was out of the house for 14.5 hours!
    I do like the chance to feed back to parents, and ours our generally very supportive, but I'm dreading this year with a bigger class :(
  8. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    It's a funny thing isn't it that the impression is that parents get more communication at primary than secondary. Whereas in fact you get more at secondary as you get slots with quite a few different subject teachers rather than one short slot with the person responsible for your child's entire education that year.
    As a parent I'd rather wait and know that some people get more than 5 mins as and when needed. I kind of think that if it is worth meeting then what's the point of 5 mins? If it only took 5 mins, why bother? It could all be stuck in one short e-mail.


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