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Working with your child's teacher

Both you and your child’s teacher want the same thing – a happy, confident child who enjoys going to school and loves learning. Here are some ideas on how you can build a good working relationship with your child's teacher.

Get involved

The best way you can support your child’s school is by being an active parent:

  • Attending meetings for parents about the curriculum or other aspects of school life
  • Helping your child with their homework
  • Listening to them read
  • Making sure they’re at school on time every day
  • Being available for meetings
  • Responding to messages from the school
  • Communicating with the school if there are any problems

If parents manage to do all of these things consistently, then schools will value their contribution immensely. For parents who have more time, schools are always keen for parents to be involved. You could:

  • Join the Parents’ Association This is a great way to meet other parents and support the school through fundraising ventures
  • Volunteer at school Schools are often looking for volunteers to run clubs or hear readers during the school day.
  • Become a school governor School governors work with headteachers to decide policies, oversee management and create the ethos of the school.

Parents' evening

Most schools hold parents’ evenings every term, and they’re a very important part of the relationship you develop with your child’s school and their teacher. If this is your first experience of a parents’ evening, you don’t need to feel apprehensive. Here are some ideas on how to get the most out of meeting with your child’s teacher:

  • Check whether you should take your child with you, as this varies from school to school.
  • You may not see your child’s work at every parents’ evening. Very often the first meeting of the year is all about meeting for the first time and discussing aims and targets for the year.
  • Talk to your child and ask how things are going at school. Ask them what they would like you to ask the teacher. Afterwards, tell them how the meeting went.
  • Try to come away from the meeting with some positive steps that you, your child, and the teachers will take to help your child succeed.

Here are some ideas for questions to ask at your first parents’ evening:

  • 'Do they get along with other children and have strong friendship groups?’
  • 'Do they contribute to class discussions?'
  • ‘Which area of learning is their strongest and which do they seem to enjoy most?'
  • ‘Are they making good progress?'
  • 'What can we do at home to help?'
  • 'Are there any areas where they are not making the progress you’d expect and what additional support are they receiving?'
Next: Helping outside school

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