Open Mornings

Parents Comments following Open Mornings October 2014

(Key points underlined by school.)

What the parents enjoyed:

It was fantastic to see the growth in my child from F2 and Y1 to now Y2.

Gaining insight into the general working if the school, the layout of the classroom, how the teacher works with the children, how the children interact- through talk partners, use of resources available.

Pleasing seeing them work in the school environment. To be able to see their ability to listen and work on their own and together as a group.

Seeing how different Y2 is from Y1 and watching the amazing teaching skills.

Great to see my child behaving well and engaged in learning and having fun at the same time. I was in awe of the teacher and TAs who appeared to effortlessly control the children. Fascinating to be a fly on the wall.

How the children work together and being able to help them.

Seeing how the teacher interacts.

Everything- seeing them with their friends, the interactions, types of lessons taught, how grown up they are becoming! Nice to get to know the teachers better too.

How happy and settled he seemed.

Useful to see how my child thinks about complex ideas and knows words and what they mean.

How children interact with other children. Seeing what work they do.

Seeing what they learn in their lessons. Seeing the activities children do and to be able to talk to my child about it.

To see activities in context- to see why they made a straw man.

How the classroom is run and the style of teaching. The behaviour of the children and how the teacher controlled them.

How my child interacts in class. ///

How my child answers questions.

How confident he is in class.

Firm but fun, educational lessons. Loved the IWB and children’s individual boards.

Very stimulating environment.

Bread and butter project is fantastic experience for children.

Seeing the daily routine and what is expected of children at this age.

Seeing what happens in a typical day as they have forgotten by tea time!

Good to see my child in the school environment for the first time. //

They knew the routines and what was expected of them already.

I now know what ‘choosing’ means and can talk about what my child does.

How he interacts in full class activities.

Being able to interact with my child.

Seeing how they work within a group and if the manage on their own. Seeing the teaching style.

Letting us into their environment at school.

Good to see the use of technology like IWB.

Seeing the level of teaching was outstanding.

To see my child happy at school.

Seeing her progress in phonics. The children’s good manners.

Lovely to see them interacting in class.

The teaching process seemed more serious in Year 1 than F2.

To see the technology in the classroom.

Seeing Liam the farmer.

Working alongside him in the classroom where he was less resistant to learning than at home.4classroom bright, colourful and interesting.

Love seeing how happy he is in school. Reminds me of what a wonderful school BIS is and why he likes it so much.

Seeing phonics in action.

To see normal lessons rather than ‘show’ lessons.

Spending time with my son and having him show me around and tell me what he enjoyed doing.

Seeing my child I their own class doing work.

Seeing children sit sensibly and listen to their teacher. Small groups working together.

Seeing my child so excited for 2 days before the open session. It was wonderful to have a small ‘fly on the wall’ experience.

Nice to see they had settled in well.

Observing how happy they were and eager to learn and listen.

Seeing the activities they talk about at home.

It was the first time my child didn’t cry when I left!

How her confidence has grown in the new year group and with a new teacher.

Understanding the dynamics of the class and the interesting things they can learn.

Seeing how different things are compared to Year 1.

To be able to participate in activities with my child.

Seeing my son’s face when I walked in as he had been looking forward to it and was very proud to show off his classroom.

How engaged the children were and how well behaved, despite different abilities and starting points.

To see my son participating in activities and to be involved with him. I could see for myself that he equally enjoys the outdoor curriculum as well as the indoor.

Seeing how they work as a class and in group work.

Being involved in her learning so I can continue it at home. Ideas for games and activities.

Seeing my daughter in a different environment and being happy.

Seeing phonics differentiated within class.

How engaged the children were and how well behaved.

Seeing different starting points and different abilities.

Joining in with the activities. Seeing my son enjoy the outdoors as well as the indoors curriculum.

How they work as a class and in groups.

Getting ideas to do at home.

Seeing my daughter working in such as calm atmosphere. All the children were happy and made to feel comfortable.

Seeing how the outside space is used for learning.

Seeing the format of the lesson- how so many activities come from one book.

Spending time with my child during her learning journey.

Watching my child work within a group and seeing how comfortable and happy he is in the classroom.

To see what they are currently learning.

Learning words and writing – it was amazing.

Seeing how they are taught day to day.

To see how they interact in class.

Sitting with my child as they did their literacy activity and then following her around the class to do other activities.

Getting involved in the making of the butter and finding out about how much the children knew about where food comes from.

Seeing a typical morning in school.

This is the only way of knowing what and how things actually work in schools; for example, the use of modern ICT.

How the teachers interact with the children was just fantastic, amazing and I was very impressed.

Seeing how the children worked in their groups and how this allowed them to share their ideas and knowledge.

Great to see Harry in a different environment away from home and myself. It was lovely to see how well the children listened to the teacher and how well they all behaved.

It was good to see how disciplined the class is.

 

 

What the parents found useful:

Seeing how much my child and her class have developed and improved.

It has instilled confidence that the children are being pushed in their learning. Children’s feedback does not always come across as they are learning much at all.

Learning how maths is taught- counting in multiples. Insight into the teacher, whom I didn’t know as well as some other teachers. Seeing how T and TA interact with children.

To see what a normal lesson looks like, how resources are used, the whole class in the classroom.

Seeing how maths is taught.

Use of resources like the hundred square.

To see what they do and how the teacher asks questions.

How complex their work is now. The difference in going up a year. How well behaved and engaged they all were.

How the lesson was structured. How relaxed and well behaved the class was.

Seeing them in their classroom.

Understanding how they are taught.

Seeing the level of work in Y2- surprised by complexity of task but also that children could do it.

To know we are doing the right things at home- especially with phonics and reading.

Type of work children were doing and level they are capable of working at.

Seeing how they behave and the discipline.

How children are coping well with the transition from F2 to Y1.

Just seeing what happens as my child doesn’t tell me much.

How he participates in class and does what he is told without hesitation. Felt very proud of him.

How phonics is taught and that free play is allowed too.

Understanding class etiquette such as hands up.

How I can help or continue the learning.

Getting to know the teacher.

How to pronounce some phonics correctly. //

Seeing how lessons have changed since I was at school.

How to teach 30 children and keep them under control.

To see how the time was split into sections and how the class worked in groups.

How to say phonics correctly.

How handwriting is taught.

Knowing the approach school uses to use this at home.

Seeing how phonics is taught and how they use the IWB and their own whiteboards.

How well they behaved and concentrated within a large group.

Will use clapping hands technique to gain attention at home as well as phonics bingo.

Seeing whiteboard registration process and phonics teaching. Using IWB very effective way of engaging the children.

To see what activities are being taught and the level of them.

I will try the 1,2,3 approach to getting children quiet.

Seeing what happens at school as they tell me nothing when I get home.

How teaching styles were adapted.

Useful approaches to use at home.

Learning the phonics sounds and handwriting systems to replicate this at home.

Seeing the teachers in action. Reassures me that they are receiving a great education from dedicated professionals.

Improvement in confidence from last year.

My child’s attitude to learning.

Seeing the questioning and fishing techniques used by the teacher.

Seeing how phonics is taught.

How F2 sessions run and how phonics is taught.

Seeing how the teacher taught so I can copy this at home.

Understanding the daily phonics routine, sounding out, blending and listening skills.

Seeing phonics games like Bingo. Have tried this since at home and she loves it.

How to say phonics correctly as I was doing it wrong at home.

Seeing the bingo game to teach phonics- so simple and can do it at home.

Seeing how quickly she is able to get on with her work and listen.

Seeing how handwriting is led.

Seeing the level of difficulty of work and what she was expected to be doing.

Seeing my child being assertive within the group.

Seeing the exercise around following instructions helped me understand how my child follows instructions.

I came out of the open morning with enthusiasm and ideas on how I can further support my child’s learning at home.

How the children are taught and what they are learning.

It was a good experience for me to see my child listening to a lesson and interacting in the classroom.

Seeing how the children are actually taught was enlightening. It makes even more sense of the homework and curriculum evenings.

To see how phonics was being taught in F2 using ICT and whiteboards.

Seeing how they practise phonics and how my child behaves and interacts in class.

Watching how the children are taught formation of letters and words. It gave me more of an understanding of things I could focus on at home.

Hearing the questions to ask whilst reading.

To see phonics and how to help with writing.

Learning how they learn to write.

Knowing what my child does as he doesn’t remember by home time.

Seeing how they sat in groups and wrote on small whiteboards. Seeing the letter bingo game which looked like fun.

Seeing how good a time keeper the teacher is and experienced in her job. Seeing how the 3 adults in the room communicated with each other- this taught the children good communication.

Being able to join in as a parent was a bonus.

Having the teacher explicitly addresses the parents to explain why they were doing what they were doing and the outcomes they hoped to achieve.

To see how they learn the new sounds and the range of abilities in the class when writing these sounds. It was reassuring to know that lots of children invert p and b/d as I am unfamiliar with this stage.

Seeing phonics taught using the IWB.

The learning styles of current education.

Seeing the challenge in maths- they really had to think.

The morning gave me real pleasure and satisfaction whilst sharing my time with my child’s class teacher and her classmates.

Seeing her working in a team and on her own. The task re instructions and making something out of pipe cleaners was really good.

 

 

 

Ideas from parents on how to make it better:

None ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I would say that nothing I saw was negative. Honestly I would just say thumbs up and well done!

I do not believe there is any way it could have been improved. The experience was carried out very professionally.

I didn’t want to leave!

See more than one lesson such as maths as well as literacy if at all possible.

To see both literacy and maths but that isn’t possible within the time and the time was just right.

Coordinate with BJS so not on the same day.

Very impressed.

Stay a little longer. /////

Open mornings spread out over a few weeks in case parents have a busy week at work.

Complete one form per family not one per child to avoid confusion

Too short as I had to fit two children into one morning.

Wider opportunity to come and go within, maybe 2 hours.

I could spend the whole day!

Surprised to see them put hands on shoulders as it seemed like it came as unnatural and they kept attempting to put their hands up.

Ensure back gates are open for parents to get in and out so they don’t waste time walking round.

Possible have an outline of a typical day at the outset of the sessions and an indication of what part we will be seeing.

Since they happen on a regular basis, perhaps next time focus on a different subject or in the afternoon so we can see the whole picture of the school day.

Ask parents to visit the eldest child first as the youngest gets upset when you leave before the other parents.

To observe Mr Mitchener’s classes.

Questions and Answer session when the children go to play.

Difficult to get child care for younger siblings.

Longer in school please.

One to one sessions with parents to explain what child is good at to support at home.

Perhaps something specific for the children to do as the parents leave to distract them as some of them got upset.

Maybe an activity could be planned that could involve the parent and child during the visit.

I believe that if we are involved in child’s learning journey in the same way I believe we can share in achieving the child’s full potential.

Difficult to split one morning between two children. I would recommend spending one morning per child as I only caught 10-15 minutes of this lesson.

In the past we have completed these evaluation sheets straight after the morning. It would be helpful to complete them straight after.

 

What the parents said about how we can engage more of them in the curriculum evening events:

Day sessions ////////

Sessions before 3pm.

I believe as a parent we have a duty to come and see what our children are doing therefore we should arrange for this.

Smaller sessions with fewer parents (find large gatherings in hall arduous and impersonal). Teacher speaking to their classes’ parents for a shorter period of time.

Outline a brief overview of the topics that will be discussed, an overview of the curriculum content to be discussed, giving insight to parents re the information they will receive during the evening– an awareness of the topic to be covered.

A curriculum morning rather than evening.

Sometimes evenings are difficult.

As information is available on website after the event parents may not come in whereas the open session is a unique opportunity to see your child in action.

Earlier time slot and with a crèche. //////

Later start time so children are in bed. //

I attended and found it very useful. //

Difficult to get a babysitter. Maybe have during the day.

Difficult to get child care. Maybe condense the information for parents after they have been to the open session.

No childcare. /////////////////

Link curriculum evening and open morning together.

Curriculum session in the morning. //

Hold on different evenings in the week each time so if parents can’t do one specific evening they might come next time.

I’m surprised by this as everyone I know comes. Perhaps if they have been before with older children they don’t think they need to come again with younger ones?

Allow give lots of notice to allow parents to plan effectively. //

I don’t enjoy parent participation or watching role plays or hearing anecdotes. //

The evenings need to be fast and factual. Sometimes too long. //

Not sure, I attend both and don’t know why a parent would do one and not the other.

The reading evening was Excellent. Could you start later to allow parents to put children to bed before the babysitter comes as this would be easier for us? ////

Record the evenings and upload onto the website.

We always attend and find them valuable. We will pass this onto other parents. //

The reading evening recently was the best by far- really useful and informative.

Incorporate curriculum evenings with fish and chips or chees and wine evenings.

One hour maximum. Earlier in evening and crèche facilities.

Work and child care commitments. //////

Hold in the afternoon with a crèche.

More notice please. //

Survey parents to ask what day and time would suit best. //

Offer alternative days and times- maybe 2 dates for parents to choose from.

Daytime would be better.

Not sure anything can be done.

Information prior to the evening.

More emphasis on getting the parents to try what the children have to do rather than listening to talking in the hall.

Morning sessions as it is easier to get a few hours off work then.

Useful to know if approaches have changed as we have older children and have been before. Is it worth coming again?//

Particularly like it when teachers ‘act out’ scenarios.

More interesting to see children as they learn. More appealing than sitting in the hall listening to someone.

Parents often prefer a practical approach rather than a lecture type event. Useful to have the guest speaker this time.

Specific suggestions on ways to help your child’s learning would be useful.

Its’ important to the children that their parents come in so that might be why they make the effort. Curriculum evenings happen without children being aware of them so parents may opt out.

Vary times and days of the week for the evenings.

Provide a glass of wine!

Hold it post school or later in the evening.

Send out a reminder the day before by email or slip as evening events get missed easily.

Put more information about what will be covered in the evening on the letter so parents do not think it is a repeat of what has happened before and can make an informed decision about attending.

Arrange more and more of these events.

Give parents a task to help the child on their learning journey and guide us on how to motivate them in achieving this target during a particular time.

 

 

 

Other comments:

 

I enjoyed my visit and will do so again at the next opportunity. Thank you.

A great morning, hugely beneficial and worthwhile experience. Thank you.

I really enjoy these sessions and think there should be more of them. //////

Lucky to have so many adults in 1 class- T/TA/LSA/Trainee.

Thank you and please keep offering these./////

Thank you for the opportunity.///////////

A really valuable experience, thank you.

Children and teachers were full of energy.

Really good session. Love coming to these.

The lessons I observed were excellent.

Very impressed with children and staff. /////

Great organisation and loved seeing butter making.

Drop in and discuss on Thursdays/Fridays please.

I will definitely being using some techniques I saw at home.

I felt privileged to be there and it was so welcoming. Can’t wait for the Spring ones!

Impressed with the outside area and the mini whiteboards.

Wish they were longer- the time flew by!

Seeing how they have progressed through the years as I’ve been in each year since he was in F2.

Thank you to the teachers, it can’t be easier with all the parents watching. //

Class seemed noisy at times- maybe because lots of visitors were in.

Thank you for making us feel welcome.

Thank you for having us. I can’t imagine the planning and organisation that goes with these open days.

All the children seemed happy and settled.

I wish I was a child again.

I appreciate the time and effort that goes into organising these mornings and look forward to the next one.

Children were lovely and friendly. They are a credit to the school.

It’s so brave of the teachers to let parents in. I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and excellence.

Our children love it here and thrive!

As my eldest child has now started school this has given me the knowledge that she is thriving at school and is happy.

A very enjoyable experience. All the children were so well behaved.

It was a very positive experience. Children were so focussed on their lesson and the teacher was very accommodating of all the parents.

I felt it was run well and teachers coped really well with having their classrooms invaded by parents and children excited about having mum/dad in. I really enjoyed it.

Thank the teachers for having us in. it must make the day/week much harder but it is much appreciated.

Overall experience was brilliant. To know what my child is doing in class and how they teach her. Thank you.

Thank you for organising the open mornings. A wonderful insight and really enjoyable seeing happy children in school.

I thought it was only one parent per child but I saw both parents for one child in a class which upset me as my husband would have liked to have come too.

Welcoming class and teachers.

Very enjoyable and useful. I can’t wait for the next ones. Thanks to all the staff for making us feel so welcome.

I was very impressed with the children’s behaviour and concentration.

Thank you again.

Handwriting modelled on the board is not on lines. When children are expected to do handwriting in books on lines would it not be useful to have lines on the board to see how to place the letters?

It’s nice to be able to see the progress in the children and also how they respond to their new teacher.

I believe the open mornings are a great idea. I can see how my child learns and that he is happy in the classroom.

Open sessions give children another sign that his parents are interested in his day at school which I can believe can only be positive.

Thank you very much for organising the morning and the flexibility in offering these three sessions which makes attending a lot easier around work commitments. I really hope you continue this.

Thank you for this opportunity to see my son at school. I look forward to seeing maths in action in F2 at some point in the year.

Lovely experience, well done to all the teachers.

I feel real pleasure spending time with the children. Please keep offering these sessions.

Many of my colleagues at work comment on whether my child goes to private school when they find out what I have been doing during their open morning. I was very pleased that they thought this was such a special school.