This is known as Parents Evening in the UK. The content is pretty much the same but the organisation is different.
We were sent an email with login details to access the time slots available to see Zahra’s teacher. The school is effectively closed for the day i.e. there are no classes being taught and teachers are available all day to see parents. 15 minutes time slots were available from 8am to 6pm and you just booked whichever was most convenient to you. They are allocated on a first come first served basis. I received an email confirmation of the booking.
Yesterday we received a reminder and confirmation of our booking by email for our time slot this morning.
When we arrived this morning there were self service tea and coffee tables available in various locations.
The home room (form classroom in the UK) teaching assistant greeted us and unlocked Zahra’s school iPad from the charging locker. iPads are used for researching during class (usually for a lesson called “unit of inquiry”) and can also be used to play games on during free time. It’s so normal and usual here that no one had thought to tell us she used an iPad at school.
Then we met with Ms Sarita, Zahra’s home room teacher, who told how well Zahra had settled into school. As she has only been in school two weeks so no report had been drafted. A sensible thing I thought – not writing a report merely for the sake of ticking a box. Ms Sarita noted Zahra’s appetite for reading and said initially she had put her in the second to top group for guided reading but quickly assessed she should be moved up and also had to stop Zahra reading so far ahead of the others (which made me laugh). She’s moving Zahra up again after the holiday to independent reading.
There’s a website called Mathletics which she has to access from home and do maths games on. It’s maths games online against children from other countries. It’s speed that counts and the winners of each game earn points for their school. Lots of fun apparently.
There is also a home room blog accessed via the school website. The home room teachers post weekly about things done in the class that week and what’s coming up. So instead of a letter home to provide a black outfit for the Diwali dance there is a blog post about it for example.
When we had finished our “home room conference” we could have seen a variety of other teachers (music, Hindi, PE etc) all of whom were waiting in the Primary Hall for any parents who wanted to pop in and have a chat with them as well.
It was so well organised and professional. The use of technology in the classroom and to communicate as well was encouraging. I think we are going to struggle to adapt back into the UK system when we return!