The start of the summer holidays is a great time to review the last school year with your children. While the school year is fresh in their minds, you can find out how any extra help worked from your children’s perspectives.
As parents, we have our own views on how the year was, but it is important to get your children’s opinions. Knowing your children’s views will help you plan for next year. Here are a few ideas of questions to ask your children:
  1. What was their favourite subject? Why?
  2. What subject did they dislike the most and why?
  3. Which teacher or other school staff person helped them the most. How?
  4. Who was the least helpful teacher or staff person? Why?
  5. In which subject did they do the best? Why?
  6. In which subject did they do the worst? Why?
  7. In which subject do they think they need the most help? Why?
  8. Which support, such as a Special Needs Assistant or Assistive Technology, did they find the most helpful? Why?
  9. Which support was least helpful? Why?
  10. Who were their favourite classmates? Why?
  11. Which other students did they like the least? Why?
  12. Did they have any problems getting organised at the end of each school day?
  13. What problems did they have with homework?
  14. What would make school better for them?
  15. Did they make new friends?
  16. Were they able to take part in all school activities and field trips? Why or why not?
  17. What things would they like to change for the next school year?
What questions you ask depend on your children’s ages and abilities. You don’t want to interrogate your child, so ask questions casually and over several days. You may need to ask the same question several times before you get a full answer. Your goal is to get your children to tell you as much information as possible about their school time. When the school year is over, your children may be more likely to tell you things that embarrassed or upset them during the year.
If your children had particular issues they worked on in school, find out their view on their progress.
For example:
  • Do you think your handwriting improved with the extra help? If not, do you have any ideas to help improve your handwriting?
  • Did your organisational skills improve during the school year? Why, or why not?
Write out a summary of your children’s views, so you can discuss them with the school in the autumn.
Special Education Advocate



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