21 Nov

  • By kristianstill

Providing parents with timely, useful information, is one of the tasks all schools face. How, when and where, delivered by who? Are key questions. Our bold step was to use ZOOM, our VC platform, and to meet our parents online at the time most convenient to them. You told us Monday 7:30pm-:800pm and we readied ourselves for a step into new territory.

A fair amount of preparation went into the event. Meetings, tests, dry-runs, can do only so much to alleviate the nerves. However, we hoped we were ready.

I had planned to meet Mrs French online at 7:20pm. At 7:10 I was online and setting up. Getting the notes ready, setting up the polls. 7:20… tick… tick…

At 7:22pm, our first technical hitch and email call-to-arms from Mrs French… 7:25 phew, resolved. Leaving us just a few minutes to set up.

At 7:28 I was notified that attendees were waiting. First, to upgrade Mrs French to co-host, set up here presentation / screen sharing.

At 7:30 (a little flustered) we were live. Attendees were joining rapidly and it took just 3-4 minutes for almost everyone to arrive (I must turn off the arrival/leave notifications pings, these were very distracting).

Not perfect, but fair… that’s live broadcasting for you… and we were off.


We tried to welcome attendees, though the attendee names were a little disorientating (note to self). We outlined the roles of the presenter and cohost and got started with a poll and with that information we were able to focused the information for Y9-10 parents.  After a short tour (that needed improvement) we tested the chat feature before heading over to the presentation.

Mrs French presented the information confidently, though in reflection, we think less is more. We reflected that we should have covered just one of the new English GCSE courses, not both. We also tried to remedy a “screen sharing” issue we had not noticed when carrying out a dry run.

We covered English Language and Literature in 30 minutes. We only just finished on time and as a result, the session was a little fast paced. In hindsight, less is more.

My thanks to my colleague, Mrs French, a courageous and knowledgeable presenter.




We were relatively pleased at our first attempt at a ZOOM for parents. We have a few improvements to make for next week and “Getting to grips with the new Maths GCSE.”

  • Headsets are essential.
  • The host (me), needs to do a better job touring the parents around ZOOM before starting. Not easier after the slightly panicked start…
  • We felt that the polls were simple and effective
  • Simple clear visual notes – move to Powerpoint
  • Slow and steady, less is more. Plan for more time to seek feedback from attendees. Maybe via polling?
  • Parents were generous in their feedback, despite the audio quality and speedy presentation style.