To think that 'Cool' is not a suitable thematic topic for ks2 children

(33 Posts)
Boggler Wed 09-Jan-13 11:41:27

My dd's school has a thematic topic every term for the ks2 children - so basically all the juniors. They take part and previous topics have included the Olympics, world war II, the Romans etc. it works really well and they research topics and really get involved. All great you say well up until dd came home saying that this terms topic is cool, at first I thought it meant cold things environments etc but no apparently it means what's cool and what's not!

I'm really concerned that young children are going to pressure already hard up parents for 'cool' stuff and that it could be divisive - those with cool stuff and those without. It's a recipe for disaster as far as I can see but what do others think AIbu?

flipflopper Wed 09-Jan-13 11:49:22

Sounds ridiculous to me too! What are they going to learn?!
I would have a word with the teacher about it.

Seeline Wed 09-Jan-13 11:49:58

It could well be used as an opportunity to dispel the myth of what is 'cool'. Help the kids to form their own opinions as values. Show them how materialistic some people can be and how this is not a Good Thing.

littlewhitebag Wed 09-Jan-13 11:50:08

Perhaps they are looking at what is perceived to be cool and why this might be so. Maybe they will also look at why kids always want the 'cool' stuff and the impact this has on the economy (and their parents wallets). There is loads of positive stuff they could do around this.

Beehatch Wed 09-Jan-13 11:51:10

Sounds barmy. Surely 'cool' is entirely subjective - and pre-teens are hardly known for their discerning qualities!

valiumredhead Wed 09-Jan-13 11:54:42

Why don't you have a chat with the teacher and see what lessons she has planned - they might surprise you wink

limitedperiodonly Wed 09-Jan-13 11:55:51

I think that's really interesting, as long as they talk about the themes that littlewhitebag mentioned.

Zip-up cardigans with muff-type pockets at the front were all the go at my school some time early in the last century. Sadly, my mum bought me one just when the in-crowd had moved on.

<terminally uncool person>

realcoalfire Wed 09-Jan-13 11:58:23

No it will be a PSCHE thing , all about everybody's 'cool' is different, and we are all 'speshul' the old 'it's good to be me' shite topic

pinkdelight Wed 09-Jan-13 12:01:36

"Sounds barmy. Surely 'cool' is entirely subjective - and pre-teens are hardly known for their discerning qualities!"

That's exactly why it's worth looking at and getting some positive understanding in place so they discuss and decide for themselves what is cool instead of just taking what the media tells them is cool. I think it's a great topic to focus on.

pinkdelight Wed 09-Jan-13 12:03:24

It doesn't have to be shite though, realcoalfire. Some kids will only be getting the "it's not good to be me unless I have the right trainers" message, so surely anything to counterbalance that is a good thing?

Boggler Wed 09-Jan-13 12:03:32

Littlewhitebag what you say makes sense but I'm not sure that 7-10 yr olds can make those distinctions. Already one balshy 10yr old in dd's class is telling everyone that jls= not cool and one direction = cool, most of the girls just agree with her as she rules the roost. My worry is for the kids that don't have anything cool, even if the teachers manage to get across that the children are pawns of tv advertising its still bound to be upsetting to be branded as uncool.

LifeofPo Wed 09-Jan-13 12:06:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TroublesomeEx Wed 09-Jan-13 12:07:00

The kids might put a lot of stock in the thematic topic but the teacher's just use it as a vehicle for teaching the skills they would have taught anyway but in a way that is more interesting/accessible/relevant to the children.

So for example, one of the QCA schemes of work for history for year 6 is a study of an important person from history. So lots of schools study John Lennon and the children learn about music/fashion/technology from the 60s and compare and contrast with what they have today. I can see how that would fit into a topic of 'cool'. As much as anything, it encourages the children to see that what they think of as 'cool' now will be thought of as uncool by future generations and that their parents thought their tiny black and white tv, record player and Teddy boys were 'cool'.

A topic which makes science 'cool' might have a really positive outcome. So one of the year 5 QCA science topics covers 'gases around us'. That makes the children think of it as 'cool' (which it is) rather than dry (which it can be). e.g. cool uses for different gases (which to be fair, are pretty cool)

The content won't really be much different, but the packaging will be more attractive for the children.

It really won't be about talking about Playstations and SuperDry clothing (if they are even cool - I have no idea wink )

littlewhitebag Wed 09-Jan-13 12:08:31

It is the perfect time i would say. It might encourage those who feel they have to follow the pack to think for themselves and see that 'cool' is not always best.

limitedperiodonly Wed 09-Jan-13 12:10:29

You're probably right, realcoalfire.

School regulation macs are not cool no matter how much good money your father sweated to buy them.

I was the kind of weedy child who took two years to grow out of it as well.

iseenodust Wed 09-Jan-13 12:15:15

Could be is it cool to import boatloads of plastic crap goods from China/Bangladesh etc - relate to child labour, global warming, need v want etc

seeker Wed 09-Jan-13 12:15:33

No it will be a PSCHE thing , all about everybody's 'cool' is different, and we are all 'speshul' the old 'it's good to be me' shite topic"

Yep. Really shite message, that one. hmm

YorkshireDeb Wed 09-Jan-13 12:24:33

I like valiumredhead's idea - go & talk to the teacher. I'm a teacher & think this sounds like a vague way to engage the children & make them think they're learning something really interesting when secretly you're trying to cover the boring important objectives the government has laid out. We started thematic teaching last year & whilst my year group colleagues decided on obvious titles (like "world war 2"), others picked more vague titles like this ("underground, overground"). The whole theory behind thematic teaching though is to engage children more in their education so hopefully "cool" will end up being better than it sounds. x

Boggler Wed 09-Jan-13 12:35:31

I'm waiting for the newsletter with all the details before I start pestering the school. I'm not alone though, loads of parents have been on Facebook and complaining at the school gates that its not a topic. Apparently one parent has said that her dd's class teacher has given permission for the class to dress up in their 'coolest' clothes one day.. No pressure there then!

Jins Wed 09-Jan-13 12:41:16

It's probably being done because of the bolshy 10yo

I think it's a good thing to address actually. Most of the low grade bullying I've come across has been over the wrong type of something or other

KhallDrogo Wed 09-Jan-13 12:41:38

i cant believe you are having so much trouble seeing beyond the topic title 'cool' and why it will be useful...confused

Do you have that little faith in the teachers and the school?

KhallDrogo Wed 09-Jan-13 12:42:22

and 7-10 year olds is exactly the right time to be addressing the notion of 'cool'

fuzzpig Wed 09-Jan-13 12:48:18

I think it could be really good, if it's used as a platform for discussing peer pressure and fitting in vs. being yourself. Maybe they will talk about petty crime as well - I'm sure I remember talking about gangs and being pressured into shoplifting, doing role plays about standing up for yourself etc.

It could also provide a great opportunity to look at media and advertising in particular. Watching an ad for the latest toy or shoes or whatever, and pulling it apart and looking at all the tricks the companies use, could be a really valuable lesson in a world where children are constantly being bombarded with messages about what is 'cool'.

fuzzpig Wed 09-Jan-13 12:51:41

Also very interesting in terms of looking at fashion (in terms of literal clothing fashions and stuff like music, celebrities etc) through the ages, discussions about who gets to choose what is fashionable/what celebrities are shot to fame etc.

ubik Wed 09-Jan-13 12:52:42

i think it probably is about peer pressure..and perhaps even marketing and advertising. i'd be delighted if my dd's class were exploring this.

my dd's class are doing 'skiing' confused which i hope has geographical/mathematical aspect as dd isn't going to experience skiing until she can pay for it herself!

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