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To think Primary schools should ask less of parents?

(139 Posts)
wonderstuff Thu 16-May-13 12:00:44

Supporting education is vital, reading, supporting maths, spelling homework in general I'm cool with.

But today I got an email that requests next Thursday I dress dd in a green top and brown trousers so she looks like a tree, all the children are having a tree themed muffty day. They are having an Eco day, guest speakers all fantastic stuff, it's a great school, but short notice, very specific requests like this are frustrating dd doesn't have a green top, I am fortunate in having the means to go get her one, but it seems a real imposition.

AIBU to be annoyed by this?

BoffinMum Sat 18-May-13 23:09:34

Suburban, there were one or two stories in the press, as it happens, about related things. <discreet>

Marriedinwhite, not too bad, getting there I think.

SirChenjin Fri 17-May-13 21:33:37

Thought of this thread today...a letter came home today instructing asking the kids to dress as their favourite food or food colour hmm next Friday, and to bring money for the privilege and a can of food for the local food bank. The latter is fine, no problem, but dress as your favourite food? Not sure I really want to dress DC3 as a chip and a chicken nugget smothered in ketchup <shame>.

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 17-May-13 21:28:23

Kids aside - you OK boff?

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 17-May-13 21:27:17

The funny thing was though and I had forgotten this. One year (and DS cringes now) DS said for. A week he didn't want to dress up - until 8.30 the night before. I got cross and said it's too late - he showed off and I said go as mowgli then and made a few rips in an old pair of beige shorts which he worre to bed. Got up next morning and but for some mud smearing in the garden was ready to go. He took a dressing gown but it was a warm day. He won a prize.

But the thing was one of the rips was near his willy ( and of course because he jumped straight out of bed he didn't have pays on) and he was vair grumpy that he had had to stop it peeping out all day!! Easy dress up though. He was 6

SuburbanRhonda Fri 17-May-13 18:55:43

Boffin, well it does sound like you are well out of it then.

Though I'm amazed that someone like the DM didn't pick up on the story about the child being hit with a computer cable shock

ErrorError Fri 17-May-13 15:37:42

Dress your DD up in loads of pink sparkly dress stuff with brown tights and say she's a cherry blossom! grin

Don't know where the dressing up trend comes from, when I was growing up we only did World Book Day, Children in Need & Comic Relief. Seems like there's a special day for everything.

I've no DC, but quite enjoy fancy dress myself and have tons of bits & bobs for materials plus loads of face paint. So when the time comes I will be well prepared (question is, will I ever have the time?)

Shocked at Boffin's post. What an awful sounding school. I'm glad you're out of there, but bit crap for the other children whose education will be suffering because of it (that's if the school hasn't been shut down or anything.)

Also... decorating eggs. I've blown the yolk/white out of holes but never heard about the baking thing. Is this something to do with salmonella concerns? IME, after blowing the egg and washing/decorating it, the paint usually blocks up the holes anyway so no white leaks out.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Fri 17-May-13 14:37:52

shock at 'Clown Day'. What were they thinking of?? Lots of children are scared of clowns. Imagine rolling up at school to find 300 of them in one place honking horns and squirting people with water-pistol flowers.

And where (for the love of god where??) is the educational value in that?confused

liveinazoo Fri 17-May-13 14:27:31

in the zoo house we are tired dress up dys and the sneery looks some mums as i dont rush to disney store etc for every event.my lot make masks/hats etc to wear<we made one into mr messy for world book day last year using a cloud shape piece of cardboard box stuck with squiggledy string pattern and painted and attatched to her!i appreciate this reqiures a lot of time,a precious commodity for many but cost implicates <4dcs> we dont have the funds for every whim.outfits dont make an event frankly

merrymouse Fri 17-May-13 13:00:30

I also think that a late night full of frayed tempers while a costume is made/project is finished is probably not a night when much story telling gets done, and a weekend spent trekking around the shops is not a weekend when you can have a family trip to the beach. 'Involved parents' do make a huge contribution to their child's education, but it isn't by buying leggings for some spurious theme day.

If a project is truly meant to be done by a child, fair enough. However, I'm sceptical that any job that involves going to the shops can truly be done independently by somebody who is in primary school.

chicaguapa Fri 17-May-13 12:50:11

I do think we should support the schools but it does annoy me when they're so focussed on what they're doing that they don't realise that parents have lives and other commitments outside of the school.

I had a moan at DC's school the other week as we received a very dictatorial letter with instructions on how we were to take our DC to another school for a particular time, send a packed lunch and pick them up at a particular time, both which were outside of the normal school hours and meant I couldn't do it because my working day is very carefully planned around the normal school times.

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 12:30:17

Supporting education is vital, reading, supporting maths, spelling homework in general I'm cool with.

This was in the OP and this to me is the heart of the matter- so many children don't have support with this at home, either because their parents aren't great with their own literacy/numeracy or they are disengaged with education. When will schools realise that all this 'parent-child' dressing up/making things together only works with parents with a lot of time on their hands and the confidence and interest to do it? This is sadly not all parents.

In the school my mum works at, they didn't ask the parents to make costumes for the Christmas play, but bought/made a load and reused them every year (think lots of teatowels/angel halos plus sheets!)- because if they didn't, many children's parents would send them in with nothing to wearsad

quoteunquote Fri 17-May-13 12:26:36

send her in a red top, and say she is a copper beech, or white trousers, a silver birch, red trousers, a giant sequoias,

almost any colour for the trunk, anything green, yellow, orange, red, purples, blues,

japanese acer come in every single colour possible.

You can wear any colour and be a tree, anyone who claims they are brown and green, needs to get out more , open their eyes and have a good look at the world.

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 12:25:53

Thinking about this, when we were at school we used to make masks for things ourselves out of paper plates and paint, in class time too. Perhaps primary schools could think about this for some of their silly dress up days.

I agree with this: tiger masks, painting, drawing, art- if it's so easy to make a hula skirt (as someone was asked to make)- why not make it in school time, with the things they typically have in school but not at home?

The only thing I engage in every year is the hideous decorate the egg competition which is crazily competitive- but I have two children so that's two weekends (one each) making eggs to a historical/Olympic theme.

Miggsie Fri 17-May-13 12:23:20

At DD's old school these days were just a demonstration of:
1)The mums who have tons of cash and buys top of the range dressing up stuff
2)The SAHM who could sew and spend days and days making costumes the NAtional Theatre would pay for
3)...and everyone else.

after 3 years we were well aware who had lots of time and or money or neither of either.

Frankly it would have been easier just to get badges permanently laminated to the mums.

I would have given £5 happily not to partake. Worst thing was they awarded prizes - and always to the same people whose mums had lots of cash or lots of sewing talent. Total waste of time. DD got sick of it and said she was never bothering again. Shortly after that we moved her to another school where we discovered they never ever do dressing up days.

Glittertwins Fri 17-May-13 12:08:20

Posted too soon.... We also have twins so its a double whammy at the same time.

Glittertwins Fri 17-May-13 12:07:30

They have gone in wild animal t-shirts / socks that were bought for them in Australia/US/Sth Africa instead. And yes to the BBC documentaries about animals too especially as they are wonderfully narrated.

BornInACrossFireHurricane Fri 17-May-13 12:06:38

I am shock at some of the prices mentioned for residential trips! What worries me is I have twins so will be hit twice at the same time. They have just turned 2... I think I need to start saving!

boffin I am just appalled at how you and your son were treated. Glad he's at a better school now

soverylucky Fri 17-May-13 12:06:35

Thinking about this, when we were at school we used to make masks for things ourselves out of paper plates and paint, in class time too. Perhaps primary schools could think about this for some of their silly dress up days.

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 12:01:00

Wild animal Friday? I am despairing that anyone would think the best way to get children excited and educated about wild animals, with all the amazing BBC documentaries, online resources and so on, is to sit in their tiger onesie. It's just not education, really, is it?

merrymouse Fri 17-May-13 11:59:37

No you are not being unreasonable.

The irony is that the easiest way, (possibly only if you don't have friends/family with similar age children who can lend you clothes or time to go to second hand shops), to comply with this request is to go to the kind of shop that supplies cheap, non-eco friendly clothes manufactured the other side of the world.

There are plenty of tree related activities that don't involve dressing up, many of which children do spontaneously themselves (climbing trees, collecting leaves, building dens, building miniature forests from twigs, making things out of old bits of bark and sticks) that would be far more relevant than wearing new clothes.

In fact, I think dressing up children (as opposed to them playing at dressing up themselves) is an incredibly patronising way to teach. Providing some bolts of brown and green cloth/old curtains, and other junk materials and giving the children the opportunity to make a class tree sculpture or letting them make their own costumes would be far more relevant than sending parents in a mad scramble to Primark for new clothes.

confused At clown day! Frightened adults and frightened children, I can see that going down really well (pulls sarcastic face)hmm

chocoluvva Fri 17-May-13 11:57:50

The difficulty soverylucky is that the children want to please their teacher and be like the other pupils. You need to persuade lots of other parents to not be bossed around by the school too so that your children doesn't feel different/left out.

Alligatorpie Fri 17-May-13 11:56:27

Pussycat - clown day would be awful. Lots of children are scared of clowns. I hope it didn't happen.

soverylucky Fri 17-May-13 11:45:28

My dd is in year 3 - they have had one dress up day for world book day. That was easy. Other than that - nothing, except for jeans for genes day once and for that we had to borrow a pair from a friend as dd doesn't wear jeans.

If I got these requests, especially at such short notice I wouldn't do it.

Alligatorpie Fri 17-May-13 11:42:37

Quangle - that is hilarious!!! Not sure about the food in Burkina Faso, But i had some pretty amazing seafood in Guam.

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