Would it bother you if school discussed Kenya situation in assembly with 4 - 11 year olds?

(24 Posts)
topicofaffairs Mon 23-Sep-13 23:06:44

I have name changed purely because it will be obvious to anyone from school who I am and don't want posts linked.

Dd came home and asked me to help her learn Arabic and a Muslim prayer so if it happened here they wouldn't kill her sad

I thought they were talking in the playground but dd said head told them all about it in whole school assembly. Bit hmm about this, not even as if it was a classroom situation they could ask questions.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 23-Sep-13 23:11:01

yes. dd is very sensitive and i think she is too young for things like this yet. her dad used to live in nairobi so it is a bit less distant too.

meditrina Mon 23-Sep-13 23:19:27

Here's how CBBC Newsround tackled the story. I don't think there is any reason why a school should not talk about a huge news story (and depending on the school,community, there might be very good reasons why it should).

I would however question the appropriateness of the level of detail, about releasing Muslims, but shooting the poor man who did not know the name of the Prophet's mother; if that is indeed what was covered. There may be some playground chat relayed alongside what was actually said by teachers.

hippo123 Mon 23-Sep-13 23:21:58

No, as long as it was done in an age appropriate way.

LucySnoweShouldRelax Mon 23-Sep-13 23:23:41

Is it a religious school? When I was at my RC primary school, I remember the head might say something like "Maybe you have seen the sad pictures on the news from Kenya, let's say a prayer for all the families/send them positive thoughts" I remember something like that happening for Dunblane especially. Not saying it's right or wrong, just that was my experience.

I would hazard that the learning Arabic bit was picked up from someone in the playground who misunderstood the news/grown-ups discussing the news, which is inevitable, surely?

topicofaffairs Mon 23-Sep-13 23:37:21

Yes its a religious school.
I'm not too fussed with dd because in all honesty she got up when I was in the shower and saw most of it on day break including a picture I had tried to shield her from. So I had to explain.

It was dd herself who said she thought the smallest ones would be too young to be told it.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 23-Sep-13 23:55:52

newsround is aimed at older children. some of the children in school will have just turned four a month ago. not all children in a school will be able to understand and process these things, and if they do understand enough they will not have the emotional maturity to deal with it. it would seriously effect dd's learning for the rest of the day as she would dwell on these things and quite likely have nightmares.

SoonToBeSix Tue 24-Sep-13 00:06:59

Are you from the north west op because it was discussed in my dd school assembly also. Tbh I don't have a problem with it at all.

topicofaffairs Tue 24-Sep-13 00:35:47

I am soontobesix!

Morloth Tue 24-Sep-13 00:40:12

Fuck no.

My kids don't know about any of that sort of thing.

They don't need to know about it. There is no reason to give them that awful information.

Soon enough I will not be able to shield them from this stuff. But not yet, for now I want them to continue in their childhood free from these worries if at all possible.

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Tue 24-Sep-13 01:00:24

When my ds's were little the 9/11 tragedy happened. Dh and I decided to tell them at bath time in an age-appropriate way. It turned out they knew more about it than we did since the school had kept them updated. They coped well it was all very matter of fact, and I think what helped was that they felt they knew all about it.

MrsMongoose Tue 24-Sep-13 01:49:26

I quite like that kids get to hear about the news. Providing it is handled in an age appropriate way - like Newsround - it provides wonderful opportunities at home to teach them about the world in which we live, and understand how vastly life differs for people nowhere near as lucky as us.

friday16 Tue 24-Sep-13 06:23:42

*They don't need to know about it. There is no reason to give them that awful information.

Soon enough I will not be able to shield them from this stuff.*

But in the meantime, you're happy for them to find out from overheard snippets of conversation, things they see on televisions just before they're switched off and rumours in the playground, rather than telling them yourself in an age-appropriate manner?

Last week's Guardian Family Section:

"An American woman visiting friends in London a few days after the school massacre in December 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, asked the friend's family (two adults, three teenagers) not to refer to Newtown for the duration of their visit and not to turn on the news in case her children might overhear distressing stories. "We're going to talk to them about it when we feel they can handle it," she said. Her children were 13 and nine."

My children were 6 and 4 on 9/11. As soon as they got home from school we talked to them about what had happened. How on earth could you shield children from the biggest news story of their generation?

Driz Tue 24-Sep-13 06:32:37

How old is your child?
I always think it is better to be told things factually from a trusted source. Otherwise they pick up little bits here and there and can get scared from not having the facts.

Morloth Tue 24-Sep-13 06:34:37

When DS1 asks me questions about what is happening I explain the situation (as I understand it) and help him to understand.

I do not however, seek to tell him about these atrocities.

I know he has no idea about the Kenyan Massacre because right now he is on a sheep station in the bush. With grandparents who don't watch TV.

As I said the time will come where they cannot be shielded, but for now I will do as much as possible.

I don't see any value in frightening them with this information just yet.

I would be very unhappy if the school held an assembly to talk about murders.

That is my call as a parent, not the school's.

Obviously as they don't actually live in a bubble they find out about things and we explain them as they come up.

What possible use is the information to a small child?

meditrina Tue 24-Sep-13 07:06:14

What age is Newsround aimed for? I'd always though it was suitable for primary, and the article I linked looked suitable. I particularly like the 'what to do if you're upset by the story' links.

Now, obviously no-one would suggest a school (or anyone else) should use any resource slavishly, indeed it's self-evident that careful review before use is needed.

But if Newsround is not suitable for primary, what better resources are there to help teachers abridge a story quickly?

friday16 Tue 24-Sep-13 07:15:51

I would be very unhappy if the school held an assembly to talk about murders.

So what do you think teachers should have said on the 10th of September 2001? Pretty well every school I had knowledge of made it the focus, front and centre, of assembly. And were, in the view of almost every parent, entirely right to do so. What would you have done?

cupcake78 Tue 24-Sep-13 07:19:29

Sounds like its been handled badly. Ds 5 knows about it but not in a way that's scared him!

applebread Tue 24-Sep-13 07:22:26

I think it's better to be honest and open with children and make them feel confident to ask questions about difficult issues so they trust you to answer. My 6 and 7yo will hear snatches of the news and see the newspaper headlines so I don't know how you can completely shield them from this sort of thing. I trust my children's teachers to handle things in an age appropriate way.

friday16 Tue 24-Sep-13 07:44:18

10th of September 2001

12th, obviously.

BrokenSunglasses Tue 24-Sep-13 08:22:02

I don't think children as young as four should be listening to it in assemblies, and I don't think they are likely to hear talk of it in the playground either. Most children aren't really interested in something that is so far removed from their own reality, and children don't always hear exactly what they are told.

If they are going to discuss these things at school, then it should be done in a classroom situation IMO. You would pitch this sort of discussion completely differently for a Y6 class compared to a Y1 class, and you just can't handle something like this well when talking to such a broad age range. Also, if it's done in class it gives time to ask questions and discuss feelings, which an assembly just can't do. Some children will walk out of an assembly like that feeling quite worried, and to expect them just to leave the hall and go off to a maths lesson does not meet their emotional needs.

friday16 Tue 24-Sep-13 09:13:53

If they are going to discuss these things at school, then it should be done in a classroom situation IMO

That's a good point. But it does require more management by the school. If the contention is that assemblies shouldn't be used for material that isn't age appropriate, you have to ask what the point of collective assemblies for a wide age range actually is (I, and my children, went to two or three form intake primaries where assemblies were never wider in range than 4-7 or 8-11).

SoonToBeSix Tue 24-Sep-13 12:10:08

Topic now I wonder if I know you we will have to send each other cryptic clues grin

hettienne Tue 24-Sep-13 12:12:40

I wouldn't have a problem with them discussing it, but details like people being shot for not being Muslim/answering questions correctly is totally unnecessary.

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