AIBU to think there is too much pressure and expectations put on infant school children

(189 Posts)
BazilGin Mon 19-Sep-16 20:44:09

This may be a huge cultural difference that I will never get over. I started primary school at the age of 7. I move to the UK 10 years ago and my August born daughter started reception just after her 4th birthday. This in itself is wrong, but I am honestly shocked at the curriculum the teachers have to follow. She has just started year one and is given spellings every week that the teacher tests on Monday morning. AIBU to think this is too much too soon? She is doing well academically, but said she is sad they are not allowed to play and "in the morning it's literacy and we just have to get on with it". At this age I though they are just learning through play! Clearly not sad !! I honestly believed that infant school will be more play based, but they were doing lots of writing/ready ng etc even in reception. DD went to a wonderful Montessori preschool and somehow I thought that infant school will be just extension of that, sadly not. I wish the whole system was different. If my circumstances were different, I would home school as it breaks my heart.

Banananananana Mon 19-Sep-16 20:51:53

YANBU.

steveharley Mon 19-Sep-16 20:52:11

The infants have to knuckle down and learn their spellings so that the Y4s can write like robots using fronted adverbials and so that everyone can correctly underline the past progressive tense in Y6. Without that, the year group test percentage drops, ofsted arrive and the school needs improving.
When parents stop choosing schools by sat results the madness may end.

ScarfForAGiraffe Mon 19-Sep-16 20:55:29

sad it's not going to change is it. I wish I could afford private often.

pointythings Mon 19-Sep-16 20:57:19

It was bad when my DDs started (they are now 13 and 15) and it is infinitely worse now. The worst of it is that it achieves nothing - so many countries start formal school later and yet get better results. But until parents stop buying the bullshit, nothing will ever change.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 19-Sep-16 21:01:08

I totally agree with you, we have got it so wrong in the uk. We shoukd learn from countries such as Finland, and Norway, who don't start school until later and are hands in and learn through play. Ds 4 started full time school today, and tables lined with red text books and pencils, looked so formal. I thought where is the learning through play bit😔

BazilGin Mon 19-Sep-16 21:01:46

Can we change it? Start a petition?! I feel that the system has already killed her soul. That innate thirst for learning has been crushed sad.

Leggytadpole Mon 19-Sep-16 21:03:05

I don't think parents are buying the bullshit though pointy. I agree with the OP and I know that many of my son's Y1 friends parents also feel the same, but realistically what can we do? I'd love to home school but I need to work to pay the bills. There are no alternative schools near us. So what's the other option?

StopShoutingAtYourBrother Mon 19-Sep-16 21:04:54

My children's teachers have told me that until year 2 - 3 it is a total waste of time trying to learn spellings with some kids. They said it privately to me, but in class they towed the spelling line.

I did no spelling, let them be in the bottom set, and when they got older they gradually moved up to the high sets. It was the right approach for them.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 19-Sep-16 21:05:53

I thank god ASD dd 9 goes to a SS autism school, where the approach is totally different, they have lots of play time and time for learning. I wish all schools were like her SS, really awsome school. The staff are relaxed and kids go on the own pace.

thescruffiestgiantintown Mon 19-Sep-16 21:06:13

There's a movement in Scotland called Upstart which is aiming to introduce a kindergarten stage for 4-7 year olds. I've no idea how far it'll get but might be worth contacting to see if you could organise something similar in England?

It's massively depressing and YANBU at all. The only alternative where I am is bonkers Steiner but at least they'd be outside playing...

Leggytadpole Mon 19-Sep-16 21:06:40

The pressure is on schools from the government. It's a mess, more kids are suffering with stress related mental health issues than ever before and teachers are leaving the profession in their droves due to the stress being placed on them from above.

If only the whole thing could be scrapped and the Scandinavian model adopted.

Imaginosity Mon 19-Sep-16 21:06:58

I'm in Ireland and things seem to be a little bit more easy going here. Children start at around age 4 & a half to 5. They don't seem to push ahead with the curriculum at the rate they do in the Uk. I'm always surprised when I read in mumsnet about what's expected of 4 and 5 year olds. I can't really see the point because in the end, when they reach age 18 or 19, teenagers in the UK and Ireland are not that much different.

morningtoncrescent62 Mon 19-Sep-16 21:07:03

There's a campaign going in Scotland - I don't know if there's an equivalent in the other countries of the UK, but presumably you could use the resources on their website to start one?

HeCantBeSerious Mon 19-Sep-16 21:10:44

My DCs school isn't like that. It's a bit different here in Wales anyway. Reception and Y1 only get a book sent home every week that they can read if they want to. There's homework once a term (which is more of a craft activity to do with parents based on a certain theme). They play for at least half the day (more in reception) with formal work limited to about 1.5 hours per day in Y1. As much as possible is done outside and if the kids particularly enjoy a theme it's carried on for longer than planned. This is a small state Welsh-medium primary school.

HeCantBeSerious Mon 19-Sep-16 21:11:26

They did start FT at 3 but more for language submersion than academic reasons.

MrsAmaretto Mon 19-Sep-16 21:14:46

It's not like that at my child's Scottish school - playbased learning in nursery, P1 & P2. The teacher shares photos of them on the Class Dojo app, so I know that it's not just rhetoric. Oh and no homework but they can take a reading book home if they want to.

Purplebluebird Mon 19-Sep-16 21:15:58

Oh this makes me so sad for my son's future sad I'm Norwegian, we didn't start school until 6, and even then it was play based! It was really nice, I learnt to read and write when I was 4 - however there was no pressure at school until age 7-8, and then English too at age 9!

I dread my 2,5 year old starting school here in UK. Hope we find a playful one...

Lucienandjean Mon 19-Sep-16 21:16:03

YANBU. This is the major, overriding reason why I gave up teaching.

I used to teach reception / year 1. It's awful now, whereas it used to be fabulous.

What we are doing to our infant school children now should be outlawed; instead, it's compulsory. angry

Aeroflotgirl Mon 19-Sep-16 21:20:45

I am bought some ks1 letts books for dd to do during the holidays, and some if the stuff they expect little 5-7 years olds do, I did not do until I was 11 at senior school ffs! We need to change it before we crush the learning of little ones.

MsJamieFraser Mon 19-Sep-16 21:21:58

Ds2 is 7, he has come home with an America project on Friday that has to be done on power point and be at least 4 A4 pages long and must include facts, colour, scanned pictures and also hand written facts and drawings.... All to be presented by Wednesday angry

Wouldn't be a issue, however our laptop charger is broken and it's £58 to replace, it's also only compatible computer we have for our printer (he has a chrome book)

Yanbu OP

Lalal00p5y Mon 19-Sep-16 21:22:46

I agree with you completely! It is heartbreaking!

Aeroflotgirl Mon 19-Sep-16 21:23:11

My ds has a dx of dev delay of 1.5 years, and speech and Lang delay and has a classroom helper, so I can only hope they give him things he can do and go easy on him in Foundation.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 19-Sep-16 21:24:58

MrsJ that is disgraceful, do what ds can and hand it in, sod the rest. What if those don't have the equipment, from poorer families.

bsmirched Mon 19-Sep-16 21:25:06

YANBU. I'm a Y2 teacher and this year I have my summer born DS1 in my class. I am beyond disillusioned with our education system and it breaks my heart that my children's experience of school bears no resemblance to my own. If I somehow come into money, I will home school them.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now