to expect primary schools not to show PG films without parents' say so

(62 Posts)
earlycomputers Wed 18-Dec-13 22:10:31

I am pretty lenient with what my kids see but it bristles with me that their school just makes them watch 2 hour length PG rated films without first checking whether we mind about the content. My DD (year 3) watched Arthur Christmas today and whilst I don't mind her watching this, I would imagine some stricter parents would object to the alcohol and sex references. When my DD was in Reception, they watched a U rated film which whilst it was a 'U' still left some of the class in tears. Another one they watched on a previous year was Nanny McPhee (don't know if it was 1 or 2) and I recall there was mild swearing in it.

Firstly - why can't schools just show something for an hour rather than 2 hours - surely that's a home treat prerogative for the parents to manage? Secondly, if they must show a long film why can't it be a U rating?
If I take my DD's friends out with her to the cinema, I take pains to tell the friends' parents I will be taking them to a U rated film because I am wary of other parents' levels of strictness about film watching - (my dd is 7).

forthview Wed 18-Dec-13 22:15:18

Can't imagine anyone objecting to Arthur Christmas?

tiamariaxxx Wed 18-Dec-13 22:15:47

Personally im not bothered my 5 year old inparticular has watched 12s before as long as me and his dad know the film before hand and make sure its suitable im not botherd

At the school mine are at they are only allowed to show u films apparently, the older kids have apparently had to take consent forms home to watch PG

WelshMaenad Wed 18-Dec-13 22:17:52

You don 't mind, so don't get het up. I don't see the point of getting offended of behalf of other parents who are probably quite capable of getting offended for themselves should they feel the need.

FWIW my dd is in yr three and I wouldn't give a monkeys if she watched a 2 hour pg film two days before they break up for Xmas.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 18-Dec-13 22:18:13

I can't get worked up over this no matter how hard I try.
A PG is fine for the age groups you mention. In fact I let my 3 year old watch Nanny Mcphee, and Arthur Christmas. As far as I know it hasn't scarred him for life fwink

ChristmasJumperWearer Wed 18-Dec-13 22:18:18

My DD used to be quite sensitive and in YR watched Shrek at school and had "bad dreams".

She's been fine since YR though. No issue with Arthur Christmas, which she has also seen in school.

manicinsomniac Wed 18-Dec-13 22:18:53

YABU about the PG films, I've never seen a PG that a child shouldn't watch.

YANBU about 2 hour films. We aren't allowed to show films at school at all unless they are directly related to what we've been covering in lessons and I'm not bitter about it at all grin

screamingeels Wed 18-Dec-13 22:25:49

My DD is v sensetive about films but equally likely to get freaked by a U as a PG. When they watched films in YR she used to be let go and play in nursery instead. Though yes i don't understand why they do so much of it.

earlycomputers Wed 18-Dec-13 22:35:13

yes I like the idea of schools doing consent forms - that at least acknowledges the parent's values. And whilst I am fine with most PG films for my 7 year old - I totally respect other parents might not be so happy. After all the PG rating is there for a reason.

OldRoan Wed 18-Dec-13 22:36:40

Arthur Christmas is a U. I know because I bought it after seeing parents on here fussing about PG films being unsuitable.

A teacher is acting in loco parentis during the school day. I hope the parents of the children I teach trust me enough to decide if a film is suitable.

missmapp Wed 18-Dec-13 22:38:36

Why is Arthur Christmas PG?

In the schools defence, it is much harder to find U films nowadays. We always ask parents permission if we are showing anything other than a U but Arthur Christmas- really ?? That is very innocent isnt it?

BTW, in my class we are doing normal lessons til 2pm on Friday when it is a special assembly- v jealous of film afternoons!!

mercibucket Wed 18-Dec-13 22:40:24

its a 'u'


BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Wed 18-Dec-13 22:40:25

School are in loco parentis. You're looking for things to get annoyed about i think - not as if they were showing X rated stuff. People would be moaning if schools sent too many letters out.

Euphemia Wed 18-Dec-13 22:42:22

We only ever show U films. Makes life easier - no consent forms required!

I'd never expect children to sit still for a film for more than about half an hour!

Being careful about film classifications seems daft when so many 5 year-olds upwards claim to play 18-rated video games, but that's their parents' call, not ours. hmm

MavisGrind Wed 18-Dec-13 22:45:35

I'm a teacher and also have small dcs at home. I only use U rated films in school at the end of term but am surprised at how many films which my dcs have enjoyed are PGs.

The only time I have shown a PG film I sent a note home about it first and I always provide an alternative activity for those children who would prefer not to watch a film at all.

Snowhoho Wed 18-Dec-13 22:46:14

Alcohol and sex references in Arthur Christmas? Must have passed me by!

Rufustherednosedreindeer Wed 18-Dec-13 22:49:26

What sex references in Arthur Christmas??

Our infant school only show U rated films unless a consent from is sent out

SilverApples Wed 18-Dec-13 22:50:11

We've only ever used U classifications without permission.
If we want to show anything else, even a harmless clip from a film that isn't a U, we ask for written permission

RabbitPies Wed 18-Dec-13 22:51:28

Watership Down is a U. I think most parents would sooner show their child was shown Arthur Christmas,than that.

flatmum Wed 18-Dec-13 22:52:26

Arthur Christmas? You really have got bigger battles to fight than this OP (or will have)

ElfAndSafetyBored Wed 18-Dec-13 22:52:38

My primary school showed us the Belstone Fox back in the 70's. My mum thought someone had died when she came to pick me up. So many children sobbing their hearts out.

legoplayingmumsunite Wed 18-Dec-13 22:55:31

Agree about how often kids seem to watch films at school, I think it's too much. I have problems with quite a few of the films my DC have been shown at school, mainly because of the depiction of women (or lack of in pretty much every Pixar film).

I wouldn't be happy about my sensitive 4 year old watching a PG which the British Board of Film Classification suggests is suitable for children over 8. For example Coraline is a PG and yet is bloody scary, I also have PGs that are clearly adult films with adult content so not suitable for a young child. On the other hand they have watched Wreck It Ralph which is a PG.

Pending Wed 18-Dec-13 22:58:14

It all depends on the child, doesn't it? You will know whether your own child is likely to be bothered. You are in a position to make a judgment, but is a teacher in the same position? Or will their decision about what to show be based on their view of what most of the class will be happy with?

Actually, I don't think YABU. I'd like to be told if my DS was going to be watching a film and what that film was.

Out of interest, here's what the British Board of Film Classification has to say about PG films:

'PG stands for Parental Guidance. This means a film is suitable for general viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for younger children. A PG film should not disturb a child aged around eight or older. Parents should consider whether the content might upset younger or more sensitive children.'

Around eight years old is quite a bit more mature than some of the children mentioned in this post. If I was a teacher I'd be erring on the side of caution where showing films was concerned.

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 23:02:33

Only year 6 can watch pg in our school, before that it has to be a U. Teacher thought it would be exciting for them to be able to chose a pg film but in fact it just means they asked for 12a ones.

Pending Wed 18-Dec-13 23:03:59

Sorry. Just read all the posts by teachers which appeared while I was typing mine. I didn't mean to sound as if I thought you wouldn't be very careful in your choice of films.

It does seem that some schools are showing PG films without consent though.

Knit2togtbl Wed 18-Dec-13 23:08:02

Our school always asks permission for showing PGs.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Wed 18-Dec-13 23:08:22

Still need to know about the sex in Arthur Christmas

wigglesrock Wed 18-Dec-13 23:14:20

I've watched Arthur Christmas about 1 million 3 times over the past 2 weeks & can't remember any sex references & I like a bit of double entendre. It's a U - just checked my DVD.

theluckiest Wed 18-Dec-13 23:19:57

I am a teacher and this has reared its head before. Not so much now as I teach Y6 so not so much of an issue. Yet I cannot believe that some of the most inoffensive, innocent films are actually PG....Toy Story for example!! And The Snowman.

Arthur Christmas?! It's definitely a U.

Kasterborous Wed 18-Dec-13 23:23:26

They showed us Jaws when I was at primary school many moons ago I can't remember how old I was probably ten. It have me nightmares for weeks. My Mum wasn't impressed. So I can see where you are coming from.

BruthasTortoise Wed 18-Dec-13 23:24:15

My 6 year old watched Horrid Henry at school today, which I wasn't thrilled about but in the grand scheme of things it's hardly that big a deal if the school is good in other aspects.

NotAsTired Wed 18-Dec-13 23:28:52

grin at all the people now actively looking for sex references in Arthur Christmas!

There are lots of DVDs being shown in schools around the country this week and any end of term week. When I was a class teacher, I only ever showed U rated films to my classes. As a supply teacher, I have been left PG rated DVDs to show KS1 children which, as a parent of a sensitive boy, I have felt uncomfortable about. When this happens, I usually go to a member of the leadership team to double check. Some don't care, but most find suitable alternatives for the children to watch. I think teachers do check the film, but they don't always see that it might not be suitable.

As an aside, my DP's a secondary school teacher and he has to be very careful about what he shows his students. A lot of war films (he is a History teacher) are rated 15 and he can't show them to year 10s unless they all 15.

Tapiocapearl Wed 18-Dec-13 23:33:40

My eldest had problems with many PGs in reception and year one. He never watched much telly at all when young but a U would have probably been ok.

My other 3 watched a little bit more telly then eldest but not lots. They were a little more desensitised though and seemed to cope with PG from about 3 years

3bunnies Wed 18-Dec-13 23:38:43

We had to give consent for PG and it is only in the junior school. They named the film but made two films available (across two year groups) the slackers like me gave permission and their dc could choose which one to see but if anyone didn't want their child watching it then their child didn't have a choice and was told to watch the U.

What does make me fangry is when they come home and say that they only watched half a film because they then had lunch or something else and then they don't watch it later or another day. They will sometimes say if we watch something on TV 'oh we watched the first half of this last Christmas at school' or another one where they watched the whole of a film but with no sound. Surely the teachers know that lunchtime will come around again that day and plan to start earlier/ shorter film accordingly, or at least show the second half later/ another day. They then sometimes come home wanting to rent/ buy it to see the end.

mellicauli Wed 18-Dec-13 23:46:53

Have a look at IMBD: it's not PG, it's U. It is not 2 hours, it's 1.5 hours. There are no sex refs - it sayshere just a bit of name calling. That site is like having Lady whatsername from Downton as your PG advisor. And it say no swearing in Nanny McPhee either So not sure where your information is coming from. Maybe you have an over vivid imagination...

busylizzie76 Wed 18-Dec-13 23:49:23

It's definitely a U as I showed it at school to yearR to year6 and it lasted 1.5 hours. The kids loved it as did I - nothing worrying about it at all!

lessonsintightropes Wed 18-Dec-13 23:53:45

I seem to remember getting terribly, terribly bored when forced to watch films at school and asking for permission to read instead which was granted. How about 2 hours reading time instead, free choice of book?

demisemiquaver Thu 19-Dec-13 00:06:15

YABU GET OVER IT watching daft films with others in a community setting is part of xmas some kids wont have this opportunity at home

missingmumxox Thu 19-Dec-13 01:09:40

Queens Silver Jubilee year 1977, we had loads of special events at school and the "big" prize was choosing a film for the whole school to watch, year 6 as it is now won and they choose the Village of the dammed.

I was 7 it was the first time the whole school sat on chairs in the hall, and it was projected from the back, I was 7 my brother was 4, I don't remember a single child leaving or being upset.

what I do remember is the film, and the Midwich cockoos was the first "grown up" book I ever read but it is still a favourate film of mine. it takes me back to that day.

I also remember that the Headmaster was clearly unhappy with the choice as he gave a long speach on the films we could have been watching instead oh and him actually saying he was unhappy with the choice smile

I brought drop dead fred for my 8 year olds a little while ago...forgetting the content, but what I realised was my boys diddn't get the adult content at all, and I also noticed that the mega bitch of the first half of the film, became the mega beast

Arther Christmas is a great film, quit your moaning!

maddy68 Thu 19-Dec-13 01:09:49

Pg = parental guidance
While your children are in school the school is loco parentus by law

That means they act as the parents in law while at school
This is such a non issue

monicalewinski Thu 19-Dec-13 01:38:35

I am amazed at this thread.

I cannot understand why you are taking umbrage on behalf of other parents, and I just don't get what is wrong with a U film for the infants, and PG for the juniors.

I am more than happy for the teachers to decide what is suitable in class - I decide at home, teachers decide at school.

ComposHat Thu 19-Dec-13 02:37:29

Oh dear...I am a primary school teacher and I was going to show my class Strap on Sally 3.

Might some parents object?

spanieleyes Thu 19-Dec-13 04:04:13

Whilst looking at censorship in films with my class they discovered that film classifications don't actually apply in schools( there is a section in the BBfc sure that gives details) so I'm theory teachers could show whatever they want! Mine were quite miffed when I said we would stick to U films with the occasional PG film if it was part of the curriculum and with parental approval!

Euphemia Thu 19-Dec-13 04:47:41

spanieleyes That's really interesting. Here's what the BBFC website says:

"The age rating decision indicates that the film contains material which the BBFC considers unsuitable for children younger than the age specified. However, there are some cases where it might be considered appropriate to show a film in an educational context where it is properly discussed and presented. For example, some AS and A2 Media or Film Studies exam syllabuses include 18 rated films.

The BBFC's cinema age ratings legally apply only to licensed cinemas, so it is not illegal for schools to show BBFC rated DVDs to its pupils. Merely showing an age restricted tape to underaged persons - or allowing them to see one - is not in itself an offence. We would however strongly discourage such a practice unless (a), the children in question are only a year or so below the age stated on the certificate, and (b), there is some kind of serious educational purpose to showing the recording

Clearly, schools should seek parental consent prior to the screening. We would also recommend obtaining the approval of the Head Teacher and Governors. It is also important to make sure that any children watching are not likely to suffer any ill effects as a result of seeing the film."

CrohnicallySick Thu 19-Dec-13 06:46:56

With regards to the watching of 2 hour films- our pupils watched a long film this week. They watched it over 2 separate days, and it was used to full the odd bits of time left over from nativity practices etc and keep the children quiet when they were in danger of spontaneously combisting from excitement! The children also had some vaguely educational worksheets to fill out after (word searches, mazes and other puzzles- which seem fine for 5 and 6 year olds!)

stgeorgiaandthedragon Thu 19-Dec-13 07:04:52

Actually, I agree with the OP. I think PG is a very vague rating; Jurassic Park and Jaws are both in this category and I do not feel either are remotely suitable for a primary school. I found The Neverending Story very upsetting when I was made to watch it as a Christmas 'treat' when I was in year 3/4 (or whatever it was called then!) as it has a horse being sucked into a bog and as a lifetime horse-lover I found that really distressing. (Still can't watch it now, although I know the horse is magically resurrected at the end!)

I suppose the problem is with films is that there's always going to be a part that will be distressing for some and it can't be much fun for a parent dealing with a frightened or upset child at the end of the day so I sympathise.

friday16 Thu 19-Dec-13 08:08:46

I think PG is a very vague rating

U, however, isn't. Which is the rating the film in question has in reality, rather than in the OP's "sad face" imagination.

[[ You can look at a picture of the front cover here:]] Note the big "U" in the bottom left hand corner.

I think PG is a very vague rating; Jurassic Park and Jaws are both in this category

Jaws was originally rated "A" (no children without an adult) in an era when the only other alternative was "AA" (no-one under 14) which would have been ludicrous both by the standards of the time and the standards of today. All A films were re-rated as PG (anyone admitted, parental guidance) when the ratings changed unless they have been re-submitted for re-certification because of a major re-edit. If submitted today, Jaws would probably be rated 12A (which is, ironically, essentially A: anyone admitted accompanied by an adult).

Jurassic Park was originally rated PG in an era when the next certificate up was 12 (no-one under 12); 12A was nearly ten years in the future. Again, PG was the only sensible choice given the certificates available.

monicalewinski Thu 19-Dec-13 09:05:23

What Friday said. With jingle bells on.

MiaowTheCat Thu 19-Dec-13 09:08:00

I always just chose Us to cover my own back and reduce the potential for parental miffage. Usually chosen on the basis of ME liking it and wanting an excuse to watch it again if I'm honest - and cos when the kids were allowed to pick they inflicted the horror of Sharkboy and Lavagirl on me and I've never quite forgiven them for the lost aeons of my life from that pile of utter turgid shit.

Used to always have other activities available for those who didn't want to watch the film (and it was only ever across the two afternoons heavily disrupted by nativity performances etc) as well - generally stuff that lower KS2 never got let loose with anymore like construction from down in the infants and the like, plus colouring, my evilly-hard times table sum "wordsearches" and the like. Oh and I was usually teaching kids who wanted to random bits of origami and finishing off glitterbombing cards and the like from anyone who'd missed making them.

mistermakersgloopyglue Thu 19-Dec-13 09:19:19

I always just chose Us to cover my own back and reduce the potential for parental miffage. Usually chosen on the basis of ME liking it and wanting an excuse to watch it again if I'm honest - and cos when the kids were allowed to pick they inflicted the horror of Sharkboy and Lavagirl on me and I've never quite forgiven them for the lost aeons of my life from that pile of utter turgid shit.

This (including the bit about shark boy and lava girl actually, what a pile of crap!)

We always just choose U rated films, because for every 10 parents who say 'oh it doesn't matter, it's fine, teachers are in loco parentis anyway' there will be one like the op who cannot eve get the rating right in the first place

Just. Not. Worth. The. Hassle.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Thu 19-Dec-13 12:12:23

You need to come back OP

I really need to know where the sex references are in Arthur Christmas

If you don't come back I will have to tell my three to rewatch it (only saw it on Saturday) and find the sex bits for mummy.

I don't want to have that conversation

TheBigJessie Thu 19-Dec-13 15:52:54

ComposHat Oh dear...I am a primary school teacher and I was going to show my class Strap on Sally 3.

Might some parents object?

shock They need to watch the films in chronological sequence! Get Strap on Sally, otherwise it might be confusing for the poor children. Think of the children!

SinisterBuggyMonth Thu 19-Dec-13 18:51:06

If it's something like Harry Potter with some scenes that might frighten smaller children then yanbu, however if your stressing about sex and alcohol refs in Arthur Xmas and Nanny McPhee then yanbu, as I have watched these films repeatedly and remember nothing of the sort, it would probably wash right over your average child.

southeastastra Thu 19-Dec-13 18:55:24

i don't particularly like the idea of sticking them in front of films for hours as they seem to now do in primary schools. there must be hundred of other activities they can do and have fun with.

though at my school we were only allowed to celebrate with one afternoon christmas party then bought in our own games on the last day grin

soverylucky Thu 19-Dec-13 19:04:21

I was at primary school in the early 80's and remember watching bmx bandits on the reel to reel projector. Clearly remember the groan as one reel finished and we waited for the teacher to get the next one in. We though it was very exciting to sit in the hall and watch a film with all our friends.

SootikinAndSweep Thu 19-Dec-13 19:06:44

I don't understand why you have a problem with the length of a film, OP.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HOMEQCRICH Thu 19-Dec-13 19:21:37

Gosh I can remember my school youth club screening Halloween. .. I was 12.. and had to sleep on my mum and dads floor for the first time in years.. what were they thinking. .

Wellthen Thu 19-Dec-13 19:32:28

YAB hugely U.

There are very few U films that year 5 and 6 children want to watch.

I have never met a teacher who shows more than 1 film in the last week of term, unless 1 is related to the curriculum and in those cases they often don't watch the whole thing, just relevant parts.

Parents values are important but they have to be reasonable. If you don't want your children to hear ANY swearing or references to sex, drugs, alcohol, then don't send them to school. Home ed. These things are part of life and quite rightly. You can't keep them away from swearing etc for years and years and then suddenly let them out. They need gradual introduction to it so they have time to learn in a safe environment and under the guidance with adults. If a 10 year old can't deal with words like crap or bloody (which I would consider mild swearing) then they will find secondary school very difficult.

Also, the people saying 'why show films, do other stuff' - we do. We make cards, we make calendars, we play Christmas maths games, do Christmas writing. The kids get tired, the classroom disappears under glitter and bits of card and its really hard to find something fun that they all enjoy. Films are popular with most children and they are calm activities for those who are so wound up over Christmas that they either misbehave or burst into tears.

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Thu 19-Dec-13 19:41:15

Arthur is a pg (Dudley Moore one, not sure about the remake) - perhaps OP was mixed up with that?
Or maybe they showed another James Mcavoy one by mistake - The Last King of Scotland would upset a few weans.

Diamondsareagirls Thu 19-Dec-13 19:43:17

If you don't trust the school to be making these judgement calls then you shouldn't be sending your child there. As other posters have said, they legally have the parental responsibility for your child when they are in school. Oh, and this is a ridiculous thing to be getting bothered about btw. smile

Rufustherednosedreindeer Thu 19-Dec-13 21:39:14

Well OP is not bloody coming back is she! Might go and look for her on another thread or is that stalking?

Well off to put Arthur Christmas on

OP you are being very very very very very very unreasonable!!!!! To not come back obviously

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