Doing P.E. In just knickers?

(261 Posts)
Radley Fri 10-Nov-06 16:19:15

DD2 (4) came home and told me that she has done pe for the first time, in just her knickers.

Am I over reacting thinking that this is out of order?

Also, DD1 (7) came home and said that pe today had been running round the field etc in her normal uniform and her trainers, when she has got a tracksuit etc (this was asked for specifically a short while ago)

NomDePlume Fri 10-Nov-06 16:20:41

p.e. in just knickers is out of order imo

Iklboo Fri 10-Nov-06 16:21:00

Ooooh. I have memories of skipping round the school hall in me knickers & vest (vest tucked into knickers) to the theme from Van Der Valk "Eye Level" when at primary school. That piece of music still gives me the shivers.
Wouldn't have thought they still did this kind of thing?

princessmel Fri 10-Nov-06 16:21:32

Out of oreder and freezing for her. Poor girl

princessmel Fri 10-Nov-06 16:21:43


expatinscotland Fri 10-Nov-06 16:21:54

ERm, no.

For one, it's too damn cold to be running around in knickers, and I can't imagine gyms are well-heated.

NomDePlume Fri 10-Nov-06 16:22:28

I would double check that she actually DID do p.e in just her knickers though before I went off on one at the teacher.... Just because my DD, also 4, sometimes explains things like this in an odd way and I get the wrong end of the stick.

Skyler Fri 10-Nov-06 16:23:01

Did she not have any kit? Sounds odd to me.

Trinityrhino Fri 10-Nov-06 16:24:15

I would find out that this is inb fact what happened and then I would have a word with the teacher, completely out or order in my opinion

how could this have happened, did you know with fair warning that they were going to do gym, did she have anything to wear?

MrsBadger Fri 10-Nov-06 16:24:27

Knickers and vest v common indoors PE-wear for new reception children as it's easier than changing 30 children into a different set of clothes.

I'd check exactly what dd1 was doing - it may have been something that tracksuits weren't necessary for, and if she didn't get cold or muddy I don't see there being a problem...

star1976 Fri 10-Nov-06 16:27:24

When my daughter first started school she did PE in vest and knickers, if they didn't have a vest on they didn't do pe.
Their reason was that it takes too long trying to get thirty 4 year olds changed into pe kit, and then back into school uniform.
After about 6 months they requested pe kit be provided as they were old enough by then apparently!
I found the whole knickers and vest thing even more off putting as she had a male teacher!

Mum2FunkyDude Fri 10-Nov-06 16:30:22

Inappropriate! They should be more organised or let them do it in their uniforms (how intense can the PE be?)

MrsBadger Fri 10-Nov-06 16:32:53

(am mildly perplexed as to how it's inappropriate unless children are actually cold)

It is common practice for infants aged children to do PE in vest and knickers/pants. And get changed in the classroom altogether.

Most primary school kids to PE in a school hall which is obviously adequately heated. And that are running and jumping around.

princessmel Fri 10-Nov-06 16:36:51

Radley, was she wearing a vest or just her knickers?

beckybrastraps Fri 10-Nov-06 16:36:53

I don't think I'd have a problem with it.

I know I just wore vest and knickers for PE at infant school.

As someone else has said - they all get changed together anyway, so at some point they are going to see each other's underwear.

Miriam2 Fri 10-Nov-06 16:37:25

Why on earth should it matter more if the teacher was male?

Gillian76 Fri 10-Nov-06 16:37:46

Not acceptable. Never (in 6 years of teaching primary childrean in about 10 different schools) seen it done either.

Gillian76 Fri 10-Nov-06 16:38:28

My children don't wear vests. I would be appalled if anyone asked them to do PE in their pants.

princessmel Fri 10-Nov-06 16:39:05

I don't have a problem with it other than if she was JUST in her knickers she would have been really cold and maybe embarrased. Vest and knickers not so bad but I thought the op said just knickers.

Really Gillian76?? Are they state schools?? In all the school I have worked/volunteered in, in the past 20 years, it has been common practice.

MaloryTowersBigHeadBigNorks Fri 10-Nov-06 16:40:10

we did this when we were at school

ive taufght in a couple of schools where recereption kids wear vest and pants

cant see a problem myself

when dd was in rec she wore gym knicjers and a t shirt

not that drastiaaclly different fro her vest and pants is it???

Why appalled Gillian? (And dare I cheekily ask why they don't wear vests?)

PanicPants Fri 10-Nov-06 16:42:30

Sometimes one of the children will line up in the door in just their knickers because they have forgotton their pe kit, and I have to force them to wear a t-shirt from the cupboard!

But no, would never let a child do pe in just their knickers or pants.

It's cold, and humiliating.

Not to mention leaving yourself wide open.

Radley Fri 10-Nov-06 16:43:15

DD2 only goes to school in the afternoon, we did receive a letter telling us that they wouldn't be doing pe until they started full time after christmas.

They don't even have a gymnasium, just a large hall, which is a thoroughfare to and from classes.

Gillian76 Fri 10-Nov-06 16:43:26

Would you like if someone asked you to strip to your underwear?

What else do you do in your underwear?

It's under wear.

They don't wear vests because it's very hot in school and the house is centrally heated. No need unless it's very cold imo. They have not complained yet.

Schools in Scotland are maybe different.

Radley Fri 10-Nov-06 16:44:01

Oh and there are only 15 children in her class.

princessmel Fri 10-Nov-06 16:44:27

So did she have a vest on ?

Miriam2 Fri 10-Nov-06 16:46:34

But ....even if they did put on their kit they have to get changed somehow, and 4 year olds often need a fair bit of help so apart from the cold factor, what's the problem? Teacher/ teaching assistant have to see them in their underwear at sompoint. Is the problem that you don't you trust them?

beckybrastraps Fri 10-Nov-06 16:47:15

They are 4 and 5!

It's not quite the same thing as adults stripping off is it.

This reminds me of the time I was told it was inappropriate for my dd (18mo) to wear only a swim nappy. By a woman whose toddler was in a bikini.

Miriam2 Fri 10-Nov-06 16:48:51

Am still scratching my head wondering why star1978 was more uncomfortable cos it was a male teacher...

piglit Fri 10-Nov-06 16:49:37

I still run around in just my knickers. Very liberating.

hatwoman Fri 10-Nov-06 16:54:29

I think it;s probably best from teh warmth perspective to have a vest on or their school shirt but I really don;t think it's a problem. I very much doubt a 4 year old would find it humiliating. as for feeling more uncomfortable because it's a male teacher I'm stunned at that idea and offended on behalf of the vast majority of men.

Spagblog Fri 10-Nov-06 16:55:02

I did this as a child, it wasn't inappropriate then...
Mind you my DD doesn't wear a vest - I never saw the point? Maybe someone could advise me why children ought to wear vests?
Isn't it just a throwback from the pre central heating days?

hulababy Fri 10-Nov-06 17:00:42

I wouldn't be happy about DD (also a new starter) doing PE in just her pants. She doesn't wear a vest. It's too cold!

DD has a PE kit - navy shorts and a white collared t shirt. They get changed in the classroom.

frances5 Fri 10-Nov-06 17:08:35

My son does PE in vest and pants. Every tuesday he insists on wearing his spiderman underwear because its PE.

Gillian76 Fri 10-Nov-06 17:23:52

the problem arises when you send 4 year olds to school in the first place. Nonsense!

But that's a different thread

I wouldn't be happy but luckily it's not an issue for us up here. They do manage to change themselves without too much fuss.

Each to their own.

7up Fri 10-Nov-06 17:27:43

we used to wear knickers and vests, cant see what difference it is to 30 years ago when i was in reception

Radley Fri 10-Nov-06 17:31:01

LOL, me too piglet

No, she wasn't wearing a vest.

Kelly1978 Fri 10-Nov-06 17:31:54

I read this thread and asked dd what she has been wearing for PE. It wasn't until halfway through last week that I realised that her PE kit was still under all the shoes in the hallway and she hadn't taken it back to school. She is 6 and did it in her knickers!!
I really think it is innapropriate. She msut have been freezing and it jsut doesnt feel right. She is starting to get more ocncious of her body and I think she would have been embarassed. The school had spare tshirts for her to wear, so I don't know why they couldnt provide a pair of shorts too, or let her wear her school skirt.
ds is 4 and does PE at pre-school. The children there are aged 3 and 4, and they have PE kits too, so it can't be that hard to change chidlren into a PE kit. I make a point of making sure he has clothes that he can easily get on and off, velcor shoes etc. so it isn't a problem.

Don't the family planning clinics give them away free anymore? (We used to get a choice of Durex or Mates). Or is that just for low income scum like us?

BIGlilBUBU Fri 10-Nov-06 17:34:26

My friends daughters has to do pe in knickers and vest as it saves time. She hates it and puts shorts on underneath school uniform on pe day. I think its out of order.

Kelly1978 Fri 10-Nov-06 17:36:40

lol @shinyhappypeople!

thats the second time that has happened to someone today, maybe it is a glitch.

Oh dear, wrong thread please excuse me..

NAB3 Fri 10-Nov-06 17:38:58

I wouldn't be happy with that at all. I have a son in year one and for the first few weeks of reception they did PE in their uniform and plimsolls to get them used to doing PE and then started using their PE kits.

ernest Fri 10-Nov-06 17:50:19

crikey what a fuss. so what if she did pe in her knickers. Didn't we all? and as for others making comments about male teachers, well, I'm sorry but that's just taking tit all too far. you cannot suspect every bloody man on the planet as being a f333ign paedo. dear Lord. get a grip

gothicmama Fri 10-Nov-06 17:54:10

recent guidance issued recommends all children to do pe in shorts and T shirt.
It is not just to do with paedophiles but also to help teach children about respect for themselves etc.

Flamesparrow Fri 10-Nov-06 17:58:53

Pretty much what Ermes said (with a lol for SHPHH - perfect thread for that comment!)

Flamesparrow Fri 10-Nov-06 17:59:22


BIGlilBUBU Fri 10-Nov-06 18:01:18

I dont think we need to "get a grip" ernest.
Why should a child be expected to do P.E in there underwear? I had to do it when I forgot my kit when I was younger, I hated it and found it really humiliating. My friends daughter has to do it at her school and she absolutly hates it too. I think its out of order. Why cant they wear ther P.E kit ffs. And as for peopos, well there out there and you can never be too careful.

Radley Fri 10-Nov-06 18:02:28

I'm glad that the majority agrees with me, I thought I may have been over reacting thinking that it's out of order.

I'll go into school next week and try and sort something out.

Thanks for the posts y'all.

Radley Fri 10-Nov-06 18:02:30

I'm glad that the majority agrees with me, I thought I may have been over reacting thinking that it's out of order.

I'll go into school next week and try and sort something out.

Thanks for the posts y'all.

BIGlilBUBU Fri 10-Nov-06 18:02:47

Ment to say paedo

beckybrastraps Fri 10-Nov-06 18:04:01

Any "peopo" (paedophile) working in a school would be able to see your child in their underwear while helping them CHANGE for PE. And my ds needed a LOT of help changing when he started school.

LucyJu Fri 10-Nov-06 18:06:02

I remember always doing PE in knickers and vest. If you weren't wearing a vest, then you had to do PE in just knickers. You only got to wear shorts and T-shirt in Junior school (equivalent of YR3).
What has changed so much in 30 years that such things are no longer appropriate?

BIGlilBUBU Fri 10-Nov-06 18:06:46

Oi bbs I corrected my mistake.
Thats not my point anyway, my point is that its embarrasing for the kids. Why are you so defensive anyway.

curlew Fri 10-Nov-06 18:07:35

You can be too careful, you know!!

NAB3 Fri 10-Nov-06 18:07:52

A lot of things were fine 30 years ago that wouldn't be accepted now.

SaintGeorge Fri 10-Nov-06 18:08:28

Sorry, but I am PMSL at the thought of 4 yr olds finding it humiliating to be seen in their underwear.

I dearly wish I saw less underwear every day when I am tending to the foundation classes at lunchtime. Seems like everytime I turn around another child is mooning at me down the bloody corridor.

Bless 'em.

BIGlilBUBU Fri 10-Nov-06 18:10:57

Well all children are different arnt they. Some find it embarrasing and some don't. Imo I really don't think its unresonable to want your kids wearing P.E kit.

gothicmama Fri 10-Nov-06 18:11:24

because people recognise taht children are people too now, and it is really unappropriate to run around in knickers etc. once a child is a certain age. There is also a danger of giving children mixed messages

Flamesparrow Fri 10-Nov-06 18:12:46

My DD would LOVE to be able to run round in her vest and knickers at school!

Not sure what she does wear... will ask.

gothicmama Fri 10-Nov-06 18:13:03

some kids do and also there is more awareness now about the fact that some children will have been abused so it is a way of making school a safe environment for them

Flamesparrow Fri 10-Nov-06 18:14:43

Nope, turns out that she wears knickers and her t-shirt. (Makes me feel better actually, I was thinking that she just took off her shoes and socks which would cause em big problems the days I send her in jeans and tights...)

foxinsocks Fri 10-Nov-06 18:15:27

gawd, brings me back to the days when we had to do PE in our knickers (though we were older). We had a lesbo PE teacher (we always used to see her snogging her mate outside the school!) and I always used to think she took a bit too much pleasure watching us running around in the freezing cold in our knickers!

I think if they have a PE kit, I don't see why they shouldn't wear it. At dd/ds's school, they have shorts they put on top of their underpants/knickers.

BIGlilBUBU Fri 10-Nov-06 18:15:49

Absolutly agree gothicmama.

beckybrastraps Fri 10-Nov-06 18:18:31

BLB - my brother is a primary school teacher. This constant harping in paedophiles irks him. And me.
And saddens me too.

beckybrastraps Fri 10-Nov-06 18:19:11

The "certain age" we are talking about is 4 and 5.

Gillian76 Fri 10-Nov-06 19:32:29

I have to say I think there's a health and safety risk with kids running around bare chested in a gym.

If you take them to soft play they recommend long legs and sleeves.

So what if we did it 30 years ago?

We used to have outside toilets too.

GarfieldsGirl Fri 10-Nov-06 19:55:34

DS1 had fire practice a few weeks ago, while they were getting changed for PE (he's 5, just started reception), and he was still in his underpants, bless him!

Initially I felt a little and felt it was a silly time to sound the bell, but I find it quite funny now.

binkacat Fri 10-Nov-06 20:41:38

My 5yo gets into pe kit for pe.

However she happily pulls her trousers down in class and shows everyone her knickers with cats/princesses/whatever on. Sounds like they often compare knickers with each other so I can't imagine small children been embarassed.

Kidstrack Fri 10-Nov-06 20:54:50

don't agree with pants and vests for p.e, they are "underwear" underwear that is not usely exposed as it is used to cover their bodies to keep them warm under main clothes, gym shoes should be used with school uniforms until the age of 5 when they can get changed into a p.e kit of gym shoes and shorts by themselves, ds school wear polo shirts on gym days and have a bag hanging on their peg with their gym shoes and shorts in it, they bring the gym bag home at holidays for the shorts to be washed and we check the sizing of the gym shoes.

Wallace Fri 10-Nov-06 20:55:58

Dd (5) would be mortified if she had to do PE in her knickers.

I remember in primary school we had to do swimming in our knickers if we forgot our costume. This was even age 10 - we hated it

rustybear Fri 10-Nov-06 21:03:32

When I was 12 our school field was re-seeded and we had to do athletics at the Police cadet college over the road - we had to walk there in our aertex shirts and navy knickers - there was always a row of cadets leaning on the fence watching us - these were future policemen.....

notagrannyyet Fri 10-Nov-06 21:39:22

Not read all of this but I can't see what the problem is in 4/5 year olds being seen in vest & pants. In the infants all children get changed infront of each other and the teacher & TA.
We take our infants swimming every week and they change in communal changing rooms (one for boys & one for girls) again in front of teachers & TAs. Of necessity they are at some point in the proceedings not wearing any clothes. Would some parents object to this?

VanillaMilkshake Fri 10-Nov-06 21:50:28

I am 31 and still recall doing PE in vest and knickers. Although I did have navy knicker - which are more substantial than todys Disney Princess/Barbie offerings etc.

Can also recall getting changed in the classroom.
Tthis has raised an interesting point for me as I am not sure how I would feel about it nowadays. Am going to friends with DC's in Reception class what happens at our local school.

Am surpirsed some PC brigade have not highlighted the issue yet TBH

Bozza Fri 10-Nov-06 21:51:32

TBH I find it sad and a little alarming to hear of all these 4 and 5 yos who would be uncomfortable/embarassed to be running around in knickers and vest. Surely these are not the natural feelings of a young child?

DS is in Y1 and I would have no problem with him doing PE in his pants. He does not wear vests. It is as much as I can do to get him to wear a shirt and jumper, and carry his coat to school.

ernest Fri 10-Nov-06 21:56:33

omg, being made to go swimming in your knickers aged 10 is pretty horrific. I mean, did you have to go commando for the rest of the day, I take it? Betcha didn't forget your cossie twice tho. Actually, come to think of it, ds said his friend a couple of weeks ago had to do his swimming lesson in his pants because forgot kit. (aged7) my little angel, bless, shared his towel (tried to hide my look of disgust and horror and prais ehis kindness, lol).

but tumbling about in a gym in your undies aged 4 is a different kettle of fish.

Gillian76 Fri 10-Nov-06 21:59:47


What's wrong with PE kit?

Is it just the getting changed thing that's the problem?

Really have never heard of it up here. I am 30 and we wore PE kit from day 1.

Bozza Fri 10-Nov-06 22:05:59

AFAIK DS does PE in his kit. But I can't imagine he is the least bit inhibited when he is getting changed.

notagrannyyet Fri 10-Nov-06 22:06:17

If 4/5 year olds are going to change for PE they are always going to need adult help. You can't just expect them to cope on their own.
It is of course different for junior children .I have visited many primary schools and I don't remember any that had proper changing facilities for PE even for older juniors. This IMO totally unsatisfactory.

Bloody hell.. I'm reading this thread and marvelling at some extremist views. It's a wonder some people ever let their kids out of their sight. Yes there are paedophiles... as there has always been actually, we are just more aware of the situation now.. but honestly, if you are going to constantly stress over such issues as someone seeing your child in their underwear (in a perfectly acceptable sitation - like getting changing for PE and doing PE I hasten to add), then sending them to school at all must be a big challenge! You HAVE to entrust your child into the care of others at some stage..

PMSL about children being humilated about being seen in vest and pants! Children are, by their very nature, uninhibited about such things.. unless they have been taught otherwise by a paranoid adult!. And it doesn't last long.. they soon learn to have issues and feel embarassed about all manner of things. Let them be kids.. how long can they have the freedom to run about in their underwear without it being inappropriate! Why feed them paranoia about something like this when they are just kids!?

And ROFPML about the health and safety aspect of not wearing a vest.. [

Flamesparrow Sat 11-Nov-06 14:44:11

I was pmsl @ the health and safety too (DH thought I was back on hamster stew)

I am a bit that DD started pre-school last April though and I've only now thought to ask what she wears when she does "jumpin in Gran's work" (Mum works in the main school building ).

But ... what mixed message would kids get from running around in their pants? That the human body is natural and nothing to be ashamed of? God forbid!

Flamesparrow Sat 11-Nov-06 15:02:00

Next thing you know they'll be wanting to eat thinking it will be healthy, and wanting cuddles under the impression that they feel nice....

Twiglett Sat 11-Nov-06 15:08:19

if a 5 year old is embarrassed about being in their underwear then the parents really need to think hard about the way they are raising them to be so self-aware at so early an age

PE in knickers and vest .. tis hardly a crime now is it?

Twiglett Sat 11-Nov-06 15:10:04

oh and DS's school is hot ... everywhere .. they strip down to t-shirts in classroom at the best of time .. why assume they'd be cold?

JoolsToo Sat 11-Nov-06 15:12:34

we always did it in our navy blue knickers and vest and black plimsolls with that elastic bit in the front - aaaah happy days!

nutcracker Sat 11-Nov-06 15:21:46

Mine both wear white t'shirt and blue shorts.

Can't say i'd be happy with just pants tbh. Pants and a vest maybe, so long as they weren't bothered themselves.

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 15:27:25

I wasnt 4 or 5 when I was made to do PE in my knickers. It was humiliating for me, however funny and hard to believe you may find that. I had to do it in my knickers because I forgot my kit, everyone else in my class was wearing clothes apart from me. Do you still find it so hard to see why that can be embbarrassing even for a child? And my mum certainly did not raise me to be self aware. Thats crap. You learn these things as you start to grow up.

I can see that doing it in just pants as punishment is humiliating - punishments generally are. But if they're all doing it in pants, then it's just normal, surely?

Lua Sat 11-Nov-06 15:35:29

I just visited one of the primary schools we are condering and loads of kids were walking through the hall in their knickers (with a vest) to do PE.
I thought was strange, but having no experience decided was the norm? no?

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 15:43:04

Not so bad if the whole class does it no. I still think theres no harm in the kids putting shorts on under there school uniform on PE day. Best to keep everyone happy imo.

Lua Sat 11-Nov-06 15:48:34

But in my naivite, I was thinking it was a good thing they they feel confortable that way.... I mean they are such young things! They shouldn't be ashamed of anything...
I guess is more about what the "seers" think... but does it really matter if someone is sick?

really asking, This is my eldest so I am struggling with being too paranois, or not being paranoid enough...

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 15:51:58

Well initially I was very against them doing PE in there undies. Now im thinking if there in reception and really dont care themselves then wheres the harm. But I still think on the other hand, they can just wear shorts under there uniform, makes no difference just keeps parents at ease.

SweetyDarling Sat 11-Nov-06 16:05:49

Goodness! Without adults imposing their puritanical ideas, children of that age would be happy to run around naked if it were warm emnough!!
Do you want them to do swimming lessons in tracksuits as well? FGS let them be children while they still can!
Re 6YOs becoming more "aware" of thier bodies - I would suggest that this "awareness" probably extends to realising she can get her toes in her mouth and working out how to cross her eyes.

Daisybelle Sat 11-Nov-06 16:31:05

I think that pe in underwear at rec level is fine. What is the alternative? Using apparatus in uniform - hugely dangerous. Or spending all afternoon changing. Not all 4yr olds can do zips and velcro, let alone buttons or ties! Or would you prefer a 2 teir system, those who can change are allowed to, those who can't, aren't. Talk about humilliating! And not all parents have the nouse to send ch in wearing 'easy' clothes on pe days! If you think that changing 30 4yr olds into and out of their pe kit is easy, try volunteering to help one day. And as for the teacher being male making a difference ... !

Blandmum Sat 11-Nov-06 16:38:30

Mine have always worn PE kit, but I wouldn't be upset if they did pe in pants and vests. No different to wearing a swimsuit is it?

agree with those who say that getting 30 kids changed isn't an 'easy' job!

clubber Sat 11-Nov-06 16:52:16

I don't think that kids in this day,should b doin PE in there underwear.I think that's wrong. You can get clothes that will allow a child as young as 4/5 to undo on there own, i know ma dd manages fine on PE days, n she is only 5. But One day my dd did come home in tell me that the boys in her class were laughin at her when she was changin,i told her to put her shorts on under her skirt so that they wouldn't see her pants, then take off her skirt.If kids are findin it hard to get changed then i don't see anything wrong with the teacher helpin out!!

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 17:10:19

The alternative is wearing shorts under there PE kit.

miljee Sat 11-Nov-06 17:12:02

I remember the embarrassment we felt when we had to wear our (substantial!) green PE knickers and tucked in Aertex shirts for Music and Movement- in the first AND second year at a girls' grammar in 1973! We had a lot of young male teachers whom we had begun to fancy. I believe it was called 'character building' but I must say I look back on it now and laugh BUT seriously, I do believe girls of around 7 are becoming quite conscious of their bodies and seeing that by that age they're perfectly capable of changing themselves for PE, I think they should. As for the younger kids I don't have a problem with underwear as PE kit though they wear shorts and T shirts at my sons' school. It takes them FOREVER to get changed, mind, but the teachers see this as a step towards independence which is fair enough.

alex8 Sat 11-Nov-06 17:17:53

We had to wear PE knickers for all of secondary school for gym and sometimes athletics too. But then that is what actual gymasts and athletes wear. Except the athletes are even more skimpy these days.

I can't see anything wrong with reception children wearing them. Speaking from the experience of having to change 30 reception by myself 3 times a week. Thank god they didn't have ties. Shirt buttons, tights and laces were bad enough. State schools do not have the extra staff to supervise segregated sex changing and most schools do not not have space for separate changing areas.

Judy1234 Sat 11-Nov-06 17:20:43

I'm quite free about nudity so it wouldn't be an issue for me but doesn't she have a PE kit or something? My brother in the 1970s his school had swimming without trunks.... school tradition then - Newcastle royal grammar.

loopybear Sat 11-Nov-06 19:05:33

The school I teach in is in an area of poverty we don't have PE kit rule because it was once felt it would put an added burden on parents. So many children do PE in pants and vests / polo shirts. We encourage parents to sen in any shorts and tshirt. Speak to the teacher and say that you want DD to change into PEkit for PE and not to do it in her underwear. Some children see their friends just in their underwear and want to do the same but if they have a PE kit I always get them to change.

rustybear Sat 11-Nov-06 19:21:23

It seems to be about Year 5 that the girls at our school start doing the 'knicker trick' when changing for swimming - putting their swimsuit on over their knickers & getting them out from from under. Not sure if it's self-consciousness (they only change with other girls) or just that they think it's clever. Of course, every summer we get at least one who forgets to take them off.....

Bozza Sat 11-Nov-06 20:10:15

Twig has expressed much more elegantly what I was trying to get across about self aware 5yos. I am glad my 5yo tonight happly jumped in the bath with his sister and his cousin.

Also I don't get this wearing shorts under uniform thing. The above mentioned 5yo would have a major strop if I suggested that. How can wearing pants, shorts and trousers all day be comfortable? Besides DS would get all sweaty.

Gobbledispook Sat 11-Nov-06 20:23:48

Ha ha - this thread is hilarious! Given me a good old laugh at the end of a crappy day of work.

The world has properly gone mad.

I'm with Twig (again) - not an issue.

shimmy21 Sat 11-Nov-06 20:34:32

oh tosh and phooey - 4 and 5 year olds are not embarrassed to wear their vest and pants and it saves the poor teacher hours of back to front T shirts and mixed up shorts.

Friend's ds in reception disappeared when changing for PE. The teacher found him playing happily in the sand pit.. stark naked!! He told her he was at the beach.

oh my god - I am horrified.
My DS2 starts school in January and the thought of him running round in his pants is horrible.
I feel humiliated for him and it hasn't even happened.
I will be checking that this doesn't happen in the school he is going to.
My son is quite capable of putting on a pair of shorts and I will insist that he does.
I would never want my son to do PE in just his pants (or pants and vest) NO NO NO!!!!!!!

Loshad Sat 11-Nov-06 20:40:08

Xenia - is that still the case - we play them at rugger - must ask when i'm up there next.

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 20:42:57

This thread is very

I'm really sorry that lots of you think that your child wearing underwear should cause them humiliation and shame and is "horrifying". I cannot imagine what sort of ideas you have about children being preyed on or sexualised, but it is really tragic.

The only humiliation and shame on this thread should be from those people who buy the sort of paedophile-obsessed media that is obviously brainwashing you into thinking that your children are constantly AT RISK FROM SEX AND PERVERTS

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 20:48:58

Dont feel . Its just two different opinions. Some people dont mind at all, and some feel uncomfortable with the thought of it. Thats just life. Everyones different. Theres no need to let this thread upset you.

FawkesBride Sat 11-Nov-06 20:49:22

Our reception year only changed their shoes to begin with but after a couple of weeks they started to change into t-shirt & shorts.

I would not be happy about 'just knickers' and if your DD is right about this, I'd tell the staff that it wasn't going to happen again.

FawkesBride Sat 11-Nov-06 20:56:05

Just seen Twigs post... HOT? In school? I've never been in a warm school hall in my entire life. Our school is freezing and they get them outdoors regardless of the weather too. In fact, Receptions PE kit has optional fleecy Jogging bottoms for those that actually turn blue. Saves on legal fees.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 21:04:47

Yes, heaven forbid anyone should catch a glimpse of a 4 year old's bare legs, how provocotive. And of course, if your 4 year old has long hair, you have to make sure it's nipples are covered, because a 4 year old's nipples are definately something to be ashamed of.

In fact, ban pe altogether, make sure all the teachers are neutered, and fit catheters to your 4 year olds to make sure they never ever have to remove an item of clothing ever again. Don't forget to make an enormous scene over this, so that your 4 year old absorbs the idea, fully, that underwear is very shameful and must be hidden, and that nobody must ever ever look at you.

SweetyDarling Sat 11-Nov-06 21:09:00

No one seems to be able to give a reason why they would be upset about their children doing PE in thier underwear?
I don't get it - what is the problem?
I think we ALL know that children of this age are NOT embarrased and are quite happy to run around nude given half the chance, so what is the issue?
Do these mothers also have a problem with swimming costumes or gymnastic leotards?

Wallace Sat 11-Nov-06 21:15:43

Quite amazed how judgemental some of you are. I was one of those who mentioned that dd (5) would not like to do PE in her knickers. This is just the way she is - naturally very shy. I have not taught her to be aware and ashamed of her body, neither am I paranoid about paedophiles.

I wouldn't mind her running around with nothing on, but her modesty comes from within herself.

SweetyDarling Sat 11-Nov-06 21:29:05

Wallace, personally I was really wondering if there were reasons why the mothers felt "humilitaed" for their children.
If your daughter is naturally shy I can understand she would find it challenging, but she will need to wear a swimming costume for swimming etc so given a little encouragement surely she will get past her shyness. Especially if everyone is wearing the same thing?

Wallace Sat 11-Nov-06 21:36:51

sweetydarling- I wasn't referring to your comments , I would only be embarrassed for dd because I know she would find it embarrassing IYSWIM. She won't mind wearing a swimming costume, but she will try to change behind a towel. She will probably get more used to it as school goes on (she si only in P1).
At first I was worried that she would find it embarrasing changing for PE in class (just change from skirt/trousers into shorts, and keeps tshirt on) but she is okay about it because everyone else is doing it.

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 21:48:51

I can remember being examined by a female doctor aged 4 in just my knickers and I was sooooooo upset by it. I also hated changing rooms in shops and wouldn't use them. So doing PE in just my underwear would have been sheer torture for me. Don't ask me why I felt like that, as an adult I have always been comfortable with nudity, doctors, changing rooms etc.

I wouldn't be happy about dd1 doing PE in just her underwear, not because I see paedophiles around every corner but because she is learning socially correct behaviour. At home we have nudity, when friends visit we are comfortable with it but in public we cover up.

handmaidstale Sat 11-Nov-06 21:49:49

DD1 started reception this year and at first did PE in a pair of shorts and NO top, which I found even weirder than the pants and vest combo. I have now bought her a leotard, which is apparently the girls' garment of choice. Cannot imagine her doing PE in 'ordinary pants' i.e. pink frilly things with kittens on etc. although sturdy navy blues would be fine with me.

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 21:50:17

Wallace I think that is extremely unusual behaviour

princessmel Sat 11-Nov-06 21:52:51

The original poster said that her little girl had done pe in JUST her knickers, not with a vest.

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 21:52:56

nearlythree (I always think youa re called nearlyTHERE) - if EVERYONE is wearing pants and vest, then that IS socially correct behaviour. When you are swimming, everyone wears swimming costumes/bikinis, and that is socially correct. When she is showering with her peers, they will all be naked. It is all about context. There is nothing socially incorrect about doing PE in vest and pants.

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 21:59:27

But it's not everyone, is it? The older children wouldn't be in knickers. Dd1's school is small and once a week she does PE with children aged up to 7. Besides, I still think it is right for her to learn that in public you keep your underwear covered.

Wallace Sat 11-Nov-06 21:59:53

what is unusual behaviour?

sophable Sat 11-Nov-06 22:02:07

morningpaper, agree with your posts.

tragic sexualisation imo.

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:02:38

nearlythree: WHY the need to keep underwear covered in public? Why is swimwear ok but not underwear?

(Mine frolick naked anywhere they feel like it, I do not give a toss)

Wallace: I think it is unusual for a 4 year old child to feel embarassed by her body. I cannot imagine why one would feel that way. I don't mean anything sinister, but I don't think that is normal.

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:03:43

Sorry Wallace, perhaps "healthy" is a better word. I don't think a four year old who is embarassed by her body is fostering a healthy attitude towards her body.

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 22:08:36

I'm very keen not to sexualise my dcs, and don't see that keeping underwear covered has anything to do with that at all. I don't get the arguement about swimwear unless any adults here go swimming in their underwear at the public pool. The dds very often eat their dinner in their knickers (they are a bit messy, bless them) and I often have just my bra on if ds has just sicked up on me, but we don't eat in our underwear if we are in a resturant.

I just think it's knowing how to dress, where.

chonky Sat 11-Nov-06 22:08:51

agree with Twig and SHPHH. We always did PE in our knickers and vest - AFAIK I haven't been traumatised as a result.

FawkesBride Sat 11-Nov-06 22:10:38

nearlythree - ditto your post. And yet my brother and sister were fine with public nudity - so it's unlikely that I had learned this behaviour from my parents/family.

Just knickers would have made me very uncomfortable and anyone who thinks that every 4/5 year old should be happy as larks like this is being narrow-minded. I'm glad if their own DCs are relaxed about this but they shouldn't assume that I'm an uptight, sexually-repressed, paedophile-fearing harridan because I wouldn't want my own children to do PE half-naked.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:11:39

It's only underwear!

Interesting to note that it is the prudish, "Oh-my-sweet-Lord-not-in-Public!" posters that have the shy children.

Wallace Sat 11-Nov-06 22:12:49

It may not be the norm for a 4 or 5 year old to be embarrassed about their body (not so much embarrassed, but more a wish to keep her own body private in my dd's case, I think), but when we went on a nursery outing to the beach there was a whole range of behaviour, from naked frolicking(younger boys), to some of the older girls wanting to get changed in private. Only one or two of the girls would have been happy to paddle in just their knickers.

I don't know yet how she will behave when she goes swimming with the school (a pathetic 4 sessions a year, but that's a different thread...), but I am presuming she will try to change privately. As I said, she may become accustomed to it because everyone else is doing it.

Maybe part of it is that dd is extremely socially anxious to the extreme - she is selectively mute, so it really is just part of her personality

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 22:14:34

Interesting judgement that not wanting my dd1 to do PE in her underwear makes me a prude, or that she is shy - actually she isn't and I have no idea if she would care or not. And dh would die laughing to hear me called a prude. But if you want to judge someone without knowing anything about them, go ahead.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:16:17

Well, if she doesn't care, why do you care? Who on earth do you think will be looking at her?

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:16:53

I think that the reason people don't like children doing PE in their knickers is that we think knickers = sex, small children naked = sex, small children around adult men = sex, underwear = sex

I can see no other reason at all

sophable Sat 11-Nov-06 22:20:11

isn't the point that if the PE teacher has paedophile tendencies (and that is absolutely what is being inferred here) then even if they were doing PE in their duffle coats it would still be bad.

as they haven't, knickers are not an issue.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:21:33

I just do not get it I really don't. The children's genitalia are covered up, and by the sound of it their shameful nipples too. Why would it be different in a bikini?

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:22:28

I think it's awful that there are so many young teenagers in my town who are made to wear school uniform! Everyone knows that school uniform is a complete turn-on for perverted men who are undoubtedly salivating etc etc etc <insert Daily Mail here>

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 22:23:31

I am finding this all so weird. I have no problem with you thinking it acceptable for your dcs to do PE in their underwear. Why do you have a problem because I think differently? I don't see my dc's underwear as having anything to do with sex, FGS! Nor do I have a problem with men seeing her in her underwear - the head of teh school is a man and I am sure he must see them changing. It's a social thing - unless you all go to the gym or swim in your knickers?

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:24:08

Please excuse me while I go and put a vest on my cat now, so that no one can see her shameful nipples when she rolls over for a tickle

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:24:41

but nearlythere, IN THIS CLASS they ARE all doing PE in their knickers!

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:25:39

(Actually I HAVE gone swimming in my bra and knickers on occasions when I have forgotten my damn bikini. Why not?)

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 22:26:11

I give up.

And MP, I take it you think I am not all there if you are calling me Nearlythere again?

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:26:39


nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 22:27:22

MP, did the pool let you in? Or do you mean at the beach? I'd find the beach acceptable (nude bathing and all that) but not a public pool.

IssyK Sat 11-Nov-06 22:27:43

To me it's an issue about choice for young children.

They should be allowed to have their dignity, and not have the decision made for them that they must do PE in just knickers/undies, just because they're 4/5/whatever and shouldn't be uncomfortable.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:27:50

Um, why is it a social thing?

Different social rules apply to me. I am 26. If I piddle up a back alley on a Wednesday afternoon, I risk being arrested for indecent exposure. This is not true of a 3 year old.

My breasts are functional, my genitalia are sexual organs. This is not true of anyone who has not reached puberty.

People would looked askance at me if I wore just a bra to go shopping in - nobody would bat an eyelid at a 4 year old in a vest.

This is because differant social rules apply to children. Applying adult constraints is inappropriate.

sophable Sat 11-Nov-06 22:29:01

i once went swimming in my costume and bra. only realised in changing room in dripping bra afterwards. had wondered why i'd been getting funny looks.

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:29:35

lol @ dignity

I will remember that next time I am staring at my small children screaming and banging their arms on the floor

"Have you no DIGNITY fgs?!"

TheStrictGrandmother Sat 11-Nov-06 22:29:49

There is nothing wrong with a class full of four or five year olds doing PE in their underwear.

If it really upsets the parents, why don't they organise a rota to go in and help all the children get changed.

The teacher certainly won't have time to do it.

sophable Sat 11-Nov-06 22:29:51

what is undignified about a 4 year old in pants???? undignified????

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:29:57

But someone has taught them that their underwear mustn't be seen. Nobody is born believing underwear is private. My point is, why teach them something so restrictive in the first place?

Wallace Sat 11-Nov-06 22:30:06

Cos most of my bras and knickers are see through when wet Mind you so was my old bikini and I didn't realise for months

People do have different views, morningpaper, lots of people wouldn't be happy to post on mumsnet a picture of themselves heavily pregnant wearing just bra and knickers, but you are absolutley fine with that, and I don't think less of you for it.

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:30:20

(Yes they let me in - I usually wear cotton black bra and pants - not a skanky grey bra or anything )

collision Sat 11-Nov-06 22:30:26

Has this thing kicked off yet??!!

i would have no prob with ds doing PE in his vest and pants at all.

i did it 31 years ago and think it would have saved me a tenner if Ds did PE all the time in pants too!!

sophable Sat 11-Nov-06 22:30:39

when i'm not laughing (mostly at mp's posts) this thread makes me really really sad.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:32:09

I find it very sad too actually, I know I am being sarcastic, but the thought that a preschooler's underwear may be seen as titilating is distressing to me. We are normalising paranoia.

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:32:22

Hmm why has this thread suddenly turned into a thread about MY underwear?

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:33:00

You deserve it for pinching my comment about shameful nhipples.

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:33:37

shameful nipples is a GREAT expression

Wallace Sat 11-Nov-06 22:33:44

{that morningpaper...always steering the conversation round to her underwear...}

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 22:34:28

Why does it bother you so much. People have different opinions, accept it. Stop being petty "Please excuse me while I go and put a vest on my cat now".

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:36:27

Biglil it BOTHERS me greatly that people cannot imagine 4 year olds wearing underwear without immediately thinking of SEX

I make no apology for that

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:39:25

It bothers me because if enough people think that a 4 year old's underwear should be private, it will become unacceptable for me to let my 4 year old come down the shop in boxer shorts on really hot summer days, and shorts gape. he will be stuck wearing too many clothes on a very hot day, just because some people think he should have 2 layers when he isn't in his house.

What about if they aren't wearing any underwear? Is it the appearance of the clothing (ie obviously underwear) that is objectionable or is it that there is only one layer between the child's skin and the nearest paedophile?

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 22:39:57

It does me, too, MP. But is that really what you think I am thinking? That 4 and 5 yr olds in their underwear equals sex? Because if you do then surely I ma just a pervert.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:40:33

The only point of small childrens underwear is warth, and to stop them skidding their trousers.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:41:36

I think that you believe other people will be thinking of sex when they see a 4 year old's underwear, and that is why you asre uncomfortable.

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 22:42:54

I can remember some older boys taking the p**s out of me at school becuase I didn't cover up whilst changing. In a school like dd1's especially she needs to learn that other people will find it funny (other kids) or uncomfortable (some adults - eps. once she is older) if she is only in her underwear.

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 22:44:25

Yeh but your really dramatising it.
When did anyone say they didnt want there kids doing PE in there underwear because they thought they might come across sexy. I just dont see why you have to try and belittle my/our opinion, as if yours is right and thats that. Laughing at our comments. Were all adults we all have our own opinion, why cant you just respect that. I and no one else has laughed at your comments or made you feel stupid for thinking different. Its just really unnessesary imo. There is no need for this thread to "kick off".

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:44:52

but nearlythree, there is a whole room of them

and she ISN'T older

and there is no one pointing and staring

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:45:38

Why does she need to learn that?

This is what I meant about it coming from the parents.

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 22:46:08

If I thought that other people will think of sex when they see dcs in their underwear then I wouldn't be happy for them to be in their underwear (or in the nude) when we have visitors - for example a mate of dh's stayed over and I got the dds dressed in front of him. And as I have said, as well as the teacher and TA the head must see them changing.

morningpaper Sat 11-Nov-06 22:47:03

> I and no one else has laughed at your comments

Well I'm going to bed then

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:47:07

So why is it different to do PE in them?

TheStrictGrandmother Sat 11-Nov-06 22:49:34

You comment that "she needs to learn that other people will find it funny (other kids) or uncomfortable (some adults - eps. once she is older) if she is only in her underwear".

She doesn't need to think about it at all. She's four years old!

And she won't turn into a public exhibitionist because she wore her underwear to do PE at school.

I didn't!

(I cannot vouch for morningpaper though.

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 22:50:53

As I have said, my dd1 does PE in a mixed age class. I want her to learn now what is expected so that she doesn't get to the stage where she is laughed at. I'm worried by the reaction of the other kids, not adults. And who knows if the OP's dd is laughed at or not?

BlB, if your POV doesn't fit then IME you can't expect it to be treated with respect here.

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 22:53:54

I hate that about mumsnet.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 22:55:42

Don't start that crap "Oh nobody has agreed with me, obviously mumsnet is a nest of vipers"

I am allowed to ask questions, you aren't obliged to answer them, you aren't even obliged to give them head room, but pleasedon't start moaning about a website because someone is questioning the validity of tyour position!

<<TNG awaits the clique thread>>

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 22:56:47

I don't want her to think about it. At her school they do PE in shorts and t-shirt. Nothing is said about needing to hide her underwear, she just has a PE kit to wear.

We never mention if she is sitting showing her knickers but dd1 told us that a friend in her class was showing her knickers whilst sitting on the floor and that someone had told her (don't know if it was the teacher or another pupil.)Kids do become aware of these things even without our help.

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 22:57:32

I have no problem with debate. I do have a problem with ridicule.

lulumama Sat 11-Nov-06 22:58:55

FWIW - BLB & nearlythree...the though of either of my DCs having to do PE in their underpants/ knikcers...makes me uncomfortable...can;t really pinpoint is a dignity issue..also a personal boundayr issue...

at what age is it not ok to be seen in public in underwear...7 ? 11 ? 15 ? never? and we have to educate our kids about strabger danger ....when do we do that..and how does that fit with it being ok for some adults eg see you in your knickers?

it is emotive and clearly roused strong opinions

my DS has done PE in shorts & t shirt since reception...

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 23:00:06


lulumama Sat 11-Nov-06 23:01:32

erm..i was agreeing with you!

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 23:01:52

I feel the same, I cant pin point why either. Just dont like the idea of it.

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 23:02:45

The Oh please wasnt at you lulumama, i was oh pleaseing at tno thinking im going to start moaning about mumsnet.

lulumama Sat 11-Nov-06 23:03:12

ok ! [ smile]

nearlythree Sat 11-Nov-06 23:05:08

Am off to bed now, but just to reiterate, I can see why some of you don't have a problem with your dcs doing PE in their underwear and think that is a valid POV. I think differently, but apparently that is not a valid POV.

Thanks, lulumama, I do agree about the personal boundary thing.

Am off to give ds his formula, which says everything about what kind of mother I am!

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 23:05:28

my comps very anoying. I dont see new posts when they come through, I have to go into threads im on to see if theres been any new posts. Very anoying.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 23:05:45


We digress.

I promise not to question anyone's reason for ranting at overworked primary school teachers, even when I think the reasoning behind the ranting is fundamentally lunatic.

FawkesBride Sat 11-Nov-06 23:07:35

Great. So I'm a prude who is absolutely infering that teachers are paedophiles and my DCs have unusual behaviour. Wish I hadn't come back on MN.

BTW children of reception age are becoming sexually aware for themselves. Sexualisation of children by adults is indeed rare compared to reactions between the children themselves. They don't suddenly catch on to sex when puberty strikes or when we decide to tell them about it. Doesn't anyone remember being 5? I'd do a link but I can't be arsed with this thread.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 23:10:03

I used to do PE in knickers and vest all the time until I was 7. Nobody laughed, nobody pointed, and nobody's parents flipped out. It was normal. We all did it. So yes, I do remember being 5.

TyrNannyOgg Sat 11-Nov-06 23:10:54

I am parping myself away from this thread, this is one of those that will go round and round and round.

Good night all.

lulumama Sat 11-Nov-06 23:11:07

TNO - i'm not ranting,,,nor are my opinions fundamentally lunatic....they are as valid as yours.....

as i said, my DS has done PE in shorts and t shirt since reception...

Rhubarb Sat 11-Nov-06 23:12:29

Good post there Lulu:!

lulumama Sat 11-Nov-06 23:13:13

thakns rhubarb...between the many and varied typos..there was some sense!!

Rhubarb Sat 11-Nov-06 23:14:34

Yeah, couldn't agree more!

Should I read the argument or not?

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 23:15:19

The kids can wear shorts under there uniform if the teachers are so over worked. There probmlem solved everyones happy.

BIGlilBUBU Sat 11-Nov-06 23:16:42

If you do read the whole thread Rhubarb you may get slightly cofused as to why it kicked off really. I was...

Rhubarb Sat 11-Nov-06 23:17:05

Don't kick people, that's not nice!

robinpud Sat 11-Nov-06 23:23:42

Too long a thread to read in depth; but as gothic mama I think pointed out, best practice is definitely to wear kit for all the obvious reasons. All children should be wearing kit . Dressing and undresing is a key skill and it's a child protection thing to have more than just underwear on.

Rhubarb Sat 11-Nov-06 23:24:23

Hello Robin! Not seen you in aaaages!

soapbox Sat 11-Nov-06 23:32:39

I did PE in my knickers and vest all the way through primary school. Never gave it a second thought!

My DCs wear PE kits but up until Y3 change together in the class room. They do swimming too and again change together until Y3. So even more bits potentially on show!

I think it's a great big fuss about nothing. In the summer your DDs will all no doubt be yomping around the beach in swimwear - I just cannot for the life of me see what the difference is!

Rhubarb Sat 11-Nov-06 23:33:44

YEH! SOAPBOX! I love yooooou!

Rhubarb Sat 11-Nov-06 23:33:58

Your my bestest mate!

soapbox Sat 11-Nov-06 23:35:00

Indeedy Rhubarb - mwaahhh, mwaaahh

Rhubarb Sat 11-Nov-06 23:36:17

Fecking gerrof me you lezzer!

soapbox Sat 11-Nov-06 23:37:00

Actually - maybe it has affected me for life - I still often do wander round the house wearing just my knickers and a t-shirt

cazzybabs Sat 11-Nov-06 23:37:12

I myself don't have a problem with vest and knickers - neither would my dd.

When I did my teacher trainning a friend of mine (male with 2 children), because of parental pressure, was not allowed to watch his class changing for PE! FFS what will they do when there he has a class of his own. There was a thread on this a while ago - where it was felt girls/boys of primary age shoulc change seperatly. It was pointed out where is there space and who would supervise them.

I used to teach year 3 and they would wear t-shirts and shorts but while they were changing they would prade round the classroom in the pants looking for things. The ones that had skid marks where another matter though!

I am horrifed by the attitude of most people on here that children must wear PE clothes! But then I let my children in the public paddling pool naked and on the beach!

BTW Radley could it be that your dd1 said she hadn't got her kit in school? T%his happens to me - I cannot leave my classroom and the rest of the children to look for kit and so they either sit out or do it in their uniform.

soapbox Sat 11-Nov-06 23:37:32

No, that's my dear sister you are thinking of

soapbox Sat 11-Nov-06 23:38:01

Oops that last post was for Rhuby!

Rhubarb Sat 11-Nov-06 23:39:10


cazzybabs Sat 11-Nov-06 23:45:16

Sorry soapbox I was so irrate I had to post - normally try and stay clear of threads like this!

soapbox Sat 11-Nov-06 23:46:52

Cazzybabs - I was just trying to disassociate my poor sister from having skid marks on her pants

Rhubarb Sat 11-Nov-06 23:48:01


soapbox Sat 11-Nov-06 23:53:36

Do keep up m'dear

I was replying to your 'lezzo' comment - saying that it was my sis you were thinking of.

Cazzybabs posted with her skid marks comment - and unfortunately (for my sis at least) my post to you ended up after hers. So it sounded as if I was saying it was my sis that she was thinking of who had the skid marks in her knickers?

Rhubarb Sat 11-Nov-06 23:58:09


morningpaper Sun 12-Nov-06 08:26:57

Nearlythree, I'm sorry that you felt I was ridiculing you. This is just a debate. Posters who say "I think X but I can't put my finger on why" can hardly expect people to nod and agree with your argument. I am just trying to bring this back to logic. We can't berate primary school teachers who are working their arses off for our children and then say "Well I can't put my finger on why." That isn't a reasonable way to think or behave.

I cannot see why anyone would object to this, except due to our hysterical British over-reaction to children and nudity, lovely instilled into us by our paedophile-obsessed media. The fact that one of the first few posts mentions "a male teacher" reveals this perfectly.

nearlythree Sun 12-Nov-06 13:35:45

But MP, I can and did put my finger on why I wouldn't want this for my dcs, and it has nothing to do with potential paedophiles lurking in the school.

WideWebWitch Sun 12-Nov-06 13:38:55

I can't be arsed to read this thread, tis v long, but I don't see the problem with 4yos in just pants. Ds was allowed on a beach in just pants at 4,5,6,7,8 etc and so will dd be.

nearlythree Sun 12-Nov-06 13:53:36

WWW, I don't have a problem with nudie kids on the beach either. My dd2 is always in the buff (usually with a woolly hat on though) and my only objection is because she isn't potty trained. But for PE at school I think it is fairer on the sensitive dcs to have a PE kit, as well as teaching them what we wear, and for what, esp. as the school puts a lot of emphasis on 'wearing my uniform with pride' - the PE kit seems to be an extension of that.

MorningPaper and TYRNannyOgg... you have both been talking complete and utter sense on this thread!

Still PMSL about covering the cat's shameful nipples...

motherinferior Sun 12-Nov-06 16:53:17

I have no problem with pants. None whatsoever.

robinpud Sun 12-Nov-06 17:08:12

Sometimes it is great to be a thread killer.. here goes
Any teacher in the state sytem being inspected or monitored during a PE lesson would be expected to have the kids in the right kit. Your underwear is not the right kit.. unless you are a bit wierd at your gym.
If your kids are only wearing pants and vest then question it.. and make sure they don't get skid marks on PE days.

FawkesBride Sun 12-Nov-06 21:21:34

I don't like the idea of 4/5 year olds being treated differently to the rest of the school. The reception class are fully paid-up school children and should be included, not separated, by any sort of behaviour. I despise all segregation.

TNO comments that children who have not reached puberty are not sexual beings. By that argument would she have 15 year old girls who have not started periods and have flat chests doing PE in just pants? I think not.

Personally I think that it is easier to teach children about socially acceptable behaviour from the time they join the school, rather than later. I certainly wouldn't expect a pre-school to ignore my 2yo's hitting & snatching - just because they're innocent little toddlers.

I'm very happy for those who did PE in their underwear and had no problems with it. Good for them. But it doesn't mean they can rubbish other peoples experiences or accuse their DCs of having 'unusual behaviour'.

'What was good enough 30 years ago blah blah'. Oh please! We'd all be giving birth on our backs on a busy ward, hygienically bottle-feeding and not using car seats.

Latest guidance says children should be in PE kit. Teaching respect for self is not just for calming the hysterical fear of paedophiles but learning important life skills - like saying no to pushy boy/girlfriends, and I've read enough threads about that on MN to know that the majority would welcome such confidence in their DCs.

Most reception age children can change clothes themselves. Learning to get changed, hang clothes up etc is just as important as doing star jumps and besides, they're hardly adhering to a strict time-table.

And lastly. Our school hall is bloody cold and we have enough coughs and colds from September until April without encouraging more thankyouverymuch.

lulumama Sun 12-Nov-06 21:24:42

fawkesbride.. i take my hat off to eloquent and well balanced was what i tried to get across in my post last have expressed it so much better than i did! i agree with everything you say .... and certainly not a hint of ranting there....

TheHighwayCod Sun 12-Nov-06 21:25:29

agre ofested woudl nto like ti
sounds like the teachers are idle to me

GILL74 Sun 12-Nov-06 21:46:36

Thanks fawkesbride. I also agree with lulu, I have been reading with interest but I just could not find the words to put into print.

aliceband Sun 12-Nov-06 21:54:54

ditto. Very well said.
It's time consuming, but only a weekly event in reception in this neck of the woods. They even tell us prior to starting school, p/e is on such and such day so try and wear easy clothes, and yes, they were shorts, t shirts and plimsols, if they havent got them, they dont do PE.

I think my dds would be embarrassed in their underwear, on the other hand, if they were all in the same boat, on the other hand in their school they have to go outside to go to the hall, so, underwear not a good idea

aliceband Sun 12-Nov-06 21:54:56

ditto. Very well said.
It's time consuming, but only a weekly event in reception in this neck of the woods. They even tell us prior to starting school, p/e is on such and such day so try and wear easy clothes, and yes, they were shorts, t shirts and plimsols, if they havent got them, they dont do PE.

I think my dds would be embarrassed in their underwear, on the other hand, if they were all in the same boat, on the other hand in their school they have to go outside to go to the hall, so, underwear not a good idea

ernest Mon 13-Nov-06 07:39:58

here my ds has pe usually 1 a week and we're asked just to dress them in comfy clothes eg tracksuit bottoms. They have no uniform, and do pe in the clothjes they get sent in. If they're wearing sthing too restrictive, they do the pe in pants.

nearlythree Mon 13-Nov-06 10:04:17

FawkesBride, that is so well put. I totally agree, it is what I was trying to say about older children noticing and laughing. And it is important to send a message to children that you don't have to take your clothes off if you don't want to, just as much as it is to be relaxed about our bodies and not feel ashamed of them.

Dd1's lovely teacher gives the girls lessons on how to turn their tights the right way, shake them out and then put them on!

SweetyDarling Mon 13-Nov-06 10:18:14

It would seem though, that the "not in their knickers" brigade, have very different ideas about what is socially acceptable to the majority.
I would argue that it is absolutley socially acceptable for a child up to about 6 or 7 to be seen naked in public (at the beach for example - not walking down the street).
So the idea that children need to have adult social restrictions imposed on them before they naturally develop a sense of reserve seems very sad.
There is nothing nicer than running around in the nuddy or skinny-dipping, so why take that away from them before we have to!?

nearlythree Mon 13-Nov-06 10:58:56

I have already said that I find nudity on a beach totally fine, or on holiday, or in the park - anywhere informal - so long as it is the child's choice. It's totally different to have this imposed by the school as some children will find it uncomfortable.

TheHighwayCod Mon 13-Nov-06 10:59:49

i thoguth learngin to dress is in istelf somthign t hey refine in reception

sophable Mon 13-Nov-06 11:23:59

i guess the question is why a four year old would find it uncomfortable to be in vest and knickers along with all their classmates isn't it?

TheHighwayCod Mon 13-Nov-06 11:24:29

the only htong i think is odd
is WHY dont they let them wear hte clothes
a dnthat its a thorough fare fro older kids

BIGlilBUBU Mon 13-Nov-06 12:04:27

I personally have absolutly no problem with nudity at all. As a child I was always nude on the beach on holiday. My mum was always topless, which I did find abit as I got to a certain age. Ds is only 14months and not potty trained so its swimmer nappys for him, but when he's older im sure he'll be naked on the beach.
I just find doing PE in undies pointless and inapropriate. Theres plenty of other occasions ds can run around in his undies or naked but I really really dont think school is the right place.

nivvy Tue 14-Nov-06 16:35:25

I'll stick my head above the parapet and give my opinion! My daughter is required to do this at school, and I have no problem with it. She is young enough not to be concerned, I trust the school staff and the gym is warm enough not to cause problems. Way back when I was at school (pre-prep and prep with boys, 11+ all-girls) we all did PE in our knickers until 11, when we were allowed gym knickers and white vests. Even then though if we didn't have our kit, it was underwear knickers. Some of us even had to run cross country in our knickers, spare vests and bare feet, when we didn't have our kit!

GILL74 Tue 14-Nov-06 20:03:21

Cross country in knickers and bare feet . So pleased that the schools have moved on from that.

AbbyLou Tue 14-Nov-06 20:49:06

I have read this whole thread with interest - it took ages mind you! I teach a Y1 and y2 class in an infant school and it is our school policy for children to wear pants (and vest) for PE. It is nothing to do with teachers being idle, the children change for outdoor PE. The reason we ask for only vest and pants is partly to do with a directive issued by our LEA (Derbyshire) some years ago regarding children doing gymnastics on apparatus. Many schools had seen accidents where children had got clothes tangled round apparatus or caught on it and it had caused quite serious accidents. It was recommended that children wear the minimum clothing. This is probably no longer the case but we still do it. We very rarely get any parents questioning it and I've never had a child who's been remotely embarassed or ashamed. It is normal for them, they've always done it and are all doing it anyway. With regards to Ofsted, when we were inspected we were praised highly for a PE provision and not one mention was made of the attire of the children! I think a lot of these arguments are ridiculous. Occasionally we have parents who ask that their child be allowed to wear shorts and we always say yes if they're really that bothered. To be honest it worries us more why any parent would have a problem with their child wearing pants in front of their friends and a teacher. In my time as a teacher i have only had three parents question it - the first becasue her child was scarred from skin grafts, the second because her child was abused at a young age by a family member and the thrid becasue she 'didn't like it'. All three children wore shorts but soon got fed up of putting them on and being different and reverted to the original attire. As for the issue of being cold, if the teacher is teaching the PE curriculum correctly, children should be physically active continuously throughout the lesson and therefore cannot get cold!

INK Tue 14-Nov-06 21:29:43

Can anyone tell me if schools in Scotland allow children to do PE in their pants and vest.

I'm amazed that I was not aware that this happens in schools. I would not allow my dcs to do PE in just their underwear.

Gillian76 Tue 14-Nov-06 21:31:12

Ink, I went through primary in Scotland and both DH and I are teachers (I'm not teaching at the moment but was until about 18 months ago). Have NEVER heard of this until now!

fubsy Tue 14-Nov-06 21:45:01

What a freaky thread. I actually dont know what to say - children arent self conscious about what they are wearing or what they look like until adults make them that way. Look at how happy children are to play naked on the beach. How many reports of children being abused on the beach are there? You dont have to have a CRB check to walk on the beach, but you do to be a teacher, male or female. My local swimming pool wont let people take photos of their children in the pool in case they accidentlly take a pic of another child - but they have floor to ceiling windows that often have men with their noses pressed to them.

Incidentally I had to do practical anatomy classes in bra and knickers at college; we couldnt be bothered to get dressed again afterwards so we just put airtex shirts on top in between classes. Now why did I feel the need to post this?

Is there any link between current paranoia about young childrens bodies, and the fact that by the time they are old enough to hit nightclubs they will be wanting to wear the least possible clothing and most certainly will not be concerned about feeling the cold. I am sooooooo glad i am not of clubbing age anymore - I think its most unfair that blokes get to wear clothes and girls only seem to wear underwear. When I look back on the good old days we look positively wrapped up.

Sorry, starting to rant - and get off track - like I say this thread freaked me out......

INK Tue 14-Nov-06 22:04:30

Gillian76 Thanks for that. I honestly was beginning to wonder if I had missed something here.

We all did PE in our pants and vests at infant school in England. We had big navy ones like shorts. Very modest! Nobody cared or stared. We enjoyed PE. After all, the children go swimming together too.

joelallie Wed 15-Nov-06 11:00:31

Not a problem unless your DD sees it as one. We did it. I must admit my kids don't but when they were first in school they wouldn't have cared. DS#1 is 9 now and would be embarrassed but not then. Little children shouldn't have a problem with nudity and unless there is a concern about a teacher having paedophile tendencies (and if there is that is a totally seperate and much more worrying issue) or the gym being cold, I can't see why it matters.

Yes children should learn to respect themselves but can't see how teaching them to be embarrassed about their bodies acheives that.

nivvy Wed 15-Nov-06 11:27:15

"Cross country in knickers and bare feet . So pleased that the schools have moved on from that."

If only they'd moved on before I was there! You went slipping and sliding everywhere because your feet couldn't get a grip in the mud. Afterwards you coud either wear your wet and muddy knickers under your skirt, or take them off for the rest of the day. Nice choice!

Paula54 Tue 13-Jul-10 06:09:35

I used to do pe in navy blue pe knickers and skirt .but things change now but i enjoyed pe knickers and skirt and Leotard in later years happy days

RedArsedBaboon Tue 13-Jul-10 06:45:11

bloody hell this thread is 4 years old!

Paula54 Wed 14-Jul-10 05:29:20

So what you stupid ape

mumblechum Wed 14-Jul-10 06:17:31

Nice hmm

RedArsedBaboon Wed 14-Jul-10 11:11:05

what was the post that was deleted?

mumblechum Wed 14-Jul-10 12:30:39

Can't remember exactly but she was calling you stupid. <<holds Red Arsed Baboon's coat>>

RedArsedBaboon Wed 14-Jul-10 12:49:24

oh i see grin

pranma Wed 14-Jul-10 17:25:39

Who is going to change them into and out of their kit?What is wrong with vest and knickers[or just knickers] at 4 and 5?If they are 'humiliated' someone has been teaching them a very odd view of the world.
By age 7 they should have a PE kit and be able to change themselves but imagine how much lesson would be left if there were 30 little ones needing help at start and finish.Outdoors yes-too cold but in school hall surely its ok.

Marjee Sun 18-Jul-10 11:56:31

Out of order imo (although totally irrelevent now given the age of this thread)! I remember being made to do pe in vest and knickers at school as a punishment for forgetting pe kit. The other kids used to take the piss out of the ones in knickers and vest and it was humiliating. Its different if all the children were just in knickers but if not thats just mean and I would complain to the school.

Maltamum Fri 11-Oct-13 22:44:01

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