Help! DS excluded from story time!

(42 Posts)

My DF collected DS from preschool this afternoon and as be was helping with his coat etc he was asked to collect him at 3.15 tomorrow as DS wouldn't sit down and listen to story and was running around! We usually collect him at 3.30. He was only 3 in November and started a few days later so has only been there a few weeks. Also this has never been mentioned before, I took and collected him on Friday and took him Monday! Always speak to staff and nothing was said!
AIBU to expect the staff to have at least mentioned this to us? DS isn't naughty, but doesn't always listen very well or sit well in groups of children. He will sit down and do jigsaws, play with trains, he loves numbers letters etc and reading stories! Does anyone else think this is odd? I will be speaking to staff tomorrow
Thanks

insancerre Thu 07-Feb-13 18:51:55

40 minutes?
what's that saying about not being able to teach old dogs new tricks- I bet the staff are all old-school.
Have they not realised that pre-school education has changed a lot recently.
40 minutes is far too long
I would be looking at finding another pre-school

alanyoung Sat 02-Feb-13 19:31:31

Goldmandra is absolutely right. If he likes doing jigsaws, why not ask if he can do one while the others have the story. You can bet your bottom dollar he will be listening out of the corner of his ear (is that the right expression?). When he is ready, he will just join the others and become part of the group. It's quite common and nothing to worry about.

Goldmandra Fri 25-Jan-13 20:49:59

No we are still collecting him earlier, thought it might prevent him being shouted at to sit down for too long until her gets the hang of it! Will mention it again in the next few weeks and see how we are doing, with the aim of changing collecting time again.

Not so good then sad

They are taking a very poor approach. They should be recognising and meeting the individual needs of all of the children for all of the session. I can't quite get my head round a setting saying children can only attend the bits of the session which they can behave well enough for.

I can see why you don't want your DS to be shouted at but to be perfectly honest if you really think that might happen you need to find a different pre-school.

In fact I would be looking for a different setting anyway. One which offers activities which are appropriate for the children, not one which only takes children who are appropriate for their planned activities.

I didn't mean it was a problem him getting dirty!
No we are still collecting him earlier, thought it might prevent him being shouted at to sit down for too long until her gets the hang of it! Will mention it again in the next few weeks and see how we are doing, with the aim of changing collecting time again.

Goldmandra Fri 25-Jan-13 11:47:01

That sounds more positive.

You're right it is pretty basic behaviour management but perhaps they've got their eye a bit more on the ball now and things will be better.

Getting dirty with mud and chalks is good news. It means the children are being given free rein to be creative which is definitely the best way to learn.

Have they dropped the idea of him being collected early now?

Hi, thanks for so many replies ! I spoke to the staff, they then managed to think of sitting DS on a mat, he even got a sticker for sitting still during phonics on the 1st day of using it!
Wouldn't have thought this was rocket science!
I might see if I can go into nursery for a while, that might be useful. They seem to have communicated better since I spoke to them. He hasn't been soaking wet again since, just wet/dirty from falling over, and coveted in red chalk yesterday after chalking numbers outside! They seem to know him quite well though which is encouraging. DS loves numbers and letters, he can count to 100 and recognises all the numbers, and most letters. He also likes clocks and can tell the time in hours so far. They do seem to be encouraging this so I am pleased with that. There are parents evenings in march so might find out more then too

Schoolcrazy Wed 23-Jan-13 17:41:06

Hi,
I would suggest you volunteer for an hour pr so at the nursery and see for yourself what really goes on (provided you have the time). I recently did this and discovered that there was information that was wasn't relayed back to me regarding my DS.
I should say though that no child should ever be excluded- not really solving the problem!!!
Good luck!

Level3at6months Sat 19-Jan-13 14:15:27

OP, did you get to speak to a member of staff about it?

somewheresomehow Thu 17-Jan-13 22:26:54

to me this is very poor practice.
any child who gets wet or dirty during the day should be changed and their clothes bagged up or as happened in a nursery i was temping in even chucked in the washing machine and then dried for them
and as for being excluded from the carpet / story time that is just wrong as is making the kids sit for 40mins way too long to be sat doing things, youngsters just wont/cant and shouldn't be made to sit for so long. is there another nursery available to you that would suit your dc better OP ?

Snazzynewyear Wed 16-Jan-13 22:07:11

Agree with the others than 40 mins seems very long for this activity. I would definitely speak to them about it.

Research varies on this I think but there are studies saying people's attention span dwindles after somethng like 15-25 mins. That's for adults!

Goldmandra Wed 16-Jan-13 21:52:45

40 minutes!!

Well I am surprised they only have one child who can't sit for that long hmm

Most reception teachers would avoid asking a class of five year olds to sit for that long. I would be very surprised if there was much effective learning going on after about 15 minutes.

would suggest that they have a think about reducing the length of this session, giving the children time to relax and move around in the middle at least once.

I can't believe they want three year olds to sit for 40 minutes!!!!

PandaG Wed 16-Jan-13 21:32:50

40 mins all in one go is far too long, I wouldn't expect that length of carpet time (even if different things) at the end of reception let alone at pre-school.

I do a 5-15 min story and singing time at the preschool I work in, depending on the age and disposition of the children. SOme find listening hard, but we would never ask for an early pick-up, but try to find strategies to help.

MrsTomHardy Wed 16-Jan-13 21:25:40

Yes they should be talking things through with you in the first instance..
Hope you get it sorted.

Yes I do know his key worker and am hoping to talk to her tomorrow. He never has sat very well whilst supposed to be listening! He does sit down and play with things, but still think 40 mins is a very long time for such small children. We don't have any previous experience of nurserys or school, so makes it a bit difficult knowing what to expect. Definately would have expected someone to tell me any problems prior to this though!

5madthings Wed 16-Jan-13 21:19:03

40 mins? I don't know many three yr olds that will sit still for that length if time and they shouldn't be excluding him.

Level3at6months Wed 16-Jan-13 21:11:54

40 minutes!?! That's a ridiculously long time!

MrsTomHardy Wed 16-Jan-13 21:09:09

40 mins!!!! angry
I run a preschool and I would never ask a parent to pick up a child early because they wouldn't sit still...
It's still early days for your DS, he will learn the routine I'm sure...
He should have a key worker so if he finds it hard to sit still for a story then they should be helping him/encouraging him...do you know who hits key worker is??

Hi all, when I dropped DS off at nursery today I asked to speak to the staff, but only 2 non regular staff there, all others in a meeting! I was working today and came out in dinner hour to take DS so couldn't wait around. Am off tomorrow so will be asking then. I did find out that the sitting down at the end of nursery lasts for around 40 mins! Apparently this does include several different activities such as phonics as well as a story. Not sure how many 3 year olds are good at sitting for that long, but it did sound like DS was the only afternoony to have this problem!!!

hazeyjane Wed 16-Jan-13 10:33:41

I hope you managed to sort something out op. I would be pretty upset by this, ds will need help to access all areas of preschool (he has sn,and will hopefully have 1-1), but I would have expected the preschool to work a way around any disruption with my nt children, and discuss the situation with me. The wet clothes is not on at all, either.

Goldmandra Wed 16-Jan-13 09:43:34

level I wasn't egging the OP on. I just wanted to highlight what is accepted good practice. Very few Early Years settings have lots of spare staff but the if the children are all sitting in a group listening to a story it is not unreasonable to have one member of staff reading/leading while another sits amongst the children modelling appropriate behaviour, monitoring and redirecting. If a child still cannot sit for long enough that member of staff would then be able to offer a more appropriate activity away from the story session. If others choose to engage in the alternative activity too, there is even more reason to reflect on the format of the story-telling.

Changing the format of story time to respond to the needs of the children takes thought, not extra staff.

The OP has already said she will be speaking to the staff today so I'll be interested to hear how the situation was clarified. Hopefully the responses on her will help her to express that her DS's needs should be met in a positive way during the whole session rather than sending him home when they are offering an activity in an inappropriate format.

PenguinBear Wed 16-Jan-13 07:10:16

I would ask them tomorrow when you drop him off and then tell them you would like to discuss the matter with the head... That should stop them in their tracks, it's utterly ridiculous. I work in a school and we've never done this, not even with the most disruptive children!

Level3at6months Wed 16-Jan-13 07:03:08

Goldmandra, as a Nursery Teacher with 22 years experience I agree with what you're saying, but I don't think it's something to get worked up about before speaking to the staff about it properly. I would be annoyed about it being sprung on me, but that could have been a misunderstanding by an inexperienced member of staff. Remember that OP's child is in a state Nursery (unless I've read that wrong?) which will have very tight ratios. There are days when we would not have a spare member of staff to sit and support one child unless we put the others into a very large group for storytime. I'm not making excuses, just suggesting some communication.

Do speak to the staff about the wetness, though, OP. Occasional wet clothes can be missed, but if it sounds like more that that and isn't good enough.

HSMM Wed 16-Jan-13 06:25:17

Ask to see a copy of their inclusion policy.

Rosa Wed 16-Jan-13 06:18:40

When chatting bring up the being wet. They should be checking for wet socks /clothes and changing ...thats not on.

Goldmandra Wed 16-Jan-13 00:07:58

It is not appropriate to exclude (that is the correct term) a child because he does not want to sit and listen to a story.

There are many and varied strategies this setting should be using to either help him to sit and engage or give him an alternative activity if he seriously can't do it.

I have recently been a part of a conversation amongst Early Years practitioners prompted by one saying she has a couple of children who are refusing to sit nicely and listen to story time. The majority were shocked that this was seen as the child's problem. The view was that at this age the routine should fit the children, not the other way round.

Many children this age simply cannot sit for long, especially in a group. Staff can support the children by offering fiddle toys and cushions and sitting with them. They can also reduce the length of the story for a while, use more interactive resources, sings songs or use nursery rhymes instead or make it an optional activity. Some just read stories when children bring books or are showing an interest in them, inviting others around them to join in if they wish.

This nursery should be reflecting on the format of their story time instead of ditching any child who can't engage in it.

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