Concerned about the changing arrangements for P.E.

(15 Posts)
Mrsmacc5 Mon 28-Jan-13 21:16:11

Hi,

I have a 5-year-old son who is in reception class and today he told me something I'm a bit concerned about.

Firstly, he's brought to my attention that another little boy has showed him his willy when getting changed for P.E (they have a school PE kit), I plan to talk to the school about this but I understand some boys don't know that it is inappropriate to show other people your private parts and explained it so my son appropriately.

But then after this conversation he said "okay when I'm getting changed for PE I'll just take my underpants off really quick and put my PE shorts on." I told him he doesn't need to take his underpants off and that his shorts go on top, then he told me "but we get wrong off the teachers if we don't take our underpants or nickers off". I wanted to make sure I was knowing what was going on without being too questionable so I asked him to explain what happens when he does PE and he explained all the girls and boys are in the same room and your not allowed to wear underwear under your PE kit or he will get wrong and I'm quite uncomfortable with this.

Does anyone else's children have to do this?

I understand that kids won't know that's anything other than normal because they're all just innocent children, but I can't help but think its overstepping the line with this, especially since its mixed boys and girls, and even more so if children can flaunt their bits about workout a teacher seeing it happen. But I would like to be told if people think I'm overreacting.

I also don't know how to approach with the school, I am going to mention what happened with the other boy to his teacher, but I think with regards to the underwear situation should I go directly to the head teacher? My husband suggested to speak to other mothers and see what they say, but I don't want to be the one putting a cat amongst the pigeons, I'd rather speak privately with some authority of the school first.

Any advice?

onepieceoflollipop Mon 28-Jan-13 21:19:34

tbh I don't think mixed changing is a big deal. I am surprised if they are told to take their underwear off, no need to do so. Perhaps your child has got a bit mixed up? I wouldn't go to the Head, I wold just mention in a low key way to teacher in passing that ds had mentioned the need to remove pants but that I would prefer him to keep them on.

I have 2 children year 1 and year 4, they definitely keep pants on for p.e.

meditrina Mon 28-Jan-13 21:21:23

Go and have a calm word wiht the teacher.

Your DS will have misunderstood something.

Yes, it's common for boys and girls to change together. But there won't be a requirement to take pants off (unless swimming), so the teacher needs to know that he has somehow misunderstood, and clarifying what was really meant would be helpful.

Imsosorryalan Mon 28-Jan-13 21:21:38

As a teacher, I'm pretty sure your ds may be confused somewhere. None of the schools I have ever worked in ( over the 15 years I've been teaching) have ever stated that children take their underwear off.
Child protection would throw the book at them! Please check the routine with your child's dc and then ask the teacher to remind all the children to keep their underwear on!

defineme Mon 28-Jan-13 21:21:49

The willy showing thing is perfectly normal.
The pants thing is not.
My first thought would be is he confused?
My second is that you need to check with the teacher.

DeafLeopard Mon 28-Jan-13 21:23:52

What defineme said

DeepRedBetty Mon 28-Jan-13 21:27:22

The willy showing thing is fairly normal for this age group, don't worry.

I think he's confused about the rules for changing for PE, probably because his friend is. IME it's pretty rare for it to be possible to separate the girls and boys for PE changing in primary, which can be a bit of an issue in year 5/6 - but that's a whole other thread! But they are normally expected to keep pants and vests on.

Speak to teacher quietly for clarification.

Mrsmacc5 Mon 28-Jan-13 21:27:34

Well I thought he was confused as well, but he said all the girls and boys need to take them off, so I told him he can keep them on if he wants, and he said "but I can't mammy I'll get wrong if I keep my underpants on". I think maybe I should clarify it with the school, although he did seem pretty adamant, I do hope he's wrong!

Has he actually be told that by the teacher or is it something one of his friends has told him? Seems a very odd thing to tell the class to do.

Otherwise, all getting changed in the class together is fairly normal, and DS1 got his willy out in class, just because his mate told him to. I think it's one of those things they don't know is not socially acceptable until someone specifically tells them.

candr Mon 28-Jan-13 21:44:24

Often the instructions are to take of all your clothes and put pe kit on. Many children take this literally to start with, some put their pants on over their shorts, others take them off etc but having a word with the teacher to go over the instructions clearly should help. There is no way on earth unless it is swimming that this would be the actual instruction. Showing your 'bits' to others is very normal but a teacher will ask them not to if they get caught and you need to tell your child that it is a silly thing to do without making them embarresed about their body or scared of anyone elses.

Euphemia Mon 28-Jan-13 22:16:47

Definitely take it up with the school - I'd bet money on your DS having become confused! It's a lot for the wee ones to manage - taking off and putting on clothes, stacking things neatly, putting shoes on the right feet, not losing anything/getting your clothes confused with another child's, etc!

simpson Mon 28-Jan-13 22:35:11

Candr I think might have it right.

I volunteer in a reception class and the class was told to take all their clothes off and put PE kit on so quite a few started to remove knickers/pants too before the request was re-worded grin

I think a quiet word with the teacher to clarify things (re the removal of pants) is all that is needed...

(I have a DD in reception and a DS in yr3 and neither of them take of their pants/knickers)...

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 07:10:40

I taught PE to P1 pupils last year - their first-ever PE lessons. smile

One boy took his pants off in confusion, and one girl tried to put on her neighbour's pinafore, only got it up as far as her waist, then put her own pinafore on over the top! (The first pinafore took some tracking down!)

It's an unusual thing for them to be asked to do, to change from one set of clothes to another. They're probably used to changing from clothes to pyjamas, when everything comes off.

The teachers will be anxious to ensure everyone's belongings stay in the right place, so they will be strict with the children about what goes where (tie inside a shoe, shoes on your chair, clothes over back of chair, etc.) and the children's wee heads are probably spinning!

prettydaisies Tue 29-Jan-13 07:38:43

We swim at our school too, so sometimes the children did have to take everything off. When I taught reception some children always forgot they could leave their underwear on and would stand there naked! It was a standing joke that it was not swimming and pants and knickers could be left on.
I should go and ask the teacher. Changing together seems quite normal to me, but I'm sure they don't need to take their underwear off.

DeWe Tue 29-Jan-13 11:38:30

I doubt they have to take their pants off. A good number of the reception children forget to take their pants off when they go swimming in my experience.
My ds in reception had too approaches to Pe changing. One was to completely strip off including pants, and the other was where he couldn't be bothered and put his pe kit on top of his uniform. grin. He was usually okay in changing by the summer term, although he still sometimes comes out with his uniform backwards after games. (year 1)

And at that age there is a certain amount of boys showing willies too. In fact it was probably several of them if the teacher was looking the other way. wink

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