School are using DD2 first name rather than her given/preferred name.

(148 Posts)

We have recently started weekly stay and plays at school ready for her starting in September.

When we applied we used her full name online ( because that what they ask for) but have since filled out every form with her given name. Only using her first name when there is also a 'preferred' name box to put her given name in.

The teacher (new) greeted her on the first day using her first name, DD2 just stared at her. All info had her first name on.

I took the teacher aside and explained she doesn't identify with her first name and only knows it in context with her middle name and surname. She doesn't recognise it written down and really its a official forms name only and her given name is what she's known by and recognises.

She refused to use her name and said only when she knew and could write her first name would she even consider using a 'nickname'.

DD2 is a very young 4 and is needing alot of work to get her ready for school. She really struggles with numbers and letters and I feel any unnecessary changes at this point will impact her learning up to now and also how prepared we can get her for September. Plus its her name, why would we want to change it for a more complicated and different one now? It just seems very strict for a reception teacher.

It is a common nickname and also now a stand-alone name. I'm not asking for her to be called Miss fluffy bottom sweety pie.grin

Where do I stand can we force her to use it? go to the HT? or do I just quit the moaning and start getting DD2 used to it now. Its our third stay and play Friday and we're at stalemate. Do most schools accept given names?

Sprink Tue 02-Jul-13 13:27:49

For the OP, have a word with head teacher. The class teacher can insist your child writes her name, but that's no excuse for not using the name with which she identifies.

Or change it by deed poll, present it to the teacher, then change it back. The whole thing will call you £20, but trying to conceal your victorious smirk will be priceless.

kelda Tue 02-Jul-13 13:46:13

I am surprised that you have an issue with this. If you didn't want anyone to call her by this name, then why put it on the birth certificate? Especially as you say you liked the name in the first place, so I would have thought you would be pleased that someone is using her full name?

It's likely that in future situations she will be called by her official name.

My dd has a nickname and as soon as she started school, they started calling her by her full name. It would never have occured to me that this could be a problem.

soapboxqueen Tue 02-Jul-13 13:56:32

I think most schools use whatever name a child is used to as long as it is an appropriate name. However her Iegal name will remain on the register. therefore she should know it and respond to it. I appreciate that it would not be an everyday occurrence but suppose there is a fire on a day when your dds class has a supply teacher? To check that all of the children were present she would read it the register which would have your dds legal name.

It is possible to change the register without legally changing the name but it didn't happen very often do I am unsure about the procedure.

Plenty of children are known by more than one name, my ds included, so it really isn't that difficult.

Zingy123 Tue 02-Jul-13 13:59:26

My DD has a nickname that all friends and family use. However she has always known her real name and this is used at school/anywhere official. I find it hard to understand how your daughter doesn't recognise her 'real' name.

Our school insists they learn to write their real name. They will call them though whatever you specify.

5madthings Tue 02-Jul-13 14:07:23

The teacher is being unreasonable, we had the same forms so you put their given name and then the name they use, so ds1 is Theodore but is known as Theo so on his name peg etc and even his school reports they put Theo. He is now in high school and it has never been a problem, if I call to speak to the school about him I say Theo .....(surname) and they know who he is. The official records say Theodore but he is known as Theo.

I don't have a problem with them using both names my issue is that she is starting school and doesnt need to be confused anymore. If they wanted to gradually move over to calling her Charlotte after shes settled then fine. But she has attended the connected nursery and they all know her as Lottie, the children know her as it and she is learning to write it. I chose Charlotte as her name, I like it and am obviously happy people know my daughter is called it. But she knows her name is Charlotte middlename surname, she doesnt twig when they just use Charlotte quickly. She doesn't recognise Charlotte written no matter how many times she sees it. Shes very happy with Lottie, is learning to write Lottie and would be confused if, while having not properly learnt Lottie yet, is asked to write Charlotte.

Like I say my intention was to call her Charlotte but it didnt work out that easy, she is a Lottie now. Shes happy with it and I'm happy to have both used. If I was able to change her name on her birth certificate now (absent father so I can't) I would consider it.

Our class is 12 this year (15max) with no other Lotties/Charlottes. I suppose it was the impression they gave on the forms with prefered name that we had some choice in it. It seems to be this new teachers decision to ignore the name that is the problem. She said she wouldnt even consider calling her Lottie until she could write it, but it was said very dismissively and I felt she has no intention of using it at all. Even if she does its the opposite to what I want, to continue with Lottie and gradually use Charlotte more.

I think a letter sounds a good idea, I shall try to make it sound as light as possible and not make too much of an issue with it. Hopefully she will understand its more that a nickname to her, its her main name. But I'll drop it if she insists, afterall we do have a whole year with her.

5madthings Tue 02-Jul-13 14:12:56

I can understand them teaching her to write Charlotte but they can still call her Lottie ffs!

maja00 Tue 02-Jul-13 14:18:13

Why would she need to learn to write Charlotte at 4 though if her name is Lottie?

She can learn to write her full name later, in a couple of years it will be no bother. For now, the name Charlotte isn't meaningful to her - Lottie is.

Schools don't start off in Reception teaching children to write their full name with surname - they start using their first name as that's what they know, that's what's on their pegs/books/lunchbags, and that's what's relevant to them.

5madthings Tue 02-Jul-13 14:21:54

I am pretty sure ds1 just leant to write Theo.. I don't remember them making him write Theodore... But I guess they might want to make her, it seems pointless tho as she will do it naturally on her own.

For me the main issue would be them refusing to call her Lottie!! As maj says on bookbahgs, pegs etc they always just used Theo, never Theodore.

kernowal Tue 02-Jul-13 14:43:15

My DD's first name was given for family reasons, but we all quickly settled into a common abbreviation. She was put in a class with 3 others sharing the same name when she started junior school (but no others in any of the other 4 classes!). The teacher asked which name they would all prefer and it's been used correctly ever since, except if the register is being done by a supply teacher. Then she just snarls at any kids who tease her about her other name.

AbbyR1973 Tue 02-Jul-13 14:44:02

I'm having the reverse problem trying to get people to encourage DS to write his whole first name rather than his for short first name which he is mostly called at nursery/ school. We use the names interchangeably at home although inevitably when we are being serious we use the longer name. Nevertheless I think it's important he can spell his proper name and encourages his writing more than just the 4 letter version which he can already write/ spell easily.
If they are entirely different names that is tricky. In ex-DH culture they have a proper first name and a middle name by which they are known at home and is not used at all by friends/ school/ etc. Presumably they get used to being called two completely different names in different situations.

Suzieismyname Tue 02-Jul-13 15:02:49

Maja00 is spot on!

ljny Tue 02-Jul-13 16:20:54

Lovely post, Maja. Tis a pity the receiption teacher doesn't share your common sense.

I would be pissed off about this, there is no reason the teacher can't call your dd by the name she is known by rather then her official name on her birch certificate!

My dd has a name on her birth certificate, when she was a small baby I started calling her a name that came from running her two name official name together. It is not even a real name, completely made up and it stuck.
Dd is now 8 and it is what she calls herself, she never ever thinks about herself as her official name. She only hears her real name when she is in trouble!

When dd started school we applied obviously using her bith certificate name but both told school and filled in the bit on forms where it says 'known as' with the name she identifies herself as.

We had no problems what so ever.
From the first school visits dd was called by her nick name, it is on her peg, on the register, on all her work. It is the name she learnt to write.

When filling out official things at school like permission slips I always use her official name and there has never been any confusion.

Dd can now write both names although she was older when she learnt to write her official name and it is something we worked on at home rather then school.

Dd would have really hated it and struggled had school acted as yours has.
I have always to dd that she can go by which ever of her names she chooses and although she is still firmly sure she wants to go by her nick name I expect as she gets older she will want to use her official name more. It is a choice she needs to make when she is ready to.

If I where you I would really push this with school and not accept then making this decision for you and your dd. to be honest this would make me worry if the school was right for our family.

For those who say 'why didn't you just put the 'nick name' on the birth certificate' well there are lots if reasons, for us it was a name that developed over her first months of life so couldn't have registered her with it, even if this wasn't the case I wouldn't have wanted to put her childish nickname as her official name as much as I enjoy her being a child she will grow up! My dh goes by hisidle name, has done since he made the choice at 9 that he disliked his first name with a passion. He has managed to go nearly 30 years since then with no real bother!

missmapp Tue 02-Jul-13 17:30:03

But she needs to be able to recognise Charlotte, as she will come across it. I can see the teacher only wanting to introduce Lottie later.

She has probably already made all her peg cards, tray labels without realising the name change, and doesn't want to do them again!!

A quiet, light hearted word should do the trick I think. ( be kind, she will be tired!!)

Ps agree, she should be called the preferred name no matter what.

Sprink Tue 02-Jul-13 17:38:29

The thing about registers, is that good teachers know they can cross out the legal name and pencil in the child's preferred and self-identified name.

Good teachers understand how to make a child's transition from nursery to Reception a fun and relaxed experience.

Good teachers can also teach the child to write Lottie and Charlotte.

Good teachers are flexible that way.

ClutchingPearls, to be frank, I wouldn't be 'nicey-nicey write a letter' about this. Just speak to the teacher again and insist, politely. If she continues to resist, speak to the Headteacher. This is an annoyance, something you shouldn't have to worry about in this day and age.

Ds is starting school this year and uses Oliver and Oli interchangeably and can write both. School have said they are happy to use either although he seems to be becoming Oli there already.

In my class I'm able to remember all the children's nicknames if they want to use them in class, it's not hard.

I can understand the need for her to be a le to write Charlotte though.

clam Tue 02-Jul-13 18:03:39

Oh ffs, what is this school ON? A child tells you on the first meet-up what they prefer to be called (Sam/Samuel, Tom/Thomas/Tommy), and you follow their lead. On official forms you write the "proper" name. What's so hard about that?

We were told decades ago at training college that a child's name was very much part of his/her identity and it was paramount that you call them what they're used to. I was therefore shock in my NQT year to hear a colleague say to a child that she didn't care for the name "Nicky" as it was too babyish and she would therefore call him Nick.

clam Tue 02-Jul-13 18:09:14

Oh, and re: registers, most schools use electronic registers these days, meaning they can't be changed. But hey, you know, I somehow manage to read Evelyn and say Evie, see Madeleine and say Maddie, but use Madeleine for the other one.

MerylStrop Tue 02-Jul-13 18:15:47

FWIW she could perfectly well go through adult life as Lottie. My DH uses the diminutive of his "real" name in professional circs and it is on his bank card etc with zero issues.

She's not going to have to fill in her name in official documentation for some years, by which time she will presumably have grasped how to spell it. The teacher sounds like something out of Dickens. Added to which it is Not Her Decision what to call your daughter.

UniS Tue 02-Jul-13 19:41:01

DS was asked by his teacher what he was called, DS gave his "long name". However HE doesnt use his long name, so nowadays no one at school calls him long name, everyone uses his "short" name. He does know his long name and will answer to it, he's just lazy and prefers to write/ say the short name.

Blissx Tue 02-Jul-13 20:24:09

I would love MNetters on here to realise what a minefield the class register is. Just once, i'd love you all to read out a registr for the first time and realise this can often take 10 minutes plus, what with all the sniggers for mis-pronouciations and "but Miss, I'm known as this..."

Ok, so I am a Secondary School teacher and have 7 different registers to call out everyday, but it is damn hard to remember every different variation of a child's name. It can range from a name such as Oluwabukosi to Bukky, or Matiseuz to Matthew to the more common Samuel to
Sam etc. Our registers are electronic using something called SIMS and teachers cannot change data on SIMS for DPA reasons, so we pretty much have the legal forename in front of us and have to remember ourselves any variations and it can take time. Although your DCs' names are all personal and familiar to you, just imagine if all 30+ pupils had different names to their legal forename and try and be a little understanding!

MissAnnersley Tue 02-Jul-13 20:36:09

I have never had a class where the majority of the class didn't use their given name. In my experience it is usually around 2 or 3 pupils who don't.
I can't see how that would be an issue in a primary class.

Sprink Tue 02-Jul-13 20:53:18

Blissx, thanks for that reminder. You're right, of course, and learning preferred names can be difficult at first.

I think in this case we're talking about a much smaller scale. And regardless of what systems are in place, teachers can always make crib sheets.

clam Tue 02-Jul-13 20:58:46

Blissx Of course it's different in the secondary scenario you describe. But in primary, with one class you're in charge of all day, every day, it's much more manageable.

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