How to help DS(5) not enjoying Y1

(10 Posts)
omama Thu 19-May-16 23:17:49

DS is 5 & in year 1. For quite a while now he's said that he doesn't like school anymore, its no fun, all they do is 'maths & english work' & they never get to play with any of the fun resources (lego/paints etc) that are in his classroom. Tonight he's sobbed his little heart out about it. [Sad]

I feel so sad for him, its not what I'd hoped his experience of primary school would be. He really enjoyed reception, but I feel like his love of learning is slowly being eroded by such a heavy focus on maths & english desk work. He's academically bright, but its just becoming too much for him.

I remember back to my days at primary school which were full of drawing, painting, building models with glue guns & balsa wood, quadro, lego, science & topic work with a good measure of reading, long multiplication & handwriting practise thrown in too. I loved it because it was fun & engaging & I so wish it could be like that for DS too.

I suppose I'd like to hear experiences & views of other Y1 parents on whether how he is feeling is just a typical reaction to the transition out of reception class, or perhaps down to the new curriculum? Also whether your child's school is heavily focussed on maths & english too or if they still manage to pack in plenty of fun stuff?

I feel I ought to tell his teachers how he is feeling but don't really see what its actually going to achieve if its all down to the curriculum i.e. government. Is there anything proactive I can do to help? I don't want him to feel that I stood by & did nothing sad

uhoh1973 Fri 20-May-16 08:07:45

We are lucky in that DC1 relishes school. But in reception she did get tired at one stage and became very clingy at drop off time, said it was no fun and she had no one to play with and it broke my heart! I asked the teacher to keep an eye out for her. The teacher said she seemed to be very happy playing and had lots of friends.
I would talk to the teacher. It may be he is tired and ready for the half term break. Does he have many friends? Could you set up some play dates?

WhattodoSue Fri 20-May-16 09:25:40

Do tell the teacher. At least if they are aware they might be able to think of some ways of supporting him. It is so sad that such young children are being put off school sad I very much think it is the NC and the fact that children have to learn so much so early. I hope it is a bit of pre-half term tiredness, and a nice half term break helps.

Witchend Fri 20-May-16 09:49:57

I think that's a fairly common complaint.

Mine preferred the more formal environment of year 1 (even ds, who never wants to work, but it helped his almost non-existent concentration)

It's not that they don't use the fun stuff at all. But in year R their impression is that they can choose what to play with occasionally being interrupted to do something with the teacher, which is still often presented as play.
In year 1 they will be told what to do much more. Even craft etc. tends to be much more "we are using the paints to paint a portrait" rather than just having the paints there to paint whatever they want.
But if a child loves using one thing, then in year R they may choose to do it 50% of the time. In year 1 they can only do it when it is to be used as it were, so feels like never because they were used to choosing it.

It was true 35 years ago when I was in year 1 too. But in the infants we only had to do the three Rs, with occasional music. Now they have to get in: Maths, Writing, Phonics, Reading, History, Geography, RE, IT, Music, Science, DT.....

EarthboundMisfit Fri 20-May-16 13:08:58

This is so sad. It isn't the case at our school (I also have Y1s)...they do loads of different things. It might be worth chatting to his teacher to get an idea of what the weekly routine really is. I'm expecting things to change in Y2 but so far the school is getting good results with lots of what I remember from primary mixed in too, so it isn't universal.

jamdonut Fri 20-May-16 18:37:07

Sorry ,the only answer I can give is: bame the National Curriculum. [Sad]

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 20-May-16 18:52:02

I think I'd try and unpick what 'never' means. As witchend says it could mean 'not as often as I'd like'. You may need to speak to the teacher to try and get to the bottom of that.

Hopefully he isn't spending all of his time doing English and maths at a desk. There should be time for more practical learning too.

nicp123 Fri 20-May-16 19:36:27

It doesn't sound accurate recollection of 'events' I'm afraid. Maths and English sessions are very short (not more than 20 minutes each). He might be struggling to keep up with work in class & might have to return to incomplete tasks and finish? Obviously can't use Lego if work isn't done. Year 1 isn't 'learning through play' like his Reception Year unfortunately.
At the schools I know over here, children do play every morning at school in the morning & at lunch time. About 1 hour 30 minutes at least dedicated to free play.
Does your child remember anything about the school play breaks? Does he have good or close friends in class?
Schools are not doing only Maths and English... there is singing, PE, Art, assemblies, etc.
Have a chat with his class teacher about it and check his academic progress I would say. There might be other underlining emotional issues to deal with.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 20-May-16 19:50:16

It might depend on the school.

There's a huge spectrum between some that still run a reception style continuous provision for at least part of the day and some that sadly are doing extended English and maths sessions in a very formal way because they think the curriculum demands it.

LittleNelle Fri 20-May-16 20:40:42

Definitely depends on the school. Many are pretty formal in Year 1 by this time of the year, e.g.
9-9.45 - phonics
9.45-10.45 - literacy
15 minute break
11am-12pm - maths

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