Punishment over spelling test

(94 Posts)
Incunabula Fri 20-May-16 23:29:47

My DD (yr 3) came home from school tonight absolutely inconsolable because she and a few others had been punished for not doing well enough in their weekly spelling test (less than 6/10). They'd been docked 5 minutes golden time and had to stand in the corridor with their faces to the wall in silence. This rule was introduced this week without any warning. My DD is currently being assessed for possible dyslexia due to problems tracking words and holding a point of focus, which the school are aware of, so she struggles with spelling. Poor DD was crying for hours as she's very keen to always make a good impression and tries very hard. Irrespective of her particular situation though, I think it's appalling to humiliate any child like this over their (perceived lack of) academic achievement. I thought the days of 'punishment as motivation' were over and discredited? I'm absolutely incensed about it but need to find a rational way of communicating with the Head about why I think it's so dreadful. Would appreciate any thoughts on whether this is commonplace and/or how to handle it best.

Bolograph Fri 20-May-16 23:31:40

My DD (yr 3) came home from school tonight absolutely inconsolable because she and a few others had been punished for not doing well enough in their weekly spelling test

I would be inclined to find out what actually happened, carefully, before your guns blaze. Because that sounds bizarre, and one suspects there might be more to it.

CodyKing Fri 20-May-16 23:37:01

That's odd - can you email the teacher and say "DD has said X happened today and is very upset.. Can you explain what happened please?

Incunabula Fri 20-May-16 23:45:52

Agreed - am in guns blazing mode tonight but will wait till Sunday to write anything! Will very much couch anything I say in terms of 'this is what has been said happened'. We are seeing one of the other girls involved tomorrow so I will suss her parents out to see what was reported back to them. But DD isnt known for exaggerating so I can only take her word for it at the mo.

Cagliostro Sat 21-May-16 00:06:59

yikes sad I really hope this is just a misunderstanding, because it is horrible if not sad

The only thing I can think of is that some children were messing about too much and they got sent out for that, but misinterpreted that it was because of the test, rather than behaviour?! Clutching at straws though.

SaltyMyDear Sat 21-May-16 07:13:27

But you are right you should never be punished over a spelling test. Even if the punishment is far more mild than this.

And you are also right that if she has tracking and focus issues spelling will be very hard for her.

The good news is that her vision problems can be easily improved and then she should find reading and spelling easier. (What exercises have you been told to do to help? Manual exercises or an online computer game?)

Anyway, for now you need to speak to the teacher. Possibly say you'd like another meeting with her and the SENCO to discuss how school can support DDs poor spelling.....

TheoriginalLEM Sat 21-May-16 07:21:47

Err please be guns blazing actually. I would be going nuclear . Email the head teacher and cc to the governors and ask them what the fuck they are playing at.

My dd is dyslexic and it really affects her confidence. This would destroy it!

I am actually seething on your behalf.

don't assume your child is exaggerating or was being naughty - teachers (mostly) do an amazing job that i couldn't do but they are not God despite what is perpetuated on here

Incunabula Sat 21-May-16 10:42:28

Thank you. I really appreciate the replies. I'm pretty certain things happened as DD described, it's just how I handle it. I think the school is starting to succumb to test pressure mania. I'm still absolutely staggered they would do this. Will report back when I get a response. Will be involving the Senco as she has been supportive thus far. DD is being seen by the Dyslexia Research Institute, who have been excellent, and she's been making progress but it's a fragile situation and things like this can be so damaging.

MrsHathaway Sat 21-May-16 11:16:37

They'd been docked 5 minutes golden time and had to stand in the corridor with their faces to the wall in silence.

Golden time I'd swallow tbh but I would not tolerate being made to stand facing the wall for any length of time even if my child had actually misbehaved.

If the test was properly differentiated and DD had been given a realistic target - eg words she's had special help with all week, get more than half right - then it's not unfair for her to lose golden time, which is a bonus rather than a right.

TheoriginalLEM Sat 21-May-16 11:44:49

my dd is in yr6 mrs hathaway and never gets more than 4/10 in her spelling tests. I would not expect her to be punished for this. She is dyslexic not lazy hmm

Incunabula Sat 21-May-16 12:12:14

She doesn't have different targets or extra help 🙁 so is trying to achieve the same as everyone else. It is the standing in the corridor looking at the wall that has really galled me. But I still maintain that no one should be punished for academic attainment (rather than behaviour).

SuburbanRhonda Sat 21-May-16 12:21:41

Email the head teacher and cc to the governors and ask them what the fuck they are playing at

OP, I'm pleased you're adopting a more measured approach than this.

differentnameforthis Sat 21-May-16 13:36:29

I don't think any child should be punished for not doing what the teacher perceives as "good enough" in a spelling test.

In fact, hasn't she obviously failed to prepare them properly grin

I know, I know...no teacher bashing...but really, come ON! Sending kids out of the class for not getting over half their words right is not going to help them learn.

I am all for kids being punished for stuff at school (my daughter was made to lose break time for failing to do her homework), but for this?

Nope.

KindDogsTail Sat 21-May-16 13:47:41

* she and a few others had been punished for not doing well enough in their weekly spelling test (less than 6/10). They'd been docked 5 minutes golden time and had to stand in the corridor with their faces to the wall in silence*.

This is completely wrong - so much so that surely modern teachers would be the first to know it, so like other posters I was wondering if it could possibly be not exactly what happened?

Perhaps you should go to the school to ask to talk to them.

tribpot Sat 21-May-16 13:52:48

At my ds' school the kids who get less than 5/10 on spelling have to stay in for one playtime to practice them again, which I think is mostly okay as they are given spellings appropriate to their level. Making them face the wall is about shaming them, and no child (esp of such a young age) should be shamed about their learning. I really hope this didn't happen. Hope you can get some answers soon.

spanky2 Sat 21-May-16 14:03:13

Sounds okay to me. She is in junior school. They need to learn reward comes with performance. This is life.
Bending over ready for flaming...

spanky2 Sat 21-May-16 14:06:05

Just seen dyslexia thing. Teacher should bear this in mind with the amount of spellings and easiness of words. Harsh for sn but okay for others.

KindDogsTail Sat 21-May-16 14:10:16

Sounds okay to me etc Spanky2

If the idea is to get good so called performance, then shaming and misery is not likely to be the most effective way.

Misery and shaming wouldn't be the most effective way to teach animals either.

VioletSunshine Sat 21-May-16 14:13:23

...and had to stand in the corridor with their faces to the wall in silence.
That's just an awful "punishment" regardless of what the children had done. It's the sort of thing that could very well stick with them as they grow up, and give them all sorts of issues...

MrsJoeyMaynard Sat 21-May-16 14:14:39

That seems like a very extreme punishment. Particularly the facing the wall bit. How is that meant to help them improve?

When I was in primary school, the penalty for "failing" spelling tests was to stay in at playtime with the teacher, practice the ones we'd got wrong and learn the definitions from the dictionary. If we could tell the teacher the correct spelling and definition before the end of playtime, we were let out.

multivac Sat 21-May-16 14:17:37

And they also need to learn that humiliation comes with failure to meet up to arbitrarily decided target, eh spanky?

Nice try. You'll have to flame yourself, though - I'm a bit busy.

multivac Sat 21-May-16 14:17:46

[s]

IoraRua Sat 21-May-16 14:22:31

Er, no Lem she shouldn't go in guns blazing. Kids do exaggerate and stretch the truth, so it mightnt be what happened.
Now, maybe it is, and then yes she should crack down on the school. But OP needs to find out if it's the actual truth of the situation.

Mind you, I think face to the wall is a ridiculous punishment. Outside the door until they can be spoken to sure - but facing the wall?

Incunabula Sat 21-May-16 14:33:45

I don't think there should be any punishment in cases such as this, just an attempt to get to the bottom of the problem and take remedial action. For example, I know one of the other children who was involved lives in a very cramped 1 bedroom flat with her sister and 2 virtually non English speaking parents. She is a lovely and really well behaved little girl, and I think there might be other ways the school could help her rather than trying to embarrass her into better performance. Apparently she cried for the whole 5 minutes she was facing the wall. Feel so sad about it.

KindDogsTail Sat 21-May-16 15:00:09

Please get back to let people on here know what the school says Incu
this really does seem sad, counter-productive and more bullying than anything.

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