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Are all teachers so reluctant to provide parents with a class timetable?

(34 Posts)
Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 10:10:24

I should post in Education really, but don't have the energy for a bunfight.

Ds has AS, with all the accompanying needs for routine, structure, etc. After much nagging, I was given a timetable which shows what subjects they do in the morning. I think this is laid down in the NC anyway but I might be wrong.

However, the afternoon sessions are blank. I noticed this in the last school year and assumed it was just that particular teacher. It happened again this year, and despite much pressure, the teacher is just not prepared to say what's being taught in the afternoon, other than Art, Science or Topic. She wouldn't even commit to the order of lessons, as she decided on the day what order to run them.

Is it just this school?

milocuckoomitten Fri 05-Apr-13 23:12:47

I am a teacher and have two children with asd dx in my class. I do provide a weekly timetable with times of all fixed sessions, but have to leave some just marked topic because they are cross-curricular and I fit the different sessions in at different points in the week, depending on their content. To deal with this the children also have personal visual timetables as well as the one for the whole class, which I talk through each morning. I also try to explain any changes to them as soon as I know about them. Posting this has reminded me that I need to do updated timetable for next term so thanks!
Another reason that children may not be told about changes in advance is that I don't know - I often know that I will have a meeting on a given day but not who is covering or during what lesson, so have to chase up and inform children as soon as I do know.

neverputasockinatoaster Mon 01-Apr-13 09:02:51

I want to work in Brambles school!

Bramblesinafield Sun 31-Mar-13 13:41:14

How frustrating. And thank you for kind words. We are on a learning curve along with our parents, its only right that our children go to school where they live. We must learn to meet their needs. They should only go to a specialist settings if our environment can't be adapted to suit.

Sadly with changes in government funding for sen we are becoming more and more stretched, it is heartbreaking.

bigTillyMint Sun 31-Mar-13 12:38:47

confused Must be very frustrating for you and him.

Icedcakeandflower Sun 31-Mar-13 12:31:40

bigTillyMint Here's the ironic bit, apparently school is highly experienced and skilled in dealing with asd - so said autism outreach - so said cahms.

When they failed, it's "he should be in a special school, we just don't have the expertise".

Yet the LA are insisting on naming them in ds' statement.

bigTillyMint Sun 31-Mar-13 11:58:12

I agree Brambles, your school sounds great - love the reporter idea.

IcedCake I feel your DS's pain re female singing voices, particularly of the operatic kind - really jarring. Could you recommend some ASD training to the school - I think the NAS may even do it for free and they were very good.

Icedcakeandflower Sun 31-Mar-13 10:20:31

Brambles, can ds go to your school? grin

Ds' school is not uncaring - I think it needs one person to be responsible for the child, look out for his needs, and communicate for that child if he's not able to.

Ds has severe SPD, dyspraxia as well as AS. These are only some examples of what happened when they forgot to think about his needs:

- Every topic seems to have dance incorporated, and each time no thought is given to ds.
- He went on a school trip to the Imperial War Museum in London and was made to go through a war raid shelter which was pitch black with cries of fear and bombing through the speaker. He had nightmares for weeks.
- He has extremely low tolerance for female singing voices, and had to sit through nearly two hours of a musical.

Consistency is all important, not care when you feel like it, can remember, or can be bothered.

Handywoman Sun 31-Mar-13 10:10:21

Oh Brambles your school (and you) sound amazing!

Bramblesinafield Sun 31-Mar-13 09:24:55

Yes I am in a mainstream school. I'm proud of what we do for our children with sen, but not too proud that we never move on. We have a number of children with asd, ADHD, etc. we have great staff and continually update training.

I like the idea of a wild card too.

We use a lot of social stories, particularly for over summer and transition. When we have a school trip, we send some of our children on a pre visit if we can (particularly if there's a sensory aspect like a theatre trip) and they take photos and act as a young reporter, making their own photo social story to report back to class.

coff33pot Sun 31-Mar-13 02:07:25

At the end of the day your DS still needs structure and routine in order to function without stress.

Your DS should not be expected to work to the NC the same as everyone else and accept the unpredictability of it without the necessary support in place. The NC, and the way to teach it should be adapted for your DS to suit his needs and his SN.

It wouldnt hurt the school to provide you with a personal timetable for your DS.

My DS has one and it is done "to time" breaks, lunch, free time, chill out time (his breaks) are slotted in and around them are his lessons for the day.

Where its an unpredictable day then there is a "wild card" a question mark slotted in, so he already knows its "teachers choice of the day". Now he can accept this BECAUSE it is there in black and white telling him that its a multi choice afternoon so he is more accepting of it. Plus he knows how long its going on for and what time it finishes for him to escape! grin

To him its a bit like saying its the teachers turn to choose because I have had my free time choice for the afternoon etc?

Anything thats not the norm is usually carefully planned around his free choice time.

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 30-Mar-13 22:56:40

I'm a primary school teacher.

At our place we generally have a 'fixedish' timetable - PE will be fixed as will ICT for example. Mornings are fixed moslty as that is when we have most of the support from TAs etc.

We have a visual timetable in each classroom and have 'wild cards' to put up for unusual events.

I don't think we do enough to prepare the children we teach for changes. I like the pencil case idea and am nicking it for DS!

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 21:27:23

That sounds great, Bramble smileAre you in a mainstream school?

Ds' school tries to make adjustments, but nothing is consistent. Over time negativity builds up, and now ds is not able to go into his classroom.

I don't think I should have to remind school every time they have a change to the routine to remember ds. But if I don't, they won't always remember hmm

Bramblesinafield Sat 30-Mar-13 20:10:50

Timetables may change, but on the main will have a similar structure - it's good to ahve the flexibility n teaching. However, we have a few children with ASC in our setting. What we use is a personalized visual timetable on a oencil case, with a strip of Velcro along the case, with the child's timetable for that day on it, then each piece taken off at a time. There are symbols for visitors or for tipsy turvey if the day is to be a bit more free in one of its sections. It works well. A least this way if there are late decisions they can be visually structured on the day. I'm all for flexibility, but the children's needs are not just educational.

In addition to this we have a visual timetable for planning ahead for visits, etc, which we use in conjunction with social stories/ photos etc for preparation.

My ds is in primary too, at his last school his 1 to 1 would have prepared him for changes/timetable - that is my next battle!

We got a timetable for our ds, after a week of meltdowns from him, they last a long time and cause incredible disruption. We had requested one a couple of times and then we wrote a letter to the school, ht, psychologist and autism outreach - then we got one.

It is basic, but even if there are changes in the timetable at least my ds knows when maths/music/p.e/assembly etc are on and I can talk to him about it, to help prepare him for the day ahead. So simple, yet so helpful.

PolterGooseLaidAChocolateEgg Sat 30-Mar-13 19:36:47

Icedcake I have similar problems with ds who is in Y5 and has AS sad

In Y3 his lovely teacher would print the following weeks timetable every Friday for us and would handwrite in any known changes. Y4 the teacher always forgot, but same teacher is doing it now in Y5 since I got very pissed off and ds got close to school refusal. We don't get it until Monday but it does say when there are supply teachers which is really important for ds to know. There are still frequent changes though and it is infuriating when I spend an hour at bedtime preparing ds for something the following day and then again have to address it on the way to school and then they don't bloody do it angry

A timetable in school is not enough, ds gets anxious at home not knowing what is happening that or the next day. The timetable is also important for us to ask ds about his day, eg he will get fixated on the one thing he hated that day and forget about the excellent lesson on something he enjoyed, knowing what they did on any given day means we can review his day with him in a positive and more knowledgeable way.

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 18:53:30

Thanks Aunt and heggie for taking the time to explain smile. All I wanted from the teacher was a timetable showing what subjects were on at what time.

It was for ds' benefit as he would ask me either in the evening or at breakfast what would be on. It' was especially important when he started finding school too hard, and only managed to get into school partway through the day.

Seconday schools have set timetables. When I was at primary school in prehistoric times, we were all issued with timetables that never diverted from the published. It appears some primary schools still have set timetables, I guess it's the way some schools work. It's not a criticism, it's just not helpful to children like ds sad

heggiehog Sat 30-Mar-13 18:24:51

I am a teacher. As the previous poster said timetables tend to change on a daily basis due to the busy/unpredictable nature of school life and the restrictions of the curriculum.

My daily timetable is based on a quick calculation of how much lesson time the children will need to complete the objectives, i.e. if we have a big science experiment to do I might need to move science from a short Monday slot to a longer Tuesday slot. Etc etc etc.

It would be absolutely pointless me providing a timetable for parents. We do however have a visual timetable for all the children, which is changed every day.

auntevil Sat 30-Mar-13 17:16:41

I think that the problem in handing out a set weekly planned curriculum is that they are so often disrupted by other things going on, that they would forever be changing the order anyway.
We try to keep an order - particularly in the mornings. Then you have Easter - another class needs the hall for a hat parade, so PE is changed, an extra assembly for the local vicar, red nose day, science week ...... We tend to have a good idea weekly, then the d&v bug hit and staff were decimated. Unfortunately this is very common - and don't get me started on Christmas and sports day and leavers shows etc etc. The whole organisation is not ASD routine friendly.
I agree with you icedcake re the set approach to ASD from outreach. The best resource imo is a good TA/LSA, who will work with the parent.

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 12:52:01

Only independent ones. There are ASD units at secondary, but nothing at primary.

bigTillyMint Sat 30-Mar-13 12:24:55

And I thought our LA were bad!

Surely there are specialist ASD schools? We have one purely for ASD primary plus 3 primary units in our LA. It's shocking how much the provision varies.

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 12:19:00

Ds was given a visual timetable, in fact he had the whole caboodle of outreach and OT suggested intervention - own workstation sited where he chose, own filing trolley, workstation, iPad, notice board with visual timetables (afternoons blank!), fiddle toys, etc!

None of them helped sad

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 12:15:21

There is no asd provision at primary level. Any ASD children who are unable to cope are shipped off to BESD schools angry sad.

It has been proposed that ds gets 25 hours; what the HT shared was that another child had 1-1 qualified teacher hours written into his statement. It's had no idea that was even possible, but am considering this as an option.

bigTillyMint Sat 30-Mar-13 12:06:59

If you get a full 25hours (not sure they give any more than that now?) then that is calculated in TA time and will unfirtunately not go as far in teacher time.

In my LA we have ASD units in m/s schools which enable the child to spend time in both settings so as to best meet their needs - would this be a possibility gor you?

I agree that your DS needs to have predictable routines (I actually think all children do, but then I'm old-skool) - surely they could do this for most of each day and have a velcro visual timetable which could be changed slightly as necessary (as someone else suggested!)?

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 11:52:36

Thanks, IA. I've asked for an independent specialist school. However, the HT shared with me what's been done with a similar child in the past, and I have been giving it some thought.

So this child had a statement with TA support, 2 hours pw individual qualified teacher hours, and was taught in a separate room. He joined the other children in some assemblies, playtime, lunchtime, social and other clubs.

It sounds appealing, although I would want at least 10 hours ow 1-1 teaching.

What do you think?

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