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to think that school plays and other non curricular activities should be inclusive?

(120 Posts)
PosieComeHereMyPreciousParker Wed 10-Nov-10 17:23:59

DS1 has just come home with the four lines he has to learn for an assembly. He said he wanted to be one of the four soldiers, but he's a narrator instead. Before he named the four soldiers I could have listed them myself, the four most able boys in the class. Am I unreasonable to think that a good teacher would use instances like this to include pupils that aren't top of the class? It wouldn't have mattered if DS1 hadn't been picked if it was four other boys, but the same four as always just seems a bit lazy.

The teacher has asked to borrow DS1's coat for one of the soldiers....talk about insult to injury.

sarah293 Wed 10-Nov-10 17:26:03

Message withdrawn

pointydog Wed 10-Nov-10 17:38:04

School plays are a nightmare.

The kids with the loudest voices are normally picked for big speaking parts, being 'able' doesn't really come into it at all.

TheMeow Wed 10-Nov-10 17:40:25

The children of the PTA members were always picked for the leads in our school. Nothing funny going on there was there?

Hulababy Wed 10-Nov-10 17:43:06

We don't chose he most able academically for school play parts.

We do chose able readers as narrators though as they often have more lines to read/learn than other parts.

The rest are done on merit and who we think will perform that part best on the day. This term we will be looking out for children who we think will have the confidence and decent enough voice to sing some small group parts and poss duet.solo. We are looking for ones able to remember simple dance routines. We are looking for ones who are brave enough to come on stage and talk so people can hear them. And lots more.

We have 90 in a year group - they can't all have the leading role.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 10-Nov-10 17:46:09

DDs year 6 play, one of the best parts went to one of the least academically able boys because he could act

TmiEdward Wed 10-Nov-10 17:49:48

We have 70 in the school, and every child (except the religious objector) has a part in the Christmas play.
Surely it makes sense that the children most able to read and learn the lines get the talking parts?
The children audtion for their parts.

The school hall is noisy with fidgety babies and cooing grandmas, so loud speakers are necessary. We've had complaints at mumbling children in plays before.
As a teacher, I'd quite honestly forgo seeing my son in a play if it meant not having the hassle of organising this ridiculous Christmas folly. Nobody is happy.

PosieComeHereMyPreciousParker Wed 10-Nov-10 17:54:53

This is a class assembly, so a perfect opportunity for other children to shine.

DS1 is good at acting, but not amazing at school work. Whilst this is not about him getting the part I would have thought this would have been a good point to pick a less able person./

madsadlibrarian Wed 10-Nov-10 17:55:06

gawd tell me about it - ours is fully inclusive - no-one has a speaking part - every blardy class sings a song - with a three form intake that's a lot of songs

one year we turned up and he wasn't in it (he has special needs and wouldn't go on stage for them

I didn't care he wasn't in it - just wish I had blardy known before we sat through the damn thing

gothelen Wed 10-Nov-10 17:55:44

YANBU, I understand that not everyone can have a big part but last year DD left middle school. I could have told you who would get cast in leading roles and who would be stuck at the back filling in the spaces in the scenery before they cast the parts. In the 7 years she was educated with that cohort of children it was consistently the same ones who got the leads in every play/production/assembly. You may say that the most able to perform are picked but honestly, how do the others get the confidence if it's not divvied up a little bit more fairly earlier on? I'm not talking about forcing parts on the children but if they hold auditions could they not look outside the normal pool when giving out roles? DD was gutted in her last production at that school she was yet again playing "third spear carrier" (walk on/walk off/no lines) when she's perfectly capable of more. (And has been in a fairly renowned local theatre groups Shakespeare productions so not just PFBitis on my part wink)

PS: One of the girls was picked more on her mums ability to provide costumes and run the PTA than anything else! hmm

GiddyPickle Wed 10-Nov-10 17:59:29

At our school its the ultra confident and self assertive who get the good parts. Nothing to do with academic ability but yes - the same children year in year out.

And I speak as a parent of a DS who never gets any role apart from being in the chorus and a DD who elbows aside the competition to be a leading role every single year. I flit from exasperated to embarrassed depending on which play I am attending.

pointydog Wed 10-Nov-10 18:01:09

No, classs assemblies just the same as school plays. Kids with loudest voices chosen.

Nothing worse than performing to a load of other kids who cannot hear a word.

GiddyPickle Wed 10-Nov-10 18:04:29

But pointy dog - how do the quiet children ever grow in confidence if they are never picked? Its a vicious circle

My DD is a total loon. She is mad and loud and doesn't need any encouragement at all yet is always picked (I say "picked" - I don't think the poor teacher has a lot of say in it).
My DS however is so quiet. Obviously his vocal chords are the same as everybody else's. Being loud enough to be heard isn't a physical trait, it is something that teachers could help those who are naturally quiet to become.

PosieComeHereMyPreciousParker Wed 10-Nov-10 18:09:26

I was the child always picked, the same committed parents would turn up every time to watch their slightly over weight or unconfident or not very bright kids shoved at the back. It's not about the teacher, it's about every child. Some of the less wealthy kids never do a thing...

Marjoriew Wed 10-Nov-10 18:10:43

I can tell you it's been the same from time immemorial.
My youngest is 26 and even then it was the kids whose mum and dads were on the PTA, Board of Governors or of parents who contributed their cash and time to the school.
Didn't matter a jot if they could sing or play an instrument.
It was torture.

PosieComeHereMyPreciousParker Wed 10-Nov-10 18:11:22

The kids picked in this instance are the very bright and so their self esteem is already pretty high with the amazing work that they do. I want to see the others get a chance that's all.

sarah293 Wed 10-Nov-10 18:12:25

Message withdrawn

misdee Wed 10-Nov-10 18:14:12

dd2 is always a narroter as she is the most able reader i nher class.

dd1 wanted a chance to play oliver in her yr 6 xmas play. but was told no as she is a girl.

activate Wed 10-Nov-10 18:15:32

I would have thought 4 lines and narrator was a fairly big part for an assembly

Bonsoir Wed 10-Nov-10 18:15:34

I completely agree with the OP.

woolymindy Wed 10-Nov-10 18:17:37

At our old school children of PTA were picked, it was always so obvious and caused a great deal of playground disharmony (between the mummies....)

My DH went to a traditional Catholic primary and they did assemblies all the time - He was ALWAYS Jesus for about 4 years..... The Headmistress loved him and it is still a standing joke with friends almost 30 years later.

but yes, plays should be inclusive but seldom are

needafootmassage Wed 10-Nov-10 18:17:41

The nicest brightest kids were narrators in my old school. I'd be proud if I were you. Anyone can march around looking soldiery.

curlymama Wed 10-Nov-10 18:17:46

Be proud OP, being a narrator is a good part!

I must be lucky at our school, because I've had a mix of both my ds's either doing next to nothing or being centre stage.

PosieComeHereMyPreciousParker Wed 10-Nov-10 18:19:17

TBH I like to see a child pick their nose and eat it whilst talking about 'Our Saviour'!!

PosieComeHereMyPreciousParker Wed 10-Nov-10 18:20:04

It's not really about DS, well sort of, it's more about spreading the self esteem around!!

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