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To think that not every minute of the school day need be scheduled and "show progress"?

(23 Posts)
DrSeuss Wed 23-Oct-13 12:34:19

To me, as a teacher, form time is the twenty five minutes a day in which you hang out as a form, chat, help anyone who needs a hand, bollock anyone who needs bollocking, sometimes do charity projects such as harvest boxes, sometimes do quizzes, learn about the kids as people while they get to know you in a limited, as far as is appropriate, fashion. It makes a form special as a group.
I cannot warm to the idea of form time being forcibly productive, full of improving activities. There is a place for silent reading but is it really in my form? SMT say that there must be no dead time but how is cultivating social skills and forming bonds dead time?

cashmiriana Wed 23-Oct-13 13:29:29


It is not academic learning time, it has a different - and equally important role.

Mind you, I was once told by SMT that my class was wasting up to 2 hours per week and I needed to schedule activities in that "unused" time.

It was a Nursery class. The time was immediately before lunch when we were supervising small groups of 3 and 4 year olds to go to the toilet and wash their hands. Apparently that wasn't productive enough.

neverputasockinatoaster Wed 23-Oct-13 14:09:39


Now we just need lots and lots of people to say YANBU and then send a link from thsi thread to Gove, Ofsted and my SMT.....

GreenVelvet Wed 23-Oct-13 14:23:44


But whats SMT?

And Meh, while you're at it (always wondered).

DrSeuss Wed 23-Oct-13 14:41:12

Senior Management Team. They have difficulty walking as their heads are so far up their arses.

ReallyTired Wed 23-Oct-13 14:48:44

I have a theory: The final stages of a PGCE involves a lobotomy and joining the senior managment team requires a second lobotomy.

"Senior Management Team. They have difficulty walking as their heads are so far up their arses."

Exactly! Brain tissue has been removed to facilitate getting their heads up their arses.

Emotional welbeing is important and SMT forget this.

NoComet Wed 23-Oct-13 14:50:23

The same goes for secondary school!

DCs need down time, they need fun, they need trips, they need off time table days.

I think our SLT sort of get it, but Fucking Ofsted Don't!

GreenVelvet Wed 23-Oct-13 14:52:01

I see smile.

I am all for children being engaged at school. But sometimes I wonder if we do seem to be in danger of creating a hyper-culture where no one can be quiet or still or contemplate or relax socially for even a minute as its "not productive"

queenmools Wed 23-Oct-13 14:53:28

I couldn't agree more! Form time is so special and lovely and actually building that great relationship with a class has results in other areas of the curriculum too.

notwoo Wed 23-Oct-13 14:53:34


WilsonFrickett Wed 23-Oct-13 14:54:53

Everyone needs down time. At work it's called 'water cooler moments' (well, it is in American ad-land anyway!) The moments of non-productive time are when relationships and alliances are formed and information is exchanged. They are the only things I miss from the corporate world now I freelance from home. And there certainly is a place for them in the classroom, YAsoNBU.

Lilacroses Wed 23-Oct-13 14:58:49

YANBU YANBU YANBU....I could not agree with you more. Children do not just learn from formal lesson time. They need time to relax, socialise, play, consolidate what they have learned, talk freely, listen to each other, follow their own plans just like we do.

Lilacroses Wed 23-Oct-13 15:01:08

My Dd used to go to the most wonderful after school club when she was in infants school. She went once a week. They were "only marked good" by OFSTED rather than outstanding because her keyworker did not have information about my Dd's or other once a week users "next steps" and so was deemed to not be helping them to progress!!! She was there for 3 hours a week, she played with her friends and the playworkers, she had a brilliant time, she was happy.....but that was not enough apparently!

DrSeuss Wed 23-Oct-13 15:01:38

They were knownas the Senior Leadership Team for a while but people often referred to them as SLuTs.....

YDdraigGoch Wed 23-Oct-13 15:10:54

I've seen two DDs through school, and have just finished being a parent governor. IMO, schools (secondary ones in particular) are production lines these days. You put children in one end, and you get GCSE results the other. No time for fun, and extra-curricular activities in anything other than a minor way.

sweetiepie1979 Wed 23-Oct-13 15:14:16

Yanbr it's such bullshit isn't it? It's for the inspectors.

MatchsticksForMyEyes Wed 23-Oct-13 15:19:31

I am a y9 tutor. Every single form period for the year is accounted for. Numeracy, literacy, oracy, news and admin and assembly time. It is draining for all concerned, but we have drop-ins by SLT to check we are doing what we should.

LeBearPolar Wed 23-Oct-13 15:23:33

I agree wholeheartedly - I am a teacher too. Some of the most important work we do can be whilst informally chatting, whether in form period or on extra-curricular activities (I am a DofE leader). What's more, I would argue that as an English teacher, even a lesson where we have got sidetracked (which never happens, oh no) and ended up discussing something quite different from the lesson plan is valuable.

I have spent time discussing Margaret Thatcher, feminism, Communism, etc, none of which was on the lesson plan but which arose out of the students' natural curiosity and interest. Which I think is A Good Thing.

YDdraigGoch Wed 23-Oct-13 15:27:04

My DDs have finished school with minimum general knowledge - though I admit they seem to have studies some individual subjects in far more depth than I did. But it's general knowledge that makes the world interesting. The snippets I learned in school from (eg) my history teacher which had nothing to do with history have been far more useful than a history O Level

WilsonFrickett Wed 23-Oct-13 16:33:07

LePolar couldn't agree more, I still remember French lessons which sidetracked from 'ordering food' into 'what you should do if you wanted to send a dish back.' And my lovely Modern Studies teacher who was always happy to be sidetracked into a discussion about news/current affairs not that we ever took advantage of you sir, not us

NoComet Wed 23-Oct-13 23:00:30

I have spent time discussing Margaret Thatcher, feminism, Communism, etc, none of which was on the lesson plan but which arose out of the students' natural curiosity and interest. Which I think is A Good Thing.

It is a good thing!!!
It was only when DD1 told me who much she enjoyed animal farm, it suddenly dawned on be how much modern history she was born after.

Much of the modern politics makes very little sense without understanding the Cold War, Thatcherism and women's rights.

LeBearPolar Thu 24-Oct-13 09:15:33

Yes! Exactly! For the students I teach now, Thatcher is very much history. And I say to them, the miners' strikes, the Falklands, that was my childhood. Some of them have no idea who Germaine Greer is, and when I explain who she is (and that she taught me at university) they're fascinated.

And then we return to the main and subordinate clause...

gloriafloria Thu 24-Oct-13 09:52:42

YANBU!!! Please let's forward this thread to the powers that be. So crazy that every minute of school time must be 'utilised'. Do the people who dream up these ideas not have children of their own? Why would anyone want this for their children? Do they not take any time out during their working day for a gossip or a moan? Even special needs schools for children with profound multiple learning disabilities are subject to this nonsense. It seems according to Ofsted that the children are not allowed to just sit and be still for even 1 minute during the day. Even when they are sleeping they should have an activity on their tray???

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