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To think this is too harsh for 3/4 year olds??

(19 Posts)
JoandMax Thu 13-Mar-14 12:53:30

Fully prepared to hear I'm being precious over this but here goes....

DS2 is in Foundation 1 at school (we're in ME, its same as pre-school), he turns 4 next week.

They have a points system where every good thing gets a point, if you get 10 you get a sticker. Points are taken away for naughty behaviour. I am fine with this in principle however have an issue with how its being implemented.

I arrived early to collect today and could see them all sitting on the carpet with a big screen showing all their names and points. The teacher was then going through each child adding or taking away points and telling them all why. I really am not sure this is appropriate, it feels humiliating to me for them to sit there in front of the whole class being told what they've done. I also feel at that age the punishment should be at the time the problem occured not potentially hours later....

Anyway I could see DS2 had one taken away so after we left I asked him why and he said it was for eating his lunch too slowly. I assumed the taking away would be for things like hitting or snatching, something worthy at least! To also add DS2 was tube fed until last year, the teacher knows this and I had hoped was understanding that sometimes he's a bit funny around eating. Surely a better approach would be encouraging him and praise if he tries to be quicker?

Is this not a bit harsh and negative for a group of 3 and 4 year olds??? I know they have to behave and have consequences but it seems a bit hardline to me.

pointythings Thu 13-Mar-14 12:56:10

Nope, not too harsh and utterly inappropriate. I wouldn't like this even at primary age. I would seriously be rethinking my choice of school at this point. Humiliating a child in public is never, ever good teaching practice and I'm shocked that the school allows it. Ask if this is school policy and then make a decision about your DS's future, because it is damaging.

Lottiedoubtie Thu 13-Mar-14 12:56:25

It wouldn't happen in the UK, but I'm assuming in the ME you are dealing with a totally different culture. It doesn't sound so horrendous I'd pull him out, so I think it's in the category of 'just one of those things' if you are going to educate him in the ME.

ChocolateBiscuitCake Thu 13-Mar-14 12:57:38


I have a nearly 4 year old and he would not respond well to this kind of strategy.

As for the food thing - I would be furious - they are still very little and behaviour management should be POSITIVE.

apermanentheadache Thu 13-Mar-14 12:57:44

It's terrible! I would look for somewhere else.

JoandMax Thu 13-Mar-14 13:00:14

Glad I'm not over reacting!

Apart from this we're very happy with the school, both DSs love going so as long as this is resolved I wouldn't want to move them. Getting into good schools here is a nightmare....

dyslexicdespot Thu 13-Mar-14 13:00:38

I would start to look for a new school ASAP.

aworkingmummy Thu 13-Mar-14 13:01:46

I agree with pointy - it's ridiculous, unproductive and potentially damaging.

JoandMax Thu 13-Mar-14 13:02:13

Lottie - its a British school following NC so there shouldn't technically be any differences to UK

If the session also involves the addition of points, then presumably the teacher is encouraging and praising the behaviour that earned the points, as well as pointing out the behaviour that had lost points?

Was your child upset by the loss of the point, and having it pointed out in front of the rest of the class? If so, I would have a word with the teacher, and remind her about the fact he used to be tube-fed, and emphasise that you don't want eating to become an area of stress for him. It might also be worth asking if he gains a point if he eats his lunch in a timely manner - if there is both carrot and stick, if you see what I mean.

I do understand what you are saying about immediacy of rewards and punishments being important at that age - but I would assume that, when someone earns or loses a point, she says so at the time - "Well done Johnny, that is excellent work - you get a point for that!" - and the session later on is a single round up of all the points won and lost during the day - I would be surprised if they sat down and were only told then what they were receiving or losing points for - if that makes sense.

RedandChecker Thu 13-Mar-14 13:05:01

I do a star chart at home based on this points system giving and taking away. However if DS was being sat down infront of everyone having points taken away I would have a problem, like you said, humiliating. If it was for not eating quick enough i'd be livid, especially as they know he was tube fed.

JoandMax Thu 13-Mar-14 13:06:50

SDT, Im not sure if they are told at the time or not actually. I think I need a chat with the teacher to find out. And yes points were added in this session too.

DS2 wasn't bothered, he hates stickers anyway!! A couple of his friends did look anxious though so overall I don't think its a great approach

Feminine Thu 13-Mar-14 13:06:51

Where is ME? smile

JoandMax Thu 13-Mar-14 13:10:18

Middle East Feminine (Dubai but I'm reluctant to say that sometimes as there's some strong opposers on here......)

Feminine Thu 13-Mar-14 13:11:58

Sorry Jo, that is obvious now I concentrate. grin

You are not being unreasonable at all.

frumpity33higswash Thu 13-Mar-14 13:19:09

Yes, on the face of it, too too harsh

HeyNonny Thu 13-Mar-14 13:28:11

The 'punishment' for eating lunch too slowly in most UK schools is that either the child doesn't get to finish all their food or they get less playtime. Most sensible adults feel that this is something that's either outside the child's control and therefore should not be punished, or the choice made by the child (e.g. Talking instead of eating) is self-punishing (less time to talk in the playground).

Humiliation isn't exactly known for being a top motivational tool. By all means acknowledge the children who've done particularly well, or some of the reasons for the points being awarded, but that should also motivate the lower-scoring children.

RoaringTiger Thu 13-Mar-14 14:30:28

My 6 y/o wouldn't cope with that, she has asd and anxiety but is mainstream taught-that would send her over the edge.

Pippintea Thu 13-Mar-14 14:56:56

Wouldn't do this at primary OR secondary level either. YANBU

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