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CBeebies and Nursery

(39 Posts)
Sellertape Sun 18-Oct-15 11:54:47

DD is nearly 4, is at a Primary School nursery and she's brought home a letter saying that, as a class, they are going to be talking about characters on CBeebies and comparing the childrens' achievements with various character traits of CBeebies characters. E.g
"I swam a length and felt proud, like Topsy and Tim"; "I was really creative, like Mr Maker". We've been given a handout detailing the features of each character (Tree Fu Tom, Wooly and Tig etc) I have to complete 'Wow' slips and refer her achievements to the Octonauts.....

My issue is that DD rarely watches TV at home and so doesn't know any of the CBeebies characters in great detail.
I'm not all 'worthy' and all that, but we just don't put on the telly for her and DS (6) and so they never ask for it. I'm next against TV but I'm thinking, why the need to use CBeebies as their main point of reference?

So she's going to be asked, on a daily basis, to compare her behaviours / achievements with random characters from CBeebies

AIBU to not want to go along with this?
I don't want her to think that she's really missing out on TV just because they're talking about it every day in nursery.

AND there's those 'CBeebies Universe' ads that have been playing on TV and Radio - they just show kids all siting in front of the telly / iPads ad it just grates on me. Is there no other way for our kids to learn?? Why does it need to feed into her learning at nursery?

Am I being uptight?

Sellertape Sun 18-Oct-15 11:55:49

"Not", not "next"....

Floggingmolly Sun 18-Oct-15 11:57:54

That sounds bloody odd confused

Notimefortossers Sun 18-Oct-15 12:03:46

I think it's a very strange thing for a nursery to do and U of them to assume that all kids know Cbeebies like the back of their hand.
However, YABU to think that you kids will NEVER feel like they're missing out on TV. I imagine your son's age group will soon start talking about their favourite shows and what they like watching and he WILL feel left out.
I have a similar problem with Halloween (me and DH don't like it, have never celebrated it with our kids) and SHIT pop acts like One Direction.
But now my DD is 7 she wants to go trick or treating with her friends and they're all talking about it at school and she complained the other day that all the other kids are crazy about One Direction and she doesn't even know who they are. I explained to her that that's ok and it's better to be yourself and not like things just because everyone else does . . . but I don't feel that's really any comfort to a 7 year old who's only just found her social confidence . . . So I'm basically considering just giving in and letting her expose herself to both :\

WhimsicalWinnifred Sun 18-Oct-15 12:06:21

I think this is a good exercise. It is generally something most children will watch and it will make the children think about themselves and characters and I think it will teach them a lot about actions and feelings.

It is unusual for a child to not watch cbeebies and know about these characters.

DD doesn't watch this at home (she has full access to Netflix whenever she wants, she is 4) but she does watch it at her childminders and all of my friends always have the tv on kids channels in the background.

I think you just have to accept the majority of the class do things differently to you and adapt.

TheNewStatesman Sun 18-Oct-15 12:16:52

I think it's stupid and lame.

If they want children to compare themselves to characters, then why not have the children compare themselves to characters in books that have been read out during story time etc?

They should not assume that everyone watches TV, or watches those particular programs.

Rebecca2014 Sun 18-Oct-15 12:23:28

Eh I don't see the big deal. The majority of kids watch cbeebies and if it helps them learn, then great.

Mumberjack Sun 18-Oct-15 12:24:09

Agree that it would be more suitable for them to use book characters, or use their imagination rather than compare to TV characters.
However there are worse things than CBeebies, a lot of money and effort goes into the educational content of shows. Plus their accompanying resources such as the app are good quality.

WorraLiberty Sun 18-Oct-15 12:27:25

Homework in nursery is weird full stop.

But I suppose if they're going to set it, they might as well go with what the majority of kids know.

If you've been given a handout detailing the features of each character, it shouldn't be difficult to do.

abbieanders Sun 18-Oct-15 12:32:27

I think that's just awful. Why are people trained in child development unable to think of any way to do this that doesn't rely on watching hours of TV at preschool age? Surely they can do better than that?

I would not be happy.

theycallmemellojello Sun 18-Oct-15 12:34:08

Yep, I wouldn't be happy about this! I am someone who has no compunction complaining and who is and plans to stay strict on screen time. I'd tell them I wasn't happy with this and explain why. They can use book characters or something.

abbieanders Sun 18-Oct-15 12:36:59

They can even invent characters and stories suitable to the task if they want to. Use puppets, pictures, little rhymes, activities, all sorts of engaged activities.

Snossidge Sun 18-Oct-15 12:40:59

I don't see the issue.

The aim is just for the children to become familiar with the "Characteristics of Effective Learning" (part of EYFS curriculum) and recognise how they use them in their play/learning.

Some teachers might use animals (eg. curious cat), some might invent their own dinosaurs or superheroes that embody the characteristics, this teacher has decided to use characters most children are already familiar with.

Your DD doesn't need to watch TV to become familiar with the characters as they will talk about them at nursery.

Snossidge Sun 18-Oct-15 12:43:01

Wow stickers aren't really homework, it's just a way of sharing your DD's achievements at home with the school.

If you don't want to do it, or don't want to refer to the characters, then don't.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Sun 18-Oct-15 12:43:49

I really can't find it in me to get upset about my children watching TV. As long as they still play creatively, read independently and spend lots of time outdoors, I don't think an hour of TV a day is going to do them any harm whatsoever! A lot of the programmes on cbeebies were very educational when DD1 was young enough to watch them, and we often enjoyed watching together.

You'll find that not all parents read to their children, but the vast majority let their DC to watch TV so this way there is common ground for the children to draw comparisons from.

Complain if you feel very strongly about this, butit's unlikely the class leader will change the activity at your request so your DD may be left feeling excluded if you don't allow her to take part.

Snossidge Sun 18-Oct-15 12:44:48

It's not like you even have to watch TV...

Sirzy Sun 18-Oct-15 12:45:04

It is something most of the children will know so it seems like a good point of reference for such an activity.

madein1995 Sun 18-Oct-15 12:52:03

Problem is that this sort of assuming can actually cause some tension between nursery and home. For whatever reason, OP doesn't want her child to watch much tv and that is her choice and the setting should respect that. What is wrong with expanding the characters to TV and books? much fairer, wider scope then. Besides, the nursery shouldn't assume everyone has a tv - most do, but one of my uni friends who is 21 has never had a TV at home and they still don't now. Unusual yes, but wrong? no. Regardless of the parents reason for wanting the activity chanted, provided its reasonable (eg all characters not just tv) I see no reason the nursery couldn't change it.

Snossidge Sun 18-Oct-15 12:54:09

But what is the problem with the characters coming from TV? The OP doesn't have to let her child watch TV.

The reason the teacher won't want to change it is presumably she's put thought, time and effort into using something that is engaging for most of the children. Even if a child isn't familiar with the characters it doesn't stop the activity working.

Sellertape Sun 18-Oct-15 13:25:41

Thanks for your opinions, all.

This is an EYFS policy in school - they're doing it with all the Nursery and Reception classes, clearly to meet that EYFS goal of 'recognising the characteristics of effective learning'. I understand why they're doing it, it'll just seem a little false if I send in a Wow statement saying "DD did well in swimming and tried hard, just like Rebecca from Mike the Knight". This would then get read out in class and DD would be like, "wtf??" or 3-year-old thoughts to that effect...

Am not one to complain but I'll raise it with her teacher at parents' eve, and I'll just use comparisons with which she's more familiar (her brother etc.)

Snossidge Sun 18-Oct-15 13:46:59

They'll talk about them at nursery though, so she'll know that Mike the Knight is the character for "tries hard" and Peter Rabbit is the character for "has my own ideas". They will become familiar, just as they would if the teacher had made up completely new characters (Ideasaurus has his own ideas, or the Snail keeps on trying).

You seem unnecessarily hung up on the idea that she doesn't know the characters now - she will know them once they are talking about them every day.

Snossidge Sun 18-Oct-15 13:48:38

To be honest if I was the teacher I'd think you were beyond ridiculous if you said "oh DD can't use the school's characters, I'm going to make up my own ones especially for her".

Sellertape Sun 18-Oct-15 13:56:34

Yes, but it's not the School's characters - it's characters from CBeebies-the only way to learn about them is to sit and watch them on TV or or computer. Why should they be encouraging DD to engage in screen time? Should they not be moving away from this? Are they lacking imagination?

Can't they make up their own characters, e.g Sammy Snail who tries hard blah blah.....

Snossidge Sun 18-Oct-15 13:57:53

Now you're being ridiculous. There's no need for her to watch TV at all. They have explained the characters to you, and they will explain them to your DD every day at school.

Snossidge Sun 18-Oct-15 14:01:08

As for why they didn't make up there own characters - it doesn't matter now, they didn't, they chose some ready made characters that most of the children will find engaging. It's not a big deal.

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