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To not send my 6 year old to extra Maths after school?

(91 Posts)
IHeartKingThistle Mon 11-Apr-16 23:53:04

I'm a governor at the school. Eyebrows will be raised.

I'm not sure I care. DS is 6 years old. He is the youngest in the year. In a term he has gone from loving school to saying he hates it. He doesn't, there's lots he still loves, but all he can think about is English and Maths tests. He was quite tearful about it tonight.

Most of the class have been invited to after school Maths sessions. They're not compulsory. He doesn't want to go. I don't want to send him. I expect most of the other children will go.

I don't believe in the SATs system at all (I'm a teacher, but not primary) but I am usually quite careful to be diplomatic in front of the DC. WIBU to put what he wants first for once?

Disclaimer: I'll do some Maths stuff with him at home. I just think a full day of school is ENOUGH.

BoboChic Mon 11-Apr-16 23:54:31

Just do it with him at home.

fatmomma99 Mon 11-Apr-16 23:57:05

I'm a gvnr in a primary too (only an associate, though). I'm not sure why you think being a gvnr is relevant to your situation?

Suggest you have a chat to the head of year or the head, see what they want to get out of the extra sessions and see what you can provide at home, but think this is probably about the new curriculum, and wanting as many children as possible to pass.

As a gvnr you'll know how poor stats can invite a nosy OFSTED.

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 11-Apr-16 23:58:19

In those circumstances YANBU at all. The tuition isn't for his benefit.
My (older) DD stays after school for g&t maths because she enjoys it but that's an enrichment thing for her.

TheDornishmansWife Tue 12-Apr-16 00:03:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

incywincybitofa Tue 12-Apr-16 00:43:12

Why are they all being given extra Maths ?
If it is a club like French club fair enough you choose if he goes
If it is a club for exceedingly clever little maths bods well his year must be super bright and they are obviously doing really well with their maths teaching in school hours so he doesn't need it.
If it is for extra maths support-as a governor perhaps you could raise why is that necessary for so many children in the class?
But I can not see any reason why there is an expectation that so many will go

ChalkHearts Tue 12-Apr-16 00:55:01

If he's behind in maths you are being a bit unreasonable.

But if he's not behind don't send him.

I agree with a PP, being a governor is irrelevant.

Quietlygoingmad67 Tue 12-Apr-16 00:58:44

If he doesn't want to go then no I don't think you are being unreasonable. Take him to the park and let him play on the swings or have a run around surely thats what 6yo should be doing after school

novemberchild Tue 12-Apr-16 00:59:11

Good Lord, no. Teach at home if he needs it. A six year old terrified of tests is ridiculous. Poor little chap.

Couchpotato3 Tue 12-Apr-16 01:01:08

Actually I think the OP being a governor IS relevant to her situation. Not sending her son to the extra maths sessions may be seen as a comment on the school's provision and lead to awkward questions from other parents or teachers, so it might affect her decision.

IHeartKingThistle Tue 12-Apr-16 01:18:00

Thanks all.

He's average in Maths, it's more the format of the tests that throws him. It looks like only the very top of the class were not invited to these sessions.

I have defended this school tooth and nail in my community for years, which is I suppose why I mentioned the governor bit. Sort of feels like I'd be publicly saying I have no faith in them, though I know that's stupid. I want my children to value education, but I can't see a scrap of value in these tests and in fact, they are actually making my 6 year old feel like he's not good enough for the first time. I can't look back and say I enabled that.

I'm all for raising his confidence in Maths though. Just don't think testing and after school stuff is the way to do it.

anklebitersmum Tue 12-Apr-16 01:19:02

If he doesn't want to go don't send him! Being a governor is a teeny eeny weeny little bit relevant I suppose if you were more bothered about what the prolls think than what your son wants (which clearly you aren't).

Six year old children should be enjoying school and learning not freaking out about tests looming on the horizon angry

I think you'd do your son and probably his classmates a huge favour if you used your influence to look into why there's a need for a bulk after school maths class at age 6 confused and why on earth your son is stressing about tests-that pressure is being applied from somewhere and it doesn't sound like it's you.

mmgirish Tue 12-Apr-16 01:38:18

It's a sad state of affairs when nearly a whole class of primary students are being invited to after school booster sessions. It shows how much pressure those teachers must be under to produce good results. That kind of atmosphere is not conducive to raising standards at all. It only provides an environment for fear to grow.

If I were you, I wouldn't send my son if he was already struggling to enjoy school. It won't help him.

Itinerary Tue 12-Apr-16 01:38:58

Let people raise their eyebrows as much as they like. You'd be doing nothing wrong by declining a particular out of school activity. You don't have to do what everyone else wants just because you're a governor.

Mistigri Tue 12-Apr-16 05:34:30

As a parent who is also a governor, your son's best interests still come first.

If you believe that extra tuition is not appropriate for him, then you absolutely should not send him.

So glad that I don't have children in UK schools right now sad

parrots Tue 12-Apr-16 05:39:32

I have been following Michael Rosen and the Roar page on Facebook recently, this sort of thing is becoming depressingly familiar. It's not right and it's important for parents like you to take a stand against it before lasting damage is done.

Stanky Tue 12-Apr-16 05:43:03

It's so sad that UK children as young as 6 are stressing out about tests. Children in other countries haven't even started school yet at that age. Our children are not getting any benefit from being pressured so young. It makes many children very unhappy, and I think that it seriously needs addressing.

acasualobserver Tue 12-Apr-16 05:51:21

If any of this were about helping children become better at maths (or English, or anything) I'd have some sympathy for extending the school hours in this way. But it's not about that and everyone knows it. People have got to start objecting and, as a governor, you are well placed to set an example.

Wizzles Tue 12-Apr-16 06:23:37

I may be totally misunderstanding (no experience with schooling yet!) but if the school are suggesting that practically the whole class "need" extra maths, does that not say more about the amount/quality of maths teaching they are having within the school day?

Can they not just increase/improve that?

tobysmum77 Tue 12-Apr-16 06:50:48

OP I think there is a bigger issue here. My dd is also in year 2 and has no idea she is going to do tests at all. She isn't daft and normally works things out btw.

As a governor I think you need to be asking why the school are choosing to put pressure on tiny little children. Assuming that its a whole through primary the better the children do in KS1 the more will be expected in KS2 by OFSTED so it isn't even necessarily sensible from a league table perspective.

Lollipopstick Tue 12-Apr-16 06:51:29

I'm in Ireland so we don't have SATs - there is no pressure whatsoever on my 6 yr old DC. The maths they are doing here doesn't seem as advanced as what is done in the UK at this stage - but I have a feeling it won't make much of a difference to my DC 20 or 30 years from now. DC will spend the rest of this year adding within 10 and learning about coins, shapes and the clock etc.

Are the SATs just for the benefit of school's rating or something? I don't understand why parents feel under pressure for their children to do well. It's not like a 6 yr old doesn't have years to turn things around. I did the bare minimum to get by in primary school but in late secondary school I studied very hard and ended up being up on the top of my class in order to do the course I wanted.

Your priority is your child at the end of the day so if he doesn't want to go don't send him. If he actually does need extra help then you could do it at home with no pressure.

TisIthecat Tue 12-Apr-16 06:56:37

For those posters who seem concerned about most of the class needing extra maths - the key stage 1 SAT syllabus was published in September and is being examined in may. It is a 2 year course and whilst some if it is covered in year 1, It Does contain slightly more than fits in one year plus having to learn exam skills at 6.

Things are tougher for year 6 who have had to learn what was previously year 8 material.

I hate small kids, and not so small kids being used as political pawns. These tests do not benefit the kids or the schools.

OP, I think you're right to pull him out although it might be worth seeing if the school would change its approach for next year. DD's school has managed to deliver the course so far without stressing the kids at all. They are mostly enjoying doing the 'work sheets' and are chilled about the assessmentsame coming up.

LindyHemming Tue 12-Apr-16 06:58:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Believeitornot Tue 12-Apr-16 07:01:13

The role of a governor is not to blanket defend school policy. It is to be a critical friend.

So now is the time to get critical but not from your single perspective but more broadly.

YANBU but YABU if you don't raise as a governor

Mellowautumn Tue 12-Apr-16 07:05:33

Studies have shown lots of maths we teach in our primaries kids are just too young for - bit like potty training - when they are ready they will get it and you risk putting him off maths forever.

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