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AIBU? -Probably - sodding school play

(228 Posts)
amerrylittlenamechange Wed 22-Nov-17 10:20:12

Yes, it’s one of those threads. I have a dd in Yr 6 - she’s one of the youngest, and it’s a difficult class in a largish primary. Lots of issues, which the school handles well - but things in her class are quite ‘locked down’ - lots of collective punishment and missing play, a bit of low-level disruption and being kicked etc, etc. It’s not the case in the rest of the school - I have another child further down - who has a genuinely lovely time in class. But this class is hard work. And dd is one of those well-behaved children who just gets overlooked in an environment like that.

The school has always been beautifully inclusive - which I really like - and very focussed on performing arts. And obviously it’s nearly Christmas, so they’ve just cast the school play. All but six children in her class have got something to do in it. There were no auditions - children just put their hand up (or shouted out, dd says) and she was at the back with her hand up every time and the teacher didn’t see her. She’s quite short, and not particularly confident. Though before anyone asks she is a good public speaker - it’s not that she can’t be loud when she needs to.

Now I’ve no problem with her not getting a part. You can’t win them all - and I’ve told her that - and she’s pinning her hopes on the Leavers ‘Production, where they will apparently be able to audition. She does drama out of school (a free afterschool club) anyway so she does get her chances. We had a chat about how good it was that lots of people who might not do drama elsewhere get a chance. She’s onboard with it all. She asked the teacher if there was any other way for her to be involved (at my instigation because she was so upset - asked about makeup, costumes, scenery, lighting etc) Told she might be able to help with the technology, but nothing has happened with that because the teacher ‘doesn’t have time to check’.

My issue is that there are a LOT of rehearsals. In other years children who haven’t got lines (which usually includes DD - though she has been a narrator once or twice) have been on stage singing and doing, you know, some kind of actions. This year, apparently they can’t be involved at all (not even with her class’s song, which is only done by children on stage), so they are just sitting on the bench doing nothing and watching everyone else during rehearsals.

There are a lot of rehearsals. The teacher now says that she and the other five might be able to ‘play with an iPad’ while everyone else is rehearsing - and yesterday he did let them bring a book. I’m not really wild about that as a solution for the six children who can’t be involved as rehearsals are three times a week for an hour as the Christmas Play fever ramps up. Though DD, is, I must admit, really pleased that she might get to play with an iPad (and I'm really not)

But AIBU to think

a)if you can involve 21 children in a class Christmas scene you can involve 27?
b)All of the children should be able to feel involved in the preparation for the show in some way?
c)Giving six of them an iPad to play with instead is not a great solution?

Suspect I’m being ‘that mother’ to be cross. But I think it could have been handled better.

ByeByePrivacy Wed 22-Nov-17 10:24:54

You can't leave out 6 children, that is just cruel. Even if they are just stood in the background dressed as trees it's very unfair and I'd be questioning the teachers appropriateness overall if they think that this situation is ok

SavoyCabbage Wed 22-Nov-17 10:28:02

It’s absolutely ridiculous to put on a play where everyone apart from six children are involved.

MrsArchchancellorRidcully Wed 22-Nov-17 10:28:32

As it's her last xmas play, I would be interfering here now. Go and see school and point out how unfair it is to leave out 6 children. My DC's school would never do that in a million years!!
YANBU and I would be speaking to Head.

BrieAndChilli Wed 22-Nov-17 10:29:56

I would be sending in a written complaint that only 6 (out of a class of 30?!) have been left out of a compulsory activity. Would be different if rehearsals were at lunch time and children had been asked to audition/volunteer.
There are plenty of things the 6 kids could be doing, even if it’s back stage,

MrsSpenserGregson Wed 22-Nov-17 10:34:02

YANBU and YANB "that mother." You have every right to be very upset for your DD and your concerns about leaving out 6 children are completely valid.

Get in there and deal with the Head now! I'd send a calm, measured email to the Head first, setting out my concerns, and requesting a follow-up chat within a specified time frame (eg by the end of this week). Chase it up if you don't get a response within the desired time frame. Leaving out kids in this way is cruel.

peachgreen Wed 22-Nov-17 10:37:46

I'm usually the first on these threads saying that everyone can't have a line etc but your DD is actively being left out completely, despite her sensible actions to try to address the issue, which is a totally different matter. YANBU and I hope you get it sorted out.

JaniceBattersby Wed 22-Nov-17 10:38:34

Outrageous. I’ve never known any school play ever to not involve every single child in some way. The teacher sounds absolutely pots for rags.

I’m not normally a complainer but I would complain about this. Does the head know?

amerrylittlenamechange Wed 22-Nov-17 10:40:21

i'm a governor- makes it tricky to speak to head

wednesdayswench Wed 22-Nov-17 10:43:40

YANBU it is ludicrous to include 21 and leave 6 out (unless they specifically want to be left out) does the teacher know how badly your DD wants to be involved?

Please complain to the School.

JaniceBattersby Wed 22-Nov-17 10:44:32

I know it makes it difficult, but I still would. I’m guessing the head doesn’t know.

fruitbrewhaha Wed 22-Nov-17 10:50:06

You can still speak to the Head, as a parent and as a governor, this is not on.

BrieAndChilli Wed 22-Nov-17 10:50:17

Then in a way you need to intervene on behalf of ALL the left out kids, as a governor it is your responsibility to oversee the running of the school and this is something that is not being run properly or appropriately!

UrsulaPandress Wed 22-Nov-17 10:52:05

That is ridiculous. I used to be quietly outraged that dds teacher who didn't like her used to give her a really shit part, but at least it was a part.

Glumglowworm Wed 22-Nov-17 10:53:10

YANBU

Yes not everyone can have a speaking part but everyone should be able to join in the songs and stuff! Its definitely not ok to leave out just 6 children in a class!

Judashascomeintosomemoney Wed 22-Nov-17 10:54:30

i'm a governor- makes it tricky to speak to head
It doesn’t, you’re parent too, the head should be professional enough to make the distinction.
Leaving just six children out of anything is ridiculous.

WipsGlitter Wed 22-Nov-17 10:55:53

That is just ridiculous!

amerrylittlenamechange Wed 22-Nov-17 10:59:37

Thanks all.

Maybe I will try to speak to head (but she does go a bit nuclear when I do that about things, and then my dd will die of embarrassment and the teacher will hate me). It's nice to hear I'm not just being horribly precious. I suspect that the teacher (who is usually very nice) is just focussed on other stuff- mainly the SATS as they've just had a week of mocks, and is really resentful that he has to do the xmas stuff at all. His usual comment about my dd is that she is 'no trouble' - and she isn't, so she's easily ignored, but I am also worried about the other children who are sitting on the bench with the iPads. He assured me this morning that the 'playing with iPads' would be an 'educational project' .... but I'm not terribly convinced by that.

All DD wants to do is to be able to dress up in a costume and sing the songs with everyone else(well she'd love a line but that's not really the issue)... and I am sad that this is her last year and her last experience. I've told her secondary brings new opportunities!

Still makes a mockery of all those people who think the governor's kids get the best parts, doesn't it?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 22-Nov-17 11:00:06

I’m a governor. I’m also a parent and need to do both jobs properly.

I would already have arranged to see the head and sorted it as a parent.

As a governor I would be very concerned at the poor teaching practice being demonstrated while 6 children sit about and the teacher’s lack of will to do anything about it.

Year 6 is important and this teacher sounds appalling. Step up as a parent and a governor and get it sorted.

MrsSpenserGregson Wed 22-Nov-17 11:01:40

The fact that you're a governor makes it even more imperative that you speak to the Head ASAP.

It should also make it easier, as presumably you already have some sort of working relationship.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 22-Nov-17 11:02:41

Who gives a shit if the teacher hates you? So far she has not demonstrated much competency.

You have a responsibility to your dd and to the other excluded children. All children deserve a safe environment and full learning opportunities.

Go into bat for your dd.

DarlesChickens61 Wed 22-Nov-17 11:04:22

Every child should be on stage, at some point, during a class production. Whether it be a main, speaking role, a supporting character or choir member.

I’m usually the first to say not every child can have a main role but to leave 6 children with nothing out of a class of 30 is ludicrous!

wednesdayswench Wed 22-Nov-17 11:07:42

'All DD wants to do is to be able to dress up in a costume and sing the songs with everyone else'

^ you really can't NOT say anything to the headteacher, this whole set up is bizarre and very unfair.

Mimiandroo Wed 22-Nov-17 11:08:04

This is outrageous! Anyone could easily write in 6 more parts to a school play. I'm a teacher and I wouldn't even consider having children not involved in the play - it wouldn't even occur to me that this was an option. Sounds like a lazy teacher who can't be bothered to make the effort.

amerrylittlenamechange Wed 22-Nov-17 11:08:18

I've sent her an email - just asking for a very quick chat. I'll see if she responds. Thanks all. I hate making complaints - and maybe he genuinely will find something for them to do, but the IPad time just made me furious for some reason. Probably because dd was so delighted to be offered them it as a consolation prize.

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