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Not impressed with the daily chanting. Do other secondary schools do this?

(313 Posts)
ReanimatedSGB Fri 12-Jan-18 09:00:10

DS is in Year 8 and he has told me that, at the start of every lesson, they all have to stand up and chant together, something along the lines of 'we promise to be good and work hard' (OK that's NOT the wording, don';t want to give exact wording in case it outs us).

Every lesson FFS. This strikes me as a waste of time (DS told me that the class took to dragging it out as much as possible in lessons no one likes) and... well. a bit creepy and cultish. AIBU?

BarbarianMum Fri 12-Jan-18 09:04:08

I wonder why the school think it's necessary? Could it be that there are issues with behaviour in class.

Honestly, how much time does it waste? 30 sec? 1 minute?

echt Fri 12-Jan-18 09:05:03

It does sound a bit, er... shite, but then back in the day I went for interview at an RC school who had prayers before every lesson. Much the same, but the advantage of your DS's school is that the responsibility lies within the child, not an invisible friend.

I still think it's horrid and would be making enquiries as to why they think this is needed.

PollyShelbyLifeCoachServices Fri 12-Jan-18 09:09:28

My girls have a teacher in year 7 that has the class recite a poem about how awesome he is at the beginning of every lesson and my kids love him😀 its perhaps to get them to engage and feel included, bet your son cringes inside
, i would have.

ReanimatedSGB Fri 12-Jan-18 09:15:19

The school has had a 'rebrand' lately, which I have been keeping an eye on. I picked it for DS because it seemed like a nice, no-bullshit happy sort of school. Since then a new HT has come in, and there have been a few indicators of trouble ahead but they have mostly died down.

Because one of my lines of work is education-related, I take a dim view of many 'initiatives' which appear to do nothing but cost money, waste time and placate the wingnuts in government who know nothing about children (the obsession with fucking blazers and ties and 'discipline'. the endless testing, the culture of snooping and spying and harassing...).

DS said that it could be worse, they could be in America and have to pledge allegiance to a flag. I agreed with him on that one...

Eltonjohnssyrup Fri 12-Jan-18 09:17:53

There's some sort of psychology (or at least theory) behind this. They do it in call centres as well. It's something to do with people who have low motivation and low incentive to engage. If they keep repeating the chants they eventually get psychologically tricked into subliminally believing it. A bit iffy in call centres. But okay in schools.

Eltonjohnssyrup Fri 12-Jan-18 09:18:38

It doesn't cost money, take much time and it's not government policy.

BarbarianMum Fri 12-Jan-18 09:19:02

I would strongly suggest that you pick your battles. Unfortunately, given current education initiatives, the question "will this harm my child" is a pertinent one. If the answer is no, then I suggest you save your energy for those that will.

BillywigSting Fri 12-Jan-18 09:24:47

I think barbarian has hit the nail on the head here.

It was wise to pick your battles with schools 15 years ago, it seems even wiser now (though I do think it could verge onto creepy territory depending on the wording. Something like 'i promise to work hard and do my best' I doubt I'd have a problem with, but I can see how it could be more sinister)

lookingforthecorkscrew Fri 12-Jan-18 09:25:43

I worked as a teacher at a school that did this, I fucking hated it. It’s the thin end of the wedge...

BarbarianMum Fri 12-Jan-18 09:31:21

It isn't necessarily the thin end of a wedge though is it? Might just be a rather daft initiative to "instill core values" and improve behaviour. We used to have to stand up when a teacher entered the room and recite the school motto every day (in latin, which none of us spoke) in assembly. This was a state comp, misty-eyed for it's former glory as a grammer school.

Unless you are worried about the contents of the chant, just enjoy an eye-roll w your son and tell him to crack on.

redexpat Fri 12-Jan-18 09:31:44

Certain teachers used to make us stand up at the start of the lesson until we were invited to sit down. Later on one told us it just sends a signal that the lesson starts now, so pay attention. It could be a version of that.

ChickenPaws Fri 12-Jan-18 09:31:51

Year 8?

Sounds like the sort of thing they’d do in infant school.

ReanimatedSGB Fri 12-Jan-18 09:42:34

It's because it has a potential psychological affect that I'm not wild about it. Schools should not be trying to brainwash children into unquestioning obedience (no matter how much the government and the Daily Fail think they should be doing exactly that). At present, the wording of the chant is... not too bad, just about doing your best and behaving well.
I know we have to pick our battles. I was expecting one about hair when I saw the new school handbook, but I waited... and nothing happened, so they've been sensible about that.

Of course it could be a cunning double bluff - give the kids something blatantly stupid to rebel against so they focus on that instead of anything more harmful, and get on with their lessons in the meantime.

weepingangel12 Fri 12-Jan-18 09:43:50

There's some sort of psychology (or at least theory) behind this. They do it in call centres as well. It's something to do with people who have low motivation and low incentive to engage. If they keep repeating the chants they eventually get psychologically tricked into subliminally believing it.

Having worked in places like that, I can tell you that all you subliminally (and superliminally!) believe is that the people making you do it are utter asshats and you need to get a new job, quick. It lowers motivation and gives even less incentive to engage.

OP, I'd tell him not to join in if he doesn't want to, just to stand respectfully. Like if they were doing prayers.

Eltonjohnssyrup Fri 12-Jan-18 09:51:58

Schools should not be trying to brainwash children into unquestioning obedience (no matter how much the government and the Daily Fail think they should be doing exactly that).

Where you quite as vocal about this when the last Labour government did exactly that? They abolished the requirement for critical thinking to be included in education and hugely politicised education, constantly pumping children with message after message promoting their agenda. Did you get as worked up as you did about this chant? Or are you okay with brainwashing as long as you like the message?

weepingangel12 Fri 12-Jan-18 10:05:03

* They abolished the requirement for critical thinking to be included in education and hugely politicised education, constantly pumping children with message after message promoting their agenda*

Evidence please? Sounds like paranoid nonsense without any. Constantly pumping children with messages like what? And how? Have you confused Labour and North Korea?

etap Fri 12-Jan-18 10:33:13

^O Captain, my Captain!^ grin

ReefAndRiz Fri 12-Jan-18 10:36:49

Poor kids, poor parents, poor staff.

theEagleIsLost Fri 12-Jan-18 10:49:48

No but DD1 complains that five minutes of most lessons is lost even when the class hasn't moved rooms as the pens the children had previously have disappeared.

ReanimatedSGB Fri 12-Jan-18 10:50:57

Elton: when the last Labour government were running education, it wasn't on my radar because a) DS was in Reception and b) I wasn't working in the sector. But it does appear that most of the worst fuckery has come in since 2010.

Ragwort Fri 12-Jan-18 10:54:47

redex - when I was at secondary school (1970s blush) we had to stand up when the teacher arrived and chant 'Good Morning/Afternoon Mrs/Miss X) ........ I guess it is about signalling that the lesson is about to begin and stop talking and messing about.

constantchange Fri 12-Jan-18 10:56:01

YABU, I couldn't get worked up about this.

BertrandRussell Fri 12-Jan-18 10:56:27

"constantly pumping children with message after message promoting their agenda."

Really? Like what?

I can actually see how the chanting thing might work really well to get kids all facing front and focussing.

leccybill Fri 12-Jan-18 10:57:18

If you mean 'Thinking Skills', it was a huge waster of money, training and curriculum time.

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