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Is my state school shit or just normal?

(238 Posts)
Twattergy Fri 05-Jun-20 19:21:00

I've been v relaxed about the educational side of lockdown in terms of impacts on DS's learning (year3).
But today I've just been hit by how crap I think his school has been. Or maybe it is normal (state primary?). Tell me if this is better or worse than what your state primary school has offered:
1) online hub that is extremely un user friendly in which small number of worksheets are uploaded once a week. No need to send in work. I gave up and used bitesize .
2) from next week, 12 weeks in, one 30 min zoom group w teacher. Once a week.
3) from next week, one short daily video uploaded on aforementioned un user friendly hub, from teacher introducing that days work.

Nothing else. Why the small amount of videos and zoom now, after 12 weeks, at the time when more of the staff will actually be busy with yrs R,1 and 6? Am I being harsh in judging this as crap? Btw I know what fee paying schools are offering so no need to describe to me what they are doing by comparison!

OP’s posts: |
beepbeep Fri 05-Jun-20 19:28:12

Ours is equally, if not more crap!!! Uploaded work - to be marked (other than one thing a week) by parents, lucky if the work she does submit gets much beyond a ‘well done’. No videos, no direct contact, no newsletters, etc. We have had 1 15 online chat in the whole lock down. We have one scheduled in 2 weeks time!! I know if other schools (including my other 2 DC’s secondary) who are doing really well, lots of contact via app and phone and lots of interesting work set, all viewed and commented on

SandieCheeks Fri 05-Jun-20 19:29:04

Yes, that does sound a bit crap.

My Year 1 has had phonics, maths and literacy every week (3-5 activities each per week) - videos of a teacher from the academy chain and work sheets or tasks based on it, set on the school website. Plus online activities set through an app.

My Year 5 child has had a White Rose maths video and worksheet to do every day, plus a reading comprehension and english work - usually something from Twinkl or similar. Phone call from his teacher every week and emails most days. Time tables, spelling, arithmetic and spag tests every week! Work hasn't been marked but parents have the answers and any completed work is given points.

SandieCheeks Fri 05-Jun-20 19:29:53

We have been supplementing with BBC Bitesize for more fun/topic stuff though.

beepbeep Fri 05-Jun-20 19:30:09

It is a small primary, max 6 key worker children a day up to half term. Most of the teachers job share so 2 teachers per year group doing 1 say in school every 2 weeks. Appreciate it will be more for some now, but it feels like the children at home have just been forgotten about confused

SunshineOutdoors Fri 05-Jun-20 19:31:56

Our school has done worksheets with suggested activities, but have thankfully been more focused on stressing that it’s more important that emotional and mental well-being needs are met, which has been a god send when wfh at the same time as dc being off. No new learning just consolidating what has already been done in school.

isabellerossignol Fri 05-Jun-20 19:32:04

I have a child the same age. We've had work set every day since the Easter holidays and there is the option to hand it in, but there is no feedback or anything. The teacher will respond to anyone who messages her but there has been no contact from them other than that. No Zoom or anything.

I'm happy enough to be honest, I don't think it's any worse than any of the other schools in my area.

DorotheaHomeAlone Fri 05-Jun-20 19:32:48

I think that’s pretty poor. Our (state) primary has been doing daily uploads of work onto a google drive. This is easy to access and includes a daily video message from their teacher, videos, games, and some reading, writing and maths each day as well as one other topic (r.e geography pshe etc).

They’ve been doing this since week 2 of lock down. We can also email in one piece of work each week for feedback from her teacher and he’s called us once to check in.

Dd is in y1 so has been back full time since Wednesday. They’re doing the same work though to maintain parity with the kids at home. No zoom. Don’t know if they’re using that for older years bit not convinced it would be that helpful for her age group.

Foobydoo Fri 05-Jun-20 19:33:49

DD year three, has to do oak academy in the mornings which is ok but can be a bit repetitive and pitched to one level so doesn't really stretch her. We have to email once a week with pictures of the written maths and English work.
Then in the afternoon they have work set on purple mash that is marked by a teacher, accelerated reader and tt rockstars.
It is ok, not as good as school but DD seems to enjoy it.

Theforest Fri 05-Jun-20 19:34:29

Ours uses Class Dojo app to give work out. My DS is Y4 but I think they are using it for the whole school.

Basically work gets posted there and kids can message the teacher and upload their work via photos. Teacher can comment on each piece of work and award points for effort, good work etc. They usually get literacy, maths and other curriculum topic each day and seem to take up quite a bit of the day.

I like it. It works well, but I think a Zoom or similar session would be great and they don't seem to be doing that.

zoemum2006 Fri 05-Jun-20 19:35:07

DD is year 5 in a state primary school.

No class videos or Zoom but between 3-5 tasks are added to Google Classroom at 9am every morning.

If the work is done on the day it's set, it's marked.

The teachers are on-line to help.

The kids are doing a reading book in literacy and their work is in response to the book (which I really like... it's not just one off bits of work).

I've had my moans about her primary school but I've liked their lockdown learning.

ChippityDoDa Fri 05-Jun-20 19:41:26

Most of these sound better than ours!! It’s a “good” state primary in a nice area, midlands. We had nothing at all for four weeks and then started getting a weekly pack of printed activities, worksheets etc which you could download at home. This week we’ve started getting very hone made videos by teachers of them explaining things a bit. We’ve had two 5 minute phone calls in the Whole time from the teacher. No marking, feedback loop or anything like that. It’s been shit and we’ve made our feelings known to the Head.

Wishingstarr Fri 05-Jun-20 19:49:35

I am in the USA my three kids have all had live class sessions daily (including university) they are still moving through the curriculum. University is public, the schools are parochial (Catholic) so private. My 17 yr old dds Catholic school is in a city where the public schools have declared all kids will get As confused. My dds school however has said nothing has changed, they still have to work for their grades. I think in the public system it's an issue of equity, not all kids can get the same access to technology and the same help at home.

However we are in the suburbs of a city that has many of the biggest IT companies in the world in its environs and so the public schools generally are very high quality and have access to cutting edge developments in tech. As everywhere, it comes down to the resources of individual families. Some of the school districts are way ahead and always make sure every child is given a device by the school district but for those who don't, the Pandemic has highlighted the lack of equity. I think there will be major developments in online technology for learning from this.

Resources have been focused also on keeping all children fed and giving help and support where parents are essential workers

Hibbetyhob Fri 05-Jun-20 19:50:08

Ours is set in paper booklets which can be collected from school, delivered by teachers & also available online. 5 English, maths & topic activities per week, plus spellings, times tables and handwriting.

Photos of everything can be uploaded to Class dojo & teachers respond to & comment on every photo.

Personal messages from teachers to their classes every day on dojo, most teachers have also done videos explaining concepts, reading stories or audio recordings of themselves reading stories once or twice a week.

No zoom or live lessons but wouldn’t particularly be appropriate for our catchment.

I’m very happy with what has been provided and so are my dc.

Puffykins Fri 05-Jun-20 19:50:26

My kids are at a state primary, years 5 and 3. We have worksheets and some pre-recorded online lessons (for, eg, Spanish) loafed weekly. We can photograph it and send to the teachers if we want to. Each class gets at least one daily email from the teacher, with an introduction to the days learning and other messages - also jokes/ pictures from other children in the class are shared. Every pupil gets a 15 minute phone call with their teacher once a week, to discuss what they've been doing. All the work is optional, but my children happily do it - they're more into cooking/ art though and sharing reports of that with the teachers. Individual music lessons happen via Zoom, and there are other musical activities uploaded to the website. I'm genuinely impressed by the effort the school has made.

minielise Fri 05-Jun-20 19:53:35

I feel like my schools being pretty poor because we just don’t have the technology!! It’s really frustrating, we did a survey before lockdown to find out the amount of students with computer/internet access and discovered that around 37% didn’t (it’s quite a poor area) - some had internet on phones but not computers. There was then a government/council laptop scheme to help ensure the kids without it could access work. We’ve been allocated 52 laptops to be shared between the 340 (ish) without computer access, although we don’t yet have them.

Before lockdown we had a couple of days notice to make booklets etc to hand out to kids to complete while off, massively underestimating the amount of work they would need, I provided 3 weeks work because we just didn’t know this would go on so long.

Since being closed our remote access has gone down and the company that fixes it are closed because of covid so we can’t easily upload work we have to all email it to admin who print it, we have one black and white printer and one colour for the entire school (most kids do around 8 subjects per week and we have around 1000 students). It is all then printed and left in reception for kids to pick up, which very few are... and is obviously not ideal anyway! We did try sending it home but only managed it for year 10 because of the volume of work and the fact we couldn’t afford it long term.

Last week we got an email saying that school was struggling to source printer toner so we’re unlikely to be able to print by the end of this week.

All parents got a letter during this week as a result of this explaining that if they had internet/computer access they were to use Seneca or bite size. If not they are to collect work from reception but once it’s gone it’s gone.

It’s heartbreaking knowing that the students in my classes won’t have the same knowledge and understanding of other year groups or students in more affluent areas, but please know the majority of us are trying our best!

laundryclub Fri 05-Jun-20 19:54:30

Yr2 here have been sent maths videos and worksheets to do daily.
English and phonics as well as handwriting daily.
We are also given a video from the teacher which explains the weeks work, eg, the Story or poem they are learning about, and also a bit of chit chat asking what the children have been up to etc.
There is no pressure to hand in work, but parents can and are encouraged to share pictures and emails from the children with the class teacher.
I have been quite pleased with how the school has sent work out and their expectations. It recognises that many people are having to work from home, have more than one child etc. Not everyone has 5 hours per day spare to 'home school' their children.

Justgivemesomepeace Fri 05-Jun-20 19:57:15

Mine has Whiterose maths, and a few literacy exercises set weekly. Thats it. We do it and upload a photo of what weve done. The teacher doesnt mark it, no feedback whatsoever, just a new set each week. No videos, no teacher on line, no zoom. I dont know what theyve been doing. We have had a newsletter and info about returning.

SandieCheeks Fri 05-Jun-20 19:58:36

I would find live lessons very difficult - not enough tech or time to do it with multiple children in different schools while also working.
I imagine most families would struggle with it. What if you have one phone and three kids? Or limited data?

Somewhereinthesky Fri 05-Jun-20 19:59:30

To be honest, extremely user unfriendly online hub can be user friendly if you try to get to know how it works. One weekly zoom lesson is better than most. One short daily video a day, is fantastic. I think your ds's school is definitely trying their best. What more do you expect? If you want something similar to private schools, you need to pay. Simple.

Uhoh2020 Fri 05-Jun-20 20:02:32

We have had the sudden start of online lessons from high school starting on monday and the primary school asking if theres any children who don't have a device that they can access the internet on..... my gut is telling me that this is because home learning will extend beyond September

IggyAce Fri 05-Jun-20 20:03:31

Does sound crap, at our primary every child left with a work pack at the start of lockdown, there was enough work in there for about 4 weeks. They have supplied a further two work packs with a suggested plan of what to do each week/day.
We have received a weekly call from ds teacher checking on how we are coping. Every year group has an email address and I’ve sent I examples of work and his teacher has responded within a day.
They have also had a zoom call for the last few weeks on a Friday afternoon, the first was a catch up letting the class know what they had done so far during lockdown and more recently it has been a quiz. The school have really gone above and beyond, the teachers and staff even made weekly videos.

NeverTwerkNaked Fri 05-Jun-20 20:04:24

No videos here. No zoom chats . No phone calls. 3 children in different primaries and they haven't heard their teachers voices since schools closed.

Your primary jsnt doing enough but is doing more than many

ATomeOfOnesOwn Fri 05-Jun-20 20:04:28

Some LAs have felt there are massive safeguarding issues with zoom lessons and have taken this long to risk-assess and put safeguarding processes in place. Your LA may be one of them.

minielise Fri 05-Jun-20 20:05:21

@Uhoh2020 with regards to the asking about a device, I think schools applied a while ago and they are now beginning to be given numbers on how many they will get, therefore likely to begin to appear so that could be why you’ve been asked now.

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