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Campaign to stop the errosion of childhood. 'LET KIDS BE KIDS'. Please sign up.

(35 Posts)
avenanap Thu 27-Mar-08 17:29:22

As a mother, I am concerned how our children's freedom and movement is restricted at school. Some are no longer allowed to run around at playtime, others are told off for talking at lunch time, others are disciplined for collecting a ball from an area designated for ball playing. Our children are the most tested, least happy children in Europe. Our children need to be able to run around at school, excercise is good for them, the childhood obestity levels in the UK are too high and if our children are not allowed to run around they are not going to improve. Our children are being restricted in a way that inhibits their development and, as mothers, we need to work together to stop this. Our children are not robots, we are not in the victorian age when children were to be seen but not heard. I want to start this campaign to give them their childhood back. Let's get rid of the petty discipline. Let them run around, get muddy and talk. Lets protect the playing fields and playgrounds. Let them play games (including conkers). Let them be children.

Sign up with your tales and lets take things from here. Many thanks. I apologise if this is in the wrong place. smile

Christywhisty Thu 27-Mar-08 18:32:33

I am sorry but I don't agree.

I have worked in a school as an ocassional dinner lady. Children were never banned from running!
With regard to talking at dinner time. At our school the children were asked just to talk to their neighbour quitely. The noise in the dinner hall could be horrendous when they were all talking at once.
As fir getting balls that are out of bounds, the areas are usually out of bounds for a reason. All the child needs to do is have some manners and ask if they can go and get a ball.
I back onto my children's playground and the definitely still allowed to be children

HonoriaGlossop Thu 27-Mar-08 18:41:13

I agree with 'let children be children' for sure but I don't think the problem is at lunchtime and playtime, for the most part! I too lived until last year backing right onto a school playground and there was ooooooooodles of running around and normal childhood play and screaming smile

I think the problem is with 'targets' and 'attainment' for pre-schoolers, with starting school at 4, with SATS and testing and targets, with both parents having to work to make ends meet so that there is more use of childcare and after school care, with TV and computer games and fast food.....

but yes, I agree, let kids be kids

Mercy Thu 27-Mar-08 18:50:18

I agree with you in very broad terms.

BUT I have seen some log books from our school recently (dating back to the late Victorian period to the present day) and children/schooling etc hasn't changed that much in over 100 years tbh!

There have been some improvements obviously (corporal punishment and health being 2 obvious ones)

CristinaTheAstonishing Thu 27-Mar-08 18:54:46

"give them their childhood back."

I agree with that. IMO it should include not putting pressure on 7 year olds to sit 4-hour gruelling exams to get into "good" (aka desirable, aspirational) schools, having first had months of private tuition.

avenanap Thu 27-Mar-08 20:44:33

There are schools out there that encourage children to run around at play/lunch time. There are also schools out there that prohibit this. If you look at some of the other threads they confirm this. The british education system is flawed, some children get on fine, some struggle and some have their lives ruined by unnecessary tests and over the top discipline. It is not an even field out there. Just because your children attend a school where they can be children it does not mean that it's the same for others. We need to work together to campaign for the same treatment for our children at every school.

I know for certain that my ds has been kept in at lunchtime for talking whilst having lunch. Other children have the same problem.

Celia2 Thu 27-Mar-08 21:51:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

perpetualworrier Thu 27-Mar-08 22:04:36

My Dad (often controversial for the fun of it) says kids today get far more childhood than they ever did. He was working FT by the time he was 14, his older brothers went to war at 16, his dad was helping to support 15 younger brothers and sisters by his early teens and before that they would have been cleaning chimneys/down the mines even younger.

He also says this is why we have "juvenile delinquents" because they don't have any sense of purpose. i.e we don't give them enough responsibility.

avenanap Thu 27-Mar-08 22:40:07

They should be running around in the mud and having fun.

NaughtyNigel Thu 27-Mar-08 22:44:02

let them run. let them shout. stop meaningless tests for children too young to understand or care. let them have FUN>

aefondkiss Thu 27-Mar-08 22:52:02

Celia2, I think the same children probably don't get the chance to walk to school either.

my dd has a fair enough school in sunny Scotland, no pressure, just the usual childhood angst of so and so said this/did that.....

cory Fri 28-Mar-08 09:41:55

I think it depends from school to school what the children are allowed to do. There is certainly plenty of running around and shouting at the infants in the next street (I love hearing them grin), but I know that this is not true of every school.

It can be a tiny thing that changes a school, like an insecure new management- a school I know of recently suspended 4 times as many pupils (over minor offences) in a fortnight as the previous management did in a year. Of course, the effect on discipline is not great: it used to be thought a dreadful thing to be suspended, now it's something that is quite common, so the children think it can't be that bad...

Again, some dinner ladies punish children for talking whilst having lunch, others don't. Some dinner ladies at dc's school won't let children go to the loo after lunch even if they have a medical letter.

I think most of the time it is best to take things up with the school first, and tread gently.

TheodoresMummy Fri 28-Mar-08 10:56:26

What do kids actually do during playtimes ?

Only 1 out 7 primary schools in our town has a playing field.

The others have concrete playgrounds, perhaps a small climbing frame, never see the kids playing footbal, etc (suppose not very safe if not much room).

TheodoresMummy Fri 28-Mar-08 10:59:20

And surely every child has a pair of wellies, don't they ?

Do they wear them on rainy days ?

DS will have to because we will walk to school.

totalmisfit Fri 28-Mar-08 11:19:27

what right do dinner ladies have to stop kids talking during lunch? surely we want kids to be able to grow up to hold a civilised conversation with their friends over a meal?? how will they ever do that if they're stifled in this way.

I think tests for under 12s should just be abolished. teaching standards can be assessed through inspections like they were when i was at school. And of course kids should be allowed to run around and let off steam. it makes for much better behaviour in the classroom for starters.

Kids should indeed be kids.

branflake81 Fri 28-Mar-08 11:58:05

When I was at primary school in the late eighties we weren't allowed to talk during lunch. If we were caught even whispering we had to get up and say grace aloud in front of the whole school. And that was a normal, state primary. So I think times haven't changed really.

PrimulaVeris Fri 28-Mar-08 12:19:32

I wouldn't rush to blame schools for limiting running around at lunchtime. An awful lot of it is down to issues concerning liability insurance, health and safety and an increasingly litigious society.

What I find more worrying is over-emphasis on targets (there need to be targets but there needs to be a balanced approach to these targets), and parents dragging their children straight from school to a full timetable of structured after-school Worthy Pursuits and tutoring. I think the latter takes away childhood, not the formal schooling.

ecoworrier Fri 28-Mar-08 13:59:48

I think the media has a lot to answer for, and most of the rest is down to parents.

My own children are most definitely still allowed to be children, both at school and at home. I agree with Primula, it is often parents putting more pressure on their children and filling their lives with organised activities and entertainment, instead of letting them play, make things and yes even get bored.

So no, I don't think a campaign is needed.

TheodoresMummy Fri 28-Mar-08 18:31:26

True, not simply down to schools or teachers or dinner ladies... IMO

Much wider problem, but I do think there is a problem.

TheHonEnid Fri 28-Mar-08 18:35:34

certainly don't agree

school is school

let them run around with no discipline or regard for others at home

mine get muddy and play conkers on my watch, I don't expect teachers to provide my children with their childhood

BBBee Fri 28-Mar-08 18:38:16

disagree - the answer is not as simple as letting them run around at school.

BBBee Fri 28-Mar-08 18:38:16

disagree - the answer is not as simple as letting them run around at school.

avenanap Fri 28-Mar-08 20:00:11

the needs of boys and girls are totally different (there are exceptions though). Boys at the age of around 7 have a testosterone surge which makes them want to run around and bash into each other. this is normal behaviour and acts as a release for their behaviour so they can focus in class. There is a secondary school that only has classes lasting half an hour, then the children run around and exercise, then get back to work. They have fantastic results and the children are all able to focus and concentrate. Girls don't behave like this though. Which is fine but the schools that we are discussing are not acommodating the needs of each child. In my experience the vast majority of children that disrupt lessons through poor behaviour are boys. If they were given more opportunities to run around and climb trees do you think that this will still apply?

This is a copy by the way so you may have already read this on another thread. grin

TheodoresMummy Fri 28-Mar-08 22:51:46

Don't think anyone said that the running around, getting muddy etc was to be accompanied by no discipline or no regard for others, Enid.

Reallytired Fri 28-Mar-08 23:28:19

I think that schools should have more PE lessons. Our school has a beautiful climbing frame that the children hardly ever get to go on for fear of hurting themselves.

I think inorder to give children back their childhood. The following needs to happen.

a) A return to giving schools crown immunity or possibly limited compensation for personal injury rather than a blame culture.

b) Make the nummeracy and literacy hours optional.

c) Slim down what is complusory in the national curriculum so that schools can meet the needs of their coomunites.

d) Make CRB checks more efficient. I had 4 CRB checks in 18 months as I had a series of part time and temporary jobs in schools. The cost of CRB checks are horrific to schools. It would be good if you got a photocard with a CRB check and the school could then swipe it electronically to see if you had any convictions since the check was last done. Or at least there is no need to the entire check 4 times in 18 months.

There is also complete paranoia about people having enhanced CRB checks. You only need an enchanced CRB check if you are going to be on your own with a child. Why does it it require a CRB check to listen to a child read if the parent helper is in the same room as another CRB checked adult?

CRB checks cost a school about £50 once you factor in the cost of school admin. A CRB check is out of date as soon as it its done.

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