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Teaching practical anarchy to yr7 FGS!

(20 Posts)
miggy Tue 15-Mar-05 22:15:35

OK-now Im fuming mad! Have had concerns about Ds1's teacher (form/history/re). In priviledge time on fridays he has been letting boys bring in videos to watch, last week it was "father Ted", sorry maybe Im a prude but my 11 yr old would not watch that in my house. DS is only 11-young for yr7 anyway but also geeky and a stickler for rules and hates bad language (even moans at me if I dare to say a "profanity").
Today-history-they were doing about a revolution so had a practical anarchy session (!) 2 minutes where they could do anything they liked as long as they didnt touch the teachers desk. Result-lockers emptied, books strewn around the room. Of course instant "lord of the flies" and DS has his locker/books trashed more than most as he was desperately trying to save them. Hard to explain why he was so upset but if you think geeky to point of mild aspergers and bookish (loves his books) and cant bear to break any rule, he found whole experience horrendous. Rest of lesson spent tidying up.
Apparently this happened last year so not one off brainstorm.
Should I complain to him or head tomorrow?
I told him he should have shown his teacher the real meaning of anarchy by trashing his desk!

lucy5 Tue 15-Mar-05 22:24:56

This happened in year 6 at my school, I could hear it from downstairs. Will have a chat to other ts and se what the general consensus is. Your poor ds.

miggy Tue 15-Mar-05 23:02:56

Have just written irate letter to head-made me feel better, otherwise will lie awake in bed composing it in my head!

tatt Wed 16-Mar-05 05:37:05

reread it this morning before you decided whether to send it. My attitude to this is affected by memories of my mother complaining to the school about bad language in a set book. It caused me great embarrassment and I'd already heard far worse in the playground.

Were the books really damaged and if so did you buy them or the school? If you bought them then suggesting to the school that they pay damages would probably make them take more care in future. Perhaps they should ask parents if any children should be excluded before doing this, although I imagine the purpose is to show how bad life is without rules.

I don't watch father ted but at 11 most boys would probably want to bring in really unpleasant things. Most of them are playing games like grand theft auto. I'd like to see schools uphold higher standards than that but at some stage your son has to learn how to deal with bad language. Presumably children have some alternative to the video - like reading - if they want?

tigermoth Wed 16-Mar-05 08:10:44

Hmm don't know about 11 yer old boys always wanting to bring in unpleasant things to watch - Shark Tale seems to be one of the most popular fims amongst my son and his friends. They're not just into 'The Matrix' etc you know!

Miggy, I would have a word with the teacher, at the very least pointing out that not all the class found the rule breaking amusing.

tigermoth Wed 16-Mar-05 08:13:27

ah just re read this tatt, and saw you said 'probably' not 'always' - Sorry!

miggy Wed 16-Mar-05 13:12:38

Tatt-no real damage done, just very stressful for ds, he is very particular about his things and having the contents of his locker strewn about the class room was really upsetting for him.
Am complaining because its ds who doesnt like the bad language and has asked me to do something about it, if he liked the films and wanted to watch them, I wouldnt be happy about it but I wouldnt embarrass him by complaining.
I did reread the letter and did send it-now have been summoned to see said teacher tonight. Worse than being sent to the headmaster. Am such a wuss with conflict face to face will prob end up saying "yes thats fine just show my son nasty videos if you like" rather than arguing-will pscych myself up all afternoon!

sassy Thu 17-Mar-05 10:26:27

As a teacher myself, I would be concerned if I knew this was going on. R.e. the videos- teachers are not allowed to show anything that has a certificate higher than the age of the youngest pupil in the room. While this can be limiting at times (e.g. wanted to show excerpts of Bram Stoker's Dracula to a Y10 class doing genre work on Gothic Horror) it is certainly inappropriate to show stuff for fun. I guess F.Ted is a 15 ( uses the f word, doesn't it?)so should not be shown - technically even a 12 would not be allowed cos your ds and prob others in the class are still 11. Surely form time should be used more constructively than this anyway?
As far as the anarchy goes - I don't like this idea at all. Gives too much scope for bullying IMO, even if it does make lots o valid points to the kids.
I would speak to ds's Head of Year if I were you - bit less formal than a letter to the head. If you don't feel satisfied with the outcome, then write to the Head. HTH.

WideWebWitch Thu 17-Mar-05 11:36:31

I think this teacher should watch it with the vids (Father Ted is fairly innocuous isn't it? I know they say Feck but it isn't that bad) but I think the lesson on anarchy sounds interesting, useful, relevant and probably explained far better than a textbook would! But of course I think it's a great shame and unacceptable if anyone was genuinely hurt or upset by it. I shouldn't think that was the teacher's intention at all.

miggy Thu 17-Mar-05 15:14:51

I went to see the teacher concerned last night. I had written to the head as this teacher is the head of year!
He said that an ofsted inspector in a previous year had said the anarchy thing was a fantastic bit of teaching. Well I agree to differ but he has agreed that in subsequent years he will warn the children and anyone who wants to can take their things and leave the room. So may have helped other kids there.
Re video's dont think Im as liberal as you www, father ted is a 15 cert and ds is only 11. He did agree that he would monitor the viewing more carefully (he does watch it with them!) and give ds the option to leave the room and read a book elsewhere. Not entirely happy with that though. Just dont think that 11 yr olds should be watching 12 and 15 cert films for recreation
(would have no problem with censored dracula!)

alux Thu 17-Mar-05 18:04:04

I have a problem with anarchy not including his desk - and I'm a teacher.

To find that DS's things was the most disrupted smells like bullying - though I suppose that this is part and parcel of anarchy. I don't want to be the guinea pig in that child's shoes!

I wonder how he used tearing up the classroom as part of a lesson in anarchy in an ofsted lesson. Spending the rest of the time clearing up the room does not sound like a lesson an inspector would rave about! Is someone putting you on here?

I also would not show something (unless just a clip for a specific purpose in a lesson) with a certification below the students' age. I don't care what they have seen/heard/done elsewhere. Heck, in a class of 15 yr olds, I censored out a mild sex scene eventhough it was approved for the age group! I can live without the hassle.

Oh, and I choose what they watch. They don't bring something in. I teach Spanish and French and multilingual DVD's are a blessing.

alux Thu 17-Mar-05 18:05:15

ooops, 'with a certification' above

Cod Thu 17-Mar-05 18:09:21

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Cod Thu 17-Mar-05 18:10:12

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Cod Thu 17-Mar-05 18:11:24

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happymerryberries Thu 17-Mar-05 18:33:53

I would never show a video to a class if they were not old enough. For that matter I never show them 'fun' videos, even at the end of term. I do show then some non curriculum videos on the last day of the year, but they are always science based....I have a very arresting one on parasites that they kids find facinating.....very gory.

I bet the 'anarchy' lesson would have gone down well with OFSTED, all very 'trendy' with lots of Kinesthetic 'learning', ha ha!

alux Thu 17-Mar-05 18:35:59

And if they are to watch a DVD it is in target language at christmas or end of summer term. (they can read English subtitles!)

miggy Thu 17-Mar-05 19:05:37

Cod-the war between empress matilda and king steven-prob means more to you than me!
Apparently next year he covers "henrys rage" by throwing desks around the class himself. Have already booked for ds to leave the room for that
Thanks all for input re videos-glad its not just me and can go to headmaster and say "my friend the teacher....."

tatt Fri 18-Mar-05 06:15:07

as I said I've never watched Father Ted but if it has a 15 certificate they shouldn't be showing it to children under that age. Wonder if that's even legal? I wouldn't be happy, either, with my child having to leave the clasroom to do something other than watch the video. Our old school allowed a video of the children's choice (from a limited selection) on the last day of term. There were always children who had seen whatever it was and didn't want to watch again and they had games to play or read. The videos were always appropriate to their age!

Cod Fri 18-Mar-05 08:33:02

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