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What three things would you change about schools in general / your child's school?

(129 Posts)
Racingsnake Sat 24-Jan-09 06:45:45

Everyone seems to like to moan about teachers / school / education, but no-one ever says how they would do it better. What 3 things would you change?

Here are mine:

1) Start formal education at 6 not 4
2) Halve class sizes. Whatever the gov't says about class sizes having no effect on chn, I am sure I would teach 16 better than 32
3) Reliable ICT that works, so that the teacher can use it to open up the world to the classroom, entertain and inspire

seeker Sat 24-Jan-09 07:10:57

1. Start at 6
2. Ensure that all children have as much outside space as my children are lucky enough to have.
3. More classroom assistants. I don't actually think that smaller classes are always a good idea - my dd's friend was in a year group of 15 all the way up her primary school and it got very hothousey and emotionally intense. But there needs to be a higher ratio of adults to children.

Racingsnake Sat 24-Jan-09 07:15:36

You are right about the classroom assistants. My problem is that I'm alone with 32 children. With a good TA we could do group work and spend a lot more time with each child.

seeker Sat 24-Jan-09 07:19:22

REALLY? Isn't there any room in the budget for a LSA for you? <seeker puts on school governor hat>

cornsilk Sat 24-Jan-09 07:22:08

Start later
less emphasis on homework
Class teachers would all have to complete a meaningful SEN qualification which is kept up to date.

Racingsnake Sat 24-Jan-09 08:25:45

Seeker. Only 0.4 so no LSA, no laptop. But a lovely class. smile

Racingsnake Sat 24-Jan-09 08:39:48

My dd is 2. I would never send her to my school and wonder what the ideal is. Also I am a teacher and wonder what I should be doing. Hence the question.

So far, start later, less homework, more adults, more space to play. (More time to be a child, perhaps?)

Totally agree about SEN - most teachers wish they could have that too.

cory Sat 24-Jan-09 08:53:04

a) Start later, age 6- but state funded nurseries available which concentrate on practical skills/outdoor activities

b) Homework introduced in Junior School, not in Infants (but I do think you need some experience before secondary- and there is no reason to treat 10yos like 4yos)

c)Better training in and earlier introduction of practical skills such as food preparation, woodwork and sewing

d)more play space

e) while I want discipline to be maintained, I would also like it to be possible for pupils to query facts without being thought rude- I hate it when dcs have to learn a teacher's mis-spellings or incorrect facts, even though they know they're not right (dd is learning to view the subject of history with a cynical smile, which isn't quite what I had in view): as a uni teacher I also get very frustrated with passive students who have been told it is rude to question the teacher

NotRubberAndNotADuck Sat 24-Jan-09 09:05:23

1) Only homework before secondary school should be reading/spelling or failing that optional homework only (no "going on red" or missing play time if you don't do it one week).

2) better funding so that extra events are organised SOLELY as fun for the children not continual fund raising.

3) ban dressing up days (okay, so that one's a bit flippant and a bit mean as I know my kids love them, but I hate dressing up days with a fiery passion grin)

muppetgirl Sat 24-Jan-09 09:07:25

I was a primary teacher but hearing what my secondary friend has to put up with is ridiculous, She has to try to teach unteachable children who know that whatever they do they won't be expelled just sent down to a time out type place where they play on computers and text their mates who are still in class.

My b/fwho's a primary teacher had a child who kicked, bit, hit and terrorised the other children in his class yet was only excluded for 2 days at a time and then returned to the class. She often had to take her whole class out as he would under a table and refusing to come out and it was easier to move the entire class rather than waste yet more time trying to get him out. She was hit by this child with a coathanger yet her union said she couldn't refuse to teach this child as it was a breach of his human rights. The children in her class were asking why he wasn't being told off as they were scared of him.

I would like stronger heads with more confidence to challenge red tape

I totally agree with the ICT point. Too many times I went to use my whiteboard and it didn't work or the compters in the computer area didn't work and we had to wait for someone to fix it as there was no resident it person.

I would love to return to work as some sort of midway between a teacher and teaching assistant as I am a fully qualified teacher who can't do a full time job and all the necessary extra work outside of school hours. I feel I could contribute but only between the hours of 9-4 ish so my qualification is being wasted for the years my children are at home I have many friends in the same situation.

theresonlyme Sat 24-Jan-09 09:09:28

Start at 5 1/2 6yrs
teachers to remember who the children belong too
Inform parents more and not assume they know everything

piscesmoon Sat 24-Jan-09 09:11:24

I agree muppetgirl-I love being in the classroom with the children-I hate the paperwork.

foxinsocks Sat 24-Jan-09 09:12:09

1. Have more supervision in the playground, lots more. They seem to leave one playground assistant and the odd parent helper there and it's a huge primary school. I know the teachers need a break at lunch break but I think the kids need more of an eye kept on them (especially as ds went through a period of coming back with some quite nasty injuries).

and that's it really.

We are v lucky with our primary school I think. Not v much homework, v approachable...not much I would change.

yomellamoHelly Sat 24-Jan-09 09:16:33

Decent outdoor space / playground facilities.

Proper planning to ensure enough places for the number of children requiring them. Not temporary measures - as happened here last year, is happening this year and is expected for the next five years!

Improvement in standards of under-performing / adequate schools so that parents have a real choice rather than everyone getting very stressed about the too few places available at the decent ones.

piscesmoon Sat 24-Jan-09 09:19:25

More TAs would be great. Yesterday I had 3 in the classroom with me for literacy and it was great. The children really got involved and inspired.

muppetgirl Sat 24-Jan-09 09:20:12

picesmoon- i loved my job but it was impossible for me to do with ds 1 (then, I now have ds 2 and no 3 on the way) the children were fab, I had found my vocation but I just couldn't do all the work after school. I would arrive at 8am (after getting ds to nursery, no mean feat!) then work straight though breaks and lunch time, after school meetings where fellow members of staff would tut when I left at 5pm to pick my son up. I would then pick up ds, bath, cuddle, milk then bed to start work again at 7pm for a couple of hours and I just found it totally unsustainable.

I offered after school clubs of music theory, recorders and choir so I made a full contribution whilst I was at school and would love to make some sort of contribution again even if it working under the supervision/in partnership with another teacher.

muppetgirl Sat 24-Jan-09 09:20:40


Litchick Sat 24-Jan-09 09:24:19

1. I would get rid of the NC. Obviously teachers should ensure their pupils learn some given basics but they should have the flexibility to decide how best to do that.
The way some schools follow it like a bomb disposal manual is the antithesis of education. ( don't get me started on how creative writing is being eroded).

2. I would get rid of sats.
Of course there should be a method of assessing and ensuring that children are not being short changed but the current year six bun fight is again the antithesis of teaching.

3. Compulsive competitive sport in green space. It would help fight obesity, depression, poor concentration.
It fosters being part of a team and learning to lose meaningfully.

piscesmoon Sat 24-Jan-09 09:24:27

I know exactly what you mean muppetgirl-I can't do it and my DCs are older. I find job shares work well -if you can get them and you can work with the other person.

cory Sat 24-Jan-09 09:30:02

"I would get rid of sats.
Of course there should be a method of assessing and ensuring that children are not being short changed but the current year six bun fight is again the antithesis of teaching."

Depends on how it is done. Dd's teachers actually managed to turn it into an inspiring experience, with the whole class pulling together.

muppetgirl Sat 24-Jan-09 09:31:53

I did a yr 3 job share for a year and you're right it did work well but I did find we had to meet in our own time to discuss planning, write reports ect and I did my marking and individual planning on my days off which did mean I had my evenings free but was still willing ds to nap a litle longer so I could get things done. I am an all or nothing person which is my own fault. I don't do the best I can with the time available, I do my best no matter how long it takes!!!! I know this is a fault on my part but it is my personality blush

I also wish targets are set according to the realistic expectations of the children the school actually has rather than just a blanket approach to target setting that I experienced. I had some children in a school I worked at who were unable to read aged 10 yet the inspectors made no allowences for this when setting the school targets.

sarah293 Sat 24-Jan-09 09:35:19

Message withdrawn

muppetgirl Sat 24-Jan-09 09:39:52

riven we didn't get into the 2 local schools so we have no choice whether to drive or not to drive. (new schools filled with children out of catchment for the first couple of years to enure funding as no children = no money. They let anyone and everyone in so when it came for ds to start his place was filled with the sibling of a child who is out of catchment despite us being .4 and .5 miles away. We were 18th on the list for the .4 and 13th on the list for the .5)

I would make sure that catchment areas are adhered to to ensure that local children get access to their local schools.

mileniwmffalcon Sat 24-Jan-09 09:45:08

our school: more TAs, more outside space. all schools: foundation phase. we have this and it seems to work really well, certainly we don't have many of the horrible stressy homework/academic pressures that i often read on here. presumably those asking for school not to start until 6 would still want some form of government funded play scheme/child care facility and the foundation phase bridges the gap from play to school pretty well imo.

i'd also like to see a wholesale change in parents' attitudes to supporting and working with the school, creating a community and getting their kids to recognise their responsibilities to that community, rather than supporting their kids "rights" at the expense of everything else. i don't see how schools can do anything without wholehearted support from home. </daily mail shock>

stillenacht Sat 24-Jan-09 09:52:45

1) Halve classes
2) More home school communication
3) More money!!!!!!!!!!!!

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