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Dropping at school in morning: the classroom task

(13 Posts)
alysonpeaches Sun 04-Oct-09 22:43:50

Does your school have the system where parents go into school with their children and spend 10 or so minutes doing a task, eg practising spellings, addition/subtraction from cards, write about your weekend etc.?

I havent a problem with this, but when youve got 4 kids its a bit tricky. (DS is oldest of 4). Ive explained to school that some mornings I am happy to do this (if DH has a late start or day off but most of the time its a bit of a struggle. I feel really guilty about this though. DS is quite bright so I know that missing the 10 minutes doesnt make any difference to his attainment, but he just likes me to do this because the other parents mostly do. School are fine about it too, and when assistant is in class they will support DS if I cant.

Tomorrow DD1 starts part time foundation stage at the same school. ATM she is just doing afternoons, but obviously Im going to have her two younger sisters in tow (age 1 and 2). In foundation stage they practice writing their name with their parents when they first arrive. I will do this with her but the other two will likely be dismantling the classroom! 2 days a week I have got a childminder to take (she goes to childminder now for 2 sessions) her but wont do this the first week.

So, how do you cope with arrival in class with all the family present?

Pyrocanthus Sun 04-Oct-09 23:33:45

I've never come across this. It sounds like a recipe for chaos to me, because of the inevitable presence of little siblings. Also,I would have thought it might exacerbate separation problems, where the best strategy is usually to say goodbye and leave quickly.

Sorry, that's not very helpful. It'll be interesting to see if anyone else's school does this.

clam Sun 04-Oct-09 23:52:51

Sounds like a nice idea in theory, but chaos in practice. And there's an unspoken pressure on you to go along and participate in case anyone has you pegged as an Unsupportive Mother.

Odd, because I bet the teachers could do without the toddler bit too! Maybe they're wondering how to ditch the idea without upsetting all those who can manage it.

bumpybecky Mon 05-Oct-09 00:00:12

I've heard of schools that have brain gym / tai chi type stuff in the hall before school for any parents and children who were interested, but never activites in the classroom - it sounds bonkers!

how do they manage the security of the classroom? I'd be really worried about the smaller ones running off with a classroom packed with children, parents and siblings and being stranded on one side of the room furthest from the door....

juuule Mon 05-Oct-09 07:28:02

What do parents who have to be at work do? Or children who are taken to school by childminders?

We had similar in nursery, where we would help the child sign in before we left but once they went into reception it all stopped.
I've not heard of this across the years. It would be extremely difficult (impossible) for anyone with more than one child at the school.

alysonpeaches Mon 05-Oct-09 14:32:56

Well I have had it in two schools as we have recently moved to a different town and a neighbouring LEA. Im wondering if Ive just been unlucky or what? Both schools are very different. At the previous school it was optional, but at this one on one has said its optional, this is what they do. When I was teaching myself some schools did it though, so its not unusual, but not mine, I collected my class from the playground neatly lined up. I think OFSTED like the parents in school in a morning though.

The security aspect, well, the layout helps, its not straight out of the classroom and outside. Also there is a "greeter" in the entrance area - a behaviour support assistant who says good morning to everyone, deals with queries and intervenes during morning tantrums if necessary! She would stop escapees.

Hulababy Mon 05-Oct-09 14:48:55

DD's school doesnt have this. We drop off and leave DD in the playground playing. A teacher is on duty to supervise.

At the school (infants) I work at we do have this system. I work in a Y1 class.

At this stage of the year we have the tables ready with the days activities. So today we had:

* role play area - currently a tent with a puppet theatre inside, and some cushins and magazines for reading; last fortnnight was a home corner; fortnight before was ice cream parlour

* sand table, full of sheels this week

* water table - wth babies for washing

* numeracy table - plastic money with sorting cards

* literacy - sentence maker jigsaws with paper for copy writing

* jigsaw table

* book corner

* small world area - currently a mermaid rock pool area (has been farm, island, etc)

* creative table - autumn things to paint

There are also the book boxes available for changing reading books.

Children come in with their grown ups (parents, grandparents, older siblings, childminder, etc.) and can get "working" straight away. The children sign in on a sheet as they arrive (practise writing name). Some parents leave straight away; others stay til the bell goes (10 mins after doors open)

Class teacher speaks with parents as required. As a TA I tend to be around and will look after weepy childrn and get them busy.

Often little siblings will join in, esp int he sand and water.

There is definitely no requirement for parents to stay though.

Hulababy Mon 05-Oct-09 14:50:55

Adnd you know - there really has never been any security issues; no child has become lost; no parental issues, etc. It really does just work. Or rather - it really does work at OUR school.

Lancelottie Mon 05-Oct-09 14:51:01

You say, 'No, sorry, not practical with these two in tow.'

Or, 'No, sorry, I have to take these two to their childminder/toddler group/cage and go to work/hairdressers/bed.'

Or, 'No, sorry, you have to be kidding, surely?'

or, 'You do what? Really? How VERY unusual.'

Lancelottie Mon 05-Oct-09 14:52:38

Now I've read Hulababy's message and feel mean. But my son and daughter would have been ten times worse in the mornings with this sort of gentle, gradual departure, and I still shudder at the memories of drop offs.

Hulababy Mon 05-Oct-09 14:53:39

I am not sure why any parent would have to say anything though. Or is it compulsary in some schools? If they can't stay - then parents just go, nothing said to teacher IME.

And parents wh have children who find it hard to part can always come right as the bell goes and run and drop anyway.

moopymoo Mon 05-Oct-09 14:54:48

lancelottie speaks sense. I smile sweetly at everyone and Run Very Fast.
It is not working mum/sibling friendly to do this. I have had a chat with the teacher about how I have to leg it to work and she is very sympathetic coz, guess what, shes a working mum too.

Hulababy Mon 05-Oct-09 14:55:17

Later in the year - Fe =b haf term time I think - things change for us in Y1. We then restrct activities. We then have the guided reading books or book boxes out on the tables. Children can then go and find a book to read int he 10 minutes before the bell goes. Parents again are welcome to stay and listen to their child read, or to read to them, or again - they can drop and go.

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