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Year 6 - is this a normal classroom ambience?

(13 Posts)
perplexedregular Wed 24-Nov-10 20:10:43

Last week I sat in on a year 6 lesson. Things have changed a lot since I was at school! table groups, timed exercises, lots of coming and going. I can see a plus side to some of this, and some of the teaching I saw was very engaging. However, I was a bit shocked at the behaviour. Children calling out, talking randomly, one boy walking around the room, or swinging back on his chair and nudging other people's tables. The teacher managed the class well considering, a second teacher less so, and the second lesson, as a literate adult I struggled with the information given the noise and general disruption. The worst incident I saw was a boy using a fake pakistani accent after the sole asian child contributed to discussion, and some one else saying 'multicoloured' and sniggering. The teacher did not react so I almost felt as if i imagined it, but I don't think I did. The class teacher said, to be fair, the behaviour was atypical, but the prospect of dc in this atmosphere disturbs me. It is not something you would be aware of, however, on a school tour ... is this normal, am I over-reacting?

Feenie Wed 24-Nov-10 20:12:51

The bad behaviour, and especially the racist behaviour, is not usual, no no no no no!!! Steer clear, I would say.

perplexedregular Wed 24-Nov-10 20:17:29

I think I should talk to the class teacher about the racist stuff I thought i saw. I hated to see it. I remember similar in my school decades ago it saddens me that things have not moved on.
Do you think this would be helpful? the asian boy is quiet and very private. I don't want to make things worse for him in any way.

Feenie Wed 24-Nov-10 20:24:21

I think you should definitely speak to the teacher - they have to be given a chance to act on it. The number of racist incidents in schools each term by law have to be reported to the LEA - this would count as such in most schools.

ImNotaCelebrity Wed 24-Nov-10 20:26:11

Absolutely not. If it's like that with a visitor in the classroom ...

perplexedregular Wed 24-Nov-10 20:27:47

I will speak to her, I am mystified as to why it was not dealt with at the time tbh

perplexedregular Wed 24-Nov-10 20:28:43

I ta in another part of the school

LarissaFeodorovna Wed 24-Nov-10 20:28:46

Er, no. Complete hardworking silence was the norm in my dc's Y6 class (inner-city, not at all posh primary). They did have a teacher with very high standards, who resembled a rather ferocious dormouse, though. :snurk:

perplexedregular Wed 24-Nov-10 20:31:06

that's what I would have expected, larissa
Just wondered if it was not the modern way or something ...
the racism is inexcusable in any context

emptyshell Thu 25-Nov-10 07:32:10

Being brutally honest - yes it's normal in a heck of a lot of schools. The racist stuff much less so (thank God - and that IS hammered down on when it rears its head in all the schools I know) but I work in a very ethnically mixed area.

The one kid wandering around bashing tables and causing bother - seems like the schools round here that don't have a "one kid" in each class are in the minority these days. Sadly the last class I had when I worked full-time had about 5 "one kids"... 2 of them prone to physical violence - spent about 80% of my teaching time trying to pre-empt and prevent their outbursts/protect the rest of the class... and it's bloody well not on!

woahwoah Thu 25-Nov-10 12:55:59

I don't think the racist stuff is normal, at all. But I do think the noise, wandering, calling out etc is pretty normal. And I've worked / observed in mostly 'nice' schools.

I think the comment about several ''one kids'' in a class is very true - it's rare now for there to be only one difficult child in a class. Sadly, it's not only inner city schools that have behaviour problems (in fact they are often better), as middle class children can suffer from feelings of 'entitlement' - as in, you can't tell me what to do...

Obviously I'm generalising a lot!

BTW, I teach littlies, so tend not to experience this too often, but I see it going on, even with good teachers / schools.

Dolittlest Thu 25-Nov-10 13:00:31

Depends om the school.

Racist comments going unchallenged I would find very worrying. This is poor practice (unless the teacher didn't hear?).

The general noise and activity levels in some lessons, depending on the topic being covered, might be normal and quite healthy. Sitting in rows and working quietly is a thing of the past in many schools these days.

But if what you witnessed was an environment that was genuinely too noisy and confusing for any learning to take place, then I'd say, NOT GOOD. Although, sadly, normal in some schools.

mrz Thu 25-Nov-10 13:19:42

Last week I sat in on a year 6 lesson. Things have changed a lot since I was at school! table groups, timed exercises, lots of coming and going.

this part sounds normal the rest of your description far from it!

Calling out, chatting (except about the task when asked to) moving around the room, swinging on chairs and abusing other pupils would not be tolerated in any of the schools I've taught in.

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