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School Trip to Panto -( Reception)

(24 Posts)
emma123456 Wed 05-Jan-11 15:57:18

DS has a school trip tomorrow. After seing a local panto he has decided that he is scared of panto, and is adamant that he doesnt want to go with school.

I've spoken to school who have said that they have no teachers in school as the whole school is going so if he doesnt want to go on the trip he must stay at home.

This leaves me in a dilema, I have no childcare for tomorrow. I can work around it but its less than ideal.

Is it unreasonable of school to not provide some care for the children who dont want to participate in the school trip?

We've paid for the trip and filled out a consent form already.

scurryfunge Wed 05-Jan-11 16:02:35

Is it a state school?

If they are saying it is a whole school trip and part of the educational day then I can see how they make all kids go. Did they pay for children who could not afford to go? It seems unusual that the trip is compulsory and it sounds like entertainment not educational.

What do you do when he is sick?

moomaa Wed 05-Jan-11 16:08:49

What would happen if you sent him anyway and told him he had to go? That is what I would do with my DS but I think it depends on the personality of the child. I think peer pressure would make my DS go along with it.

emma123456 Wed 05-Jan-11 16:10:17

Yes it is a state school.

When he is sick he's physically not able to go to school so its a completely different issue. Im happy to send him tomorrow but they wont take him unless I consent to panto. If I send him, he will cry throughout the whole show, disrupt other children and take up a disproportionate amount of his teachers time. It doesnt make sense for the school to take him.

I think its unreasonable that I have to keep him at home and have it marked as absence.

The trip is paid for by parents, Im not sure what happens if you cant afford to pay, I think school would have to pay.

starfishmummy Wed 05-Jan-11 16:11:30

This is strange - the school I mean. They must have some sort of plans because I would expect that there might be other children who will not be going.
If they are saying it is educational then you could ask awkward quetions about how exactly it fits in with the curriculum.

compo Wed 05-Jan-11 16:12:56

Well that's up to the teachers to sort out if he behaves like that
you'll probably find that he won't make such a fuss in front of his friends though
just ask the teacher if he can sit next to a teacher, ta or parent helper

scurryfunge Wed 05-Jan-11 16:15:05

I think I'd send him and hope that a teacher or helper sit with him in the foyer.

I don't think they can insist on an absence and I can't imagine the whole staff are going either.

emma123456 Wed 05-Jan-11 16:18:53

he's going through a bad phase of being scared of lots of things, panto really is the least important of these. I'd like to address it as his younger brother, Dh and myself all loved our boxing day outing to panto and would like to do it again next year.

If we force him to go I think it might just make things worse!

Currently he's scared of dogs, not helped by an irish wolfhound jumping around him at the weeke,d (had to leave park next day when he became too scared to stay in park when he saw a dag).
He's scared of chickens.yup chickens...this too is a new thing!

I dont know what to do for the best!

rebl Wed 05-Jan-11 16:24:32

Our school has a whole school panto but it was totally funded by the PTA through fund raising, including the parents of reception going. I went and I would say 50% of reception were scared and 50% enjoyed it. I would have thought the teachers would know that some reception pupils will be scared. I would send him and tell the teacher as there must be provision for those who get scared in it as I would have thought they'll have quite a few.

JoBettany Wed 05-Jan-11 16:37:09

If the panto is local, I would imagine the school would not be there for the whole day - either the afternoon or morning. Would your DS be able to go to school for part of the day - if it's an afternoon trip he could attend school in the morning or vice versa?

It is not ideal but perhaps a compromise?

emma123456 Wed 05-Jan-11 16:40:48

Its a morning trip and they get back for a late lunch about 1.30. It wouldnt really be worthwhile to take him in at that point.

JoBettany Wed 05-Jan-11 16:43:45

Oh that's a shame - am sorry to hear that. I would not want to make my DS go either and can understand your dilemma.

Lamorna Wed 05-Jan-11 16:58:41

I would make sure that the school understand and have him sitting next to the teacher or TA. If the whole school is going they simply won't have the staff to leave one in school.They will be locking the school. They couldn't afford to leave someone with one child.

madwomanintheattic Wed 05-Jan-11 17:05:15

dd2 had a lot of sensory issues and found panto (in fact any theatre experience) extremely unsettling. she has cp and found unexpected noises/ loud noises very difficult.

school will manage fine. just send him. he can sit next to a teacher or TA and they will remove him and wait in the foyer if he is making too much noise.

just warn them in advance that he might be scared. he won't be the only kid who's cried at the panto. but you never know, he might get caught up in the excitement of it and have a whale of a time.

nb - i would be really wary of getting too worried about this in front of him. it will only reinforce that panto is jolly scary, and definitely something he should be afraid of. keeping him off school because of the really scary panto trip will definitely reinforce this too.

a simple 'have a lovely time darling' as you drop him off will be fine.

Lamorna Wed 05-Jan-11 17:11:39

I would agree with madwoman, if you keep him off you give the message that pantos are scary. The school are used to that age child, he won't be the only one, they will deal with it.

UniS Wed 05-Jan-11 19:09:46

Is it possible he will react differently being with school mates rather than parents... I suspect my DS is more scared of "new stuff to him on TV" at home than outside the house. CM has seldom mentioned it as an issue and he watched something new to him at Sunday school on sunday, coping by moving to back of hall "so it was not sooo loud", whereas at home... he would be screaming at me to make it stop.

Spoo Wed 05-Jan-11 19:14:27

My DS was just the same and did not enjoy his panto with us and my hubbie spent most of the time in the loy. When it came to the school trip, I was very worried. I didn't tell him much aout it and warned the teacher. Apparently he was asolutely fine and he even told me how funny it was. He has got over a lot of fears now but was very simlar to your boy. I hope this helps you make a decision.

Littlefish Wed 05-Jan-11 21:54:24

I had a child sitting on my knee for most of the panto this year. He started off in the row in front of me, but was scared of one particular character.

We had several trips to the loo when he became worried as it distracted him. On the way back, he said that he had really liked it (apart from the bad lady!)

The school has a back up plan. It is, that if your child doesn't attend, he will need to be kept off school. The school won't have enough staff to leave one person back at school with your ds.

When my school goes to the theatre, we all go - secretaries included.

Schroedinger Wed 05-Jan-11 22:56:27

I would not send my child. I went to panto with him this year as he is still in nursery and he was v scared. He starts Reception now and if he told me next year he does not like it I would work something out. Panto should be fun and not pushed on them. Would not risk having to deal with a distressed child afterwards.

Callisto Thu 06-Jan-11 08:18:42

Don't send him if he is scared and doesn't want to go, that would be so mean. DD (year 1) didn't want to go to the panto trip before Christmas and I just told the school she wouldn't be going and had her at home. I don't think the school should be responsible for childcare when it is a whole school activity either.

emma123456 Thu 06-Jan-11 15:58:13

We sent him to school and panto in the end. He loved the bus journey, cried for first half and was ok in 2nd half. Not sure if it was the best way to deal with it, he looks tired and wiped out tonight but not surprising when faced with a stressful day. Dads just asked how it went and ds told him it was great. Thanks for all of your thoughts and advice.

scurryfunge Thu 06-Jan-11 15:59:57

Ah, glad he sort of enjoyed it then!

Lamorna Thu 06-Jan-11 17:40:24

It will give him confidence to know that he did it, much better than avoiding it. Well done.

helencw77 Thu 06-Jan-11 20:36:43

Hi, I think you did the right thing. My 4 year old went to the panto with her infant school before Christmas. She gets very scared, and has previously sobbed her way through every school performance/concert/anything out of the ordinary to date. I was worried so actually booked tickets for the same panto for myself and my younger daughter, we sat a couple of rows back, just because I felt bad that if she howled and screamed, she would disturb others enjoyment. By half time she was indeed sobbing and screaming, she sat next to me in the second half with tears streaming down her face and put her coat on the wrong way round with the hood over her face. She watched the last 5 minutes.

A month on though, she talks about it all the time and says it was great, she remembers all the good bits and says she "cried a bit" but loved the Princess etc and is desperate to go again. So, I do think it's good to have had the experience and the only way she will get better with new experiences is to try them (whilst being supervised etc).

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