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Primary 5 boys & girls have to change for gym together??

(228 Posts)
Yogagirl17 Thu 02-Jun-11 16:28:18

DD (10) just been telling me that her teacher makes them all get changed for gym together in the classroom and also that her male teacher stays in the room while they change. Now I just want to say straight out I like and trust this teach and absolutely do not suspect him of anything untoward, other than possibly being a little naive.

Anyway, DD says she is beginning to feel uncomfortable with this and doesn't understand why the boys (and the teacher) can't go to another room while they change. I can't say I blame her and frankly I'm a little surprised this is even happening - surely 10 is old enough that they should be given privacy? I definitely want to say something to the school but trying to gauge how strongly to react. I mean, should I just ask the head teacher if they can change teh current arrangement or do I make a bigger deal of it?

crazycarol Thu 02-Jun-11 16:39:41

At DDs primary school from yr 4 or maybe 5 the boys get changed in the toilets(!) and the girls in the classroom.

At 10 some girls have started to develop, & quite a lot wear bras (many have nothing to put in them though!). Surely they need some privacy.

IndigoBell Thu 02-Jun-11 17:11:03

This is quite normal though.....

There normally isn't really anywhere else to get changed - and no one to supervise the other half of the class either......

It's the end of the year now. For P6 (is that Y6?) they might have different arrangements....

Yogagirl17 Thu 02-Jun-11 18:12:30

Really? I thought more people would find this odd.

Surely the male teacher could take the boys into the gym hall to change while the girls change in the class or vice versa?

CliffTumble Thu 02-Jun-11 18:15:07

I don't think this is right.

Itsjustafleshwound Thu 02-Jun-11 18:15:20

Well, isn't there a ta??

I have also noted that at DD's infant school all the kids change into their PE kit in the classroom - but at 10 I would expect there to be some arrangement for the girls not to have to change in front/with the boys

hockeyforjockeys Thu 02-Jun-11 18:25:16

It can be really difficult if you are on your own as a teacher (which most in the older years in primary are when PE is going), as you need to supervise. Without fail I have some incident of a child being a pillock every time we do PE. Fortunately we have changing rooms next to each other at my school which Year 5 and 6 use (and sometimes 4 depending on the needs of the class). Otherwise I would just to have them change in the classroom altogether, although if I had a few girls who were starting to have a real issue I would let them get changed in the toilets.

I think it was worth mentioning it to her teacher, just advising him of her feelings rather than any sort of complaint, and ask if it was possible to find a solution. Hopefully he will be able to come up with something with the aid of the head/deputy.

mrz Thu 02-Jun-11 18:39:41

Very common. Children must be supervised and as Indigo says there often isn't anywhere to get change

LindyHemming Thu 02-Jun-11 20:30:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoattoBolivia Thu 02-Jun-11 20:40:35

Maybe the mums could volunteer on a rota to supervise the girls 'somewhere else'? Honestly, in your avarage primary school, there is nowhere else but the toliets and no one else to supervise them. I my school the year 5 and year 6 girls change in the cloakrooms, but it drives the other teacher nuts as they make too much noise.

handsomeharry Thu 02-Jun-11 20:40:45

Hope this isn't cheeky OP but it seems like a strange time of year to be making this complaint. In Scotland there are only 4 weeks left. Just wondered why bring it up now IYSWIM? Absolutely not a critisism, just curiosity!

Yogagirl17 Thu 02-Jun-11 22:05:49

Just bringing it up now because my DD only just brought it to my attention. I had actually assumed that at this stage they were not still getting changed together. But even so, you're right, with only a few weeks left I still wouldn't have bothered to worry about it IF DD hadn't come to me and said she felt uncomfortable. She's 10 and even though her body hasn't started changing yet I definitely feel she has a right to privacy.

Hulababy Thu 02-Jun-11 22:10:33

My DD is 9y and in Y4 and she would hate to have to change in front of boys. She has become more conscious of her body recently and is starting to develop, has developed small breasts and it aware of this. She manages to change in front of her class mates - girl's only schoo - but even then feels a bit shy apparently. I am not sure she'd cope very well at all if there were biys there too.

Hulababy Thu 02-Jun-11 22:14:04

Actually, as a mum of a developing 9yo, if we were int his situation I would go in and speak to the teacher and ask what could be put in place. I wouldn't want to think that DD was put in that positon every week when she is alread feeling a bit self conscious of her changing body (a natural reaction to new changes as we all know.) I don;t think it is ok for all children of this age and that the school do need to thnk about what they can do to protect the privacy of young developing children.

southofthethames Fri 03-Jun-11 03:57:00

I agree the boys and girls should be changing in separate areas and the girls given some privacy. I think it should have started from Year 4.

Caz10 Fri 03-Jun-11 05:59:33

Changing separately can be nigh on impossible due to space restrictions/ behavior. I have taught across primary school classes and p7 are the only stage where changing separately was done, and this depended on the facilities available. It's unlikely you would have a TA at gym time as they are timetabled to be with classes for maths, Lang etc. Once I have done what another poster suggested and sent the girls to the toilet, but only because there were v small numbers of girls in that particular class, also the room was right next to the toilet. No way are you going to have 15 p7 girls rampaging across the school to a far away loo! One school I worked in had changing rooms at the gym hall but that was unusual. Changing together in room v. common and more often than not the only practical option

Yogagirl17 Fri 03-Jun-11 07:38:40

Well i've sent a note to the head teacher to ask what can be done to allow the children some privacy. I'll see how she responds.

I'm a little surprised at all posts saying its simply not possible, kids have to be supervised, etc, etc. If they were 12 and not 10 privacy would be a must and not an option, so there must be some way to accomodate it.

emptyshell Fri 03-Jun-11 07:47:38

It's bloody difficult.

You either spend the entire time running back and forward between the toilets and classroom - where sod's law dictates hell's erupted in whichever room you're not in at that precise second and parents get pissed off that Johnny's given Bobby a wedgie while you were checking on the girls

Or you piss parents off with them changing together.

Or you lose half the PE lesson with sending the boys out of the classroom to wait in the corridor while the girls get changed and then swapping over - pissing off the parents cos PE time's been lost, pissing off every other class and TA working in the corridor area with the disruption.

Or you work in a posh school with changing rooms and again - hell breaks loose in whatever room you're not in.

Or you try to beg a TA to be in one room while you're in the other and piss off the other class who loses their TA for 10 minutes at either end of a lesson, and the parents of the kids in that class who lose their TA.

Basically whatever you do - you lose on this one. Really unfair to add the teacher's gender into the complaint though - he can't help being male and I never like seeing teachers judged on the contents of their pants.

Caz10 Fri 03-Jun-11 08:18:08

Emptyshell has it summed up perfectly! OP I understand your concerns but what are you actually expecting the school to do?

Caz10 Fri 03-Jun-11 08:20:46

BTW if they were 12 not 10 and still at primary school the issues would be exactly the same, and then obviously at secondary the facilities are different

tabulahrasa Fri 03-Jun-11 08:23:32

it's pretty normal in most schools for them to change together till P7

rubyrubyruby Fri 03-Jun-11 08:25:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jo164 Fri 03-Jun-11 08:26:20

I teach PE in a prep school and we seperate them from yr 4 onwards. I have to say that I can understand others saying its difficult to supervise them in two places, but I also find it sad that a group of children can't be trusted to get changed without a watchful eye over them the whole time. We are lucky enough to have changing rooms, however I don't need to stand in them all the time as fortunately the children are well behaved. At this age I always knock on the boys door and check they are all 'decent' before I go in, our male teacher would do the same with the girls.
If I were you I would have a word with the teacher as there may be something they can do, they need to be aware how uncomfortable its starting to make your daughter feel. Some of the other children may not feel this way yet and perhaps your daughter may be able to go to the toilet on her own to change. At least they may be able to reassure you that the arrangements are different next year.

Goblinchild Fri 03-Jun-11 08:27:06

Seconding emptyshell. smile
I agree that it is unsatisfactory, but the solution can't be to let 15+children change without some supervision.

mrz Fri 03-Jun-11 08:28:23

I remember being 12 and being supervised in the showers hmm after PE.

I agree with Caz and Emptyshell it's a nightmare even if you have two changing rooms ( trying to supervise both at the pool is bad enough when they are situated next to each other). Trying to supervise a group in a classroom and another group in the loos half way across the school is impossible ... then of course you get into hygiene issues of the suitability of dressing in the loo.

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