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Am I being cotton wool mum or is this a little harsh?

(48 Posts)
Bourbonchops Mon 19-Sep-11 21:17:06

My eldest has just started Year 3. Their first homework was given last week. Part of it is to practice spellings. They had the spelling test today.
This was a warm up but from next week onwards the children must get at least 9 out of 10 spellings correct. If they don't they're not allowed out at playtime and have to stay in class and practice the spellings. I don't really have to worry about my DC- she's quite good at spelling but she said one of the boys only got 2 out of 10 today.
Also if they forget their reading book they're kept indoors at playtime.
They just seem so.... young

madhattershouse Mon 19-Sep-11 21:18:42

Good god! If my kids school were like this my eldest would have never got out to play grin. Over the top IMO.

HandsOffOurLand Mon 19-Sep-11 21:21:05

My youngest has just started Y3. I would be very put out if she were stopped from playing outside. They still need to play at this age, and it seems wrong to stop them from doing so because of their spelling (if they're being disruptive in the playground, that might be a reason to make them sit aside - but I can't think of any other reason).

I think it's a very big mistake to associate reading and spelling with losing playtime. If a child is really struggling with spelling and is not getting support at home (which the boy who got two out of ten presumably isn't), then he needs extra support during lesson time. Ditto reading.

It seems a very lazy way for a school to operate.

sittinginthesun Mon 19-Sep-11 21:21:58

That does sound harsh. DS1 is in year 3, and had a spellings test today - I know from last year, that they aim for 8 plus out of 10, but no talk about what happens if not.

Bourbonchops Mon 19-Sep-11 21:22:59

I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought this was a little mean.
School was nothing like this when I went as a kid.
I felt kind of sorry for the boy in my DDs class. What if he just finds spelling really difficult?

CrackerFactory Mon 19-Sep-11 21:24:46

It sounds too much,I agree with you OP.

StuntCubble Mon 19-Sep-11 21:26:34

Yes, that is mean, what if there are underlying possibly undiagnoased issues such as dyslexia. I'd be very cross tbh. A friend of mine has a ds with ADHD he was kept in at playtime as a punishment for being boisterous, utterly ridiculous and led the situation to esculate as he was bouncing off the wallas having not been outside

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 19-Sep-11 21:27:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

madhattershouse Mon 19-Sep-11 21:29:06

My son was suffering from Dysgraphia that had not been diagnosed at this age, it would have beeen devestating for his self esteem to be denyed playtime for something he simply could not do! II would ask the head teacher about this policy, it seems very harsh at such a young age!

madhattershouse Mon 19-Sep-11 21:30:19

From the typos in that post I guess I'm missing out on playtime too grin

Tgger Mon 19-Sep-11 21:30:42

errrrrrrrrrrrr, are you sure this is the case? It sounds unlikely! At least I hope so!

Bourbonchops Mon 19-Sep-11 21:37:05

Tgger, yes I'm certain it is the case. I don't want to come across like my child is perfect and wonderful but she just isn't the sort to make up things like that. She's very intuitive, pays attention at all times so very unlikely she would have mis-heard. The school generally is very strict it seems and other parents have complained about various things in recent years.
I wish it wasn't true tbh.

Lonnie Mon 19-Sep-11 21:41:01

I would be going in guns blazing if that was the case I have a dyslexic dd and she would have felt penalised if she hadsuch a thing happen.

However are you sure this is the case? have you had it told to you by teacher or in letter? May be worth to querry

unfitmother Mon 19-Sep-11 21:44:21

Sounds ridiculous!

snailoon Mon 19-Sep-11 21:49:27

The last thing they need is to miss playtime. Running around is as important as eating lunch. Kids get too little exercise and to little unstructured free play as it is.

houseofboys Mon 19-Sep-11 22:01:27

In yr4 in our school they are kept in if they don't get 60 per cent in spelling.I know they are a year older but I'm still not sure I approve of the association..... Though DS does need a bit of a metaphorical kick up the rear at times!

pranma Mon 19-Sep-11 22:06:22

but that means any dc with dyslexia will never go out to play-that is appalling!

ChippingIn Mon 19-Sep-11 22:11:11

I would write a note in her book (if they have those home/school books) and say that your DD has just told you this so she (he?) might want to put the children straight, as you are sure this can't be right, as it would be terribly unfair on the children to punish them by keeping them in simply because they are unable to spell certain words and that you have explained to your DD that different children struggle with different things and all excel in different things - that they don't all have to be the same to be equal and that you are SURE the teacher thinks this too grin

cory Tue 20-Sep-11 08:10:35

in ds' school they were kept in if they hadn't done their homework (to whatever standard) but that is different, they had a choice about that, and it was never presented as a punishment but as a simple practical measure- the work has to be done, if you didn't do it yesterday you will have to do it today

making it all about results instead of effort seems wrong to me

IndigoBell Tue 20-Sep-11 09:37:35

Yes, but you don't know if that rule applies to all the class.

I would assume kids on the SEN register who would be unable to get 9 out of 10 right would have a different target.

They'd have to.

They also might have different spelling lists.

Although I'd too be very upset about this, and don't think it's appropriate. I think if your DC can get 9 out of 10 right most weeks, that's what you should concentrate on.

kat2504 Tue 20-Sep-11 09:40:54

If the task is not differentiated and all children have the same spellings and the same target this is totally not on. It will be the same children staying in and they will soon get fed up of even trying to learn the spellings at home as no matter how hard they try, they will lose their break anyway.

eragon Tue 20-Sep-11 09:47:19

common practice in schools in my experience. and spelling lists are different for each level of ability .

i think the children need to understand they are in school to learn.

kat2504 Tue 20-Sep-11 09:49:18

Yes of course they need to understand that and there does need to be a sanction for not trying to learn your spellings at school.
But if you give a child who is weak at spelling or dyslexic a task that is not yet achievable for them at that time, and then punish them for not achieving it, that is clearly not fair.
If the task is something they should be able to achieve, that is different.

sugartongue Tue 20-Sep-11 10:44:24

Common practice?! I should hope not! I've never heard of children being kept in for not performing sufficiently well in a test! Keep them in for not having done homework by all means, or for being lazy in class, but for a poor result in a test?!

And to say that different ability levels have different spellings really doesn't cut the mustard - a low score won't necessarily mean no learning was done, just as a high score won't necessarily mean any learning was done at all! It is penalising those who find spelling a challenge, which is demonstrably unfair!

As a child I never once learnt a single spelling, never prepared for a single test and without fail got them all right, because I devoured books whole and happened to find it easy. My son on the other hand spends hour after hour on his spellings (with considerable support from us) and will still not necessarily get all or even most of them right - we often have tough ones that keep coming back for a few weeks til they're learnt (and let's be honest about a month later he often won't be able to do them anymore...ah the joys!)

crazygracieuk Tue 20-Sep-11 11:17:20

I would be furious with the spelling test thing but think that the reading book thing is ok.

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