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Sitting at your own desk - does this happen in the juniors?

(23 Posts)
magdalene Sat 24-Sep-11 10:37:47

Just wanted to know whether children sit at their own desk when they reach the juniors. My DD is in year 2 and wants to be at her own desk as the other children on her table are noisy and distracting. It sounds perfectly reasonable to want to be at your own desk and have the opportunity to work things out for yourself (after all, this will happen later on in life!).

Also do any of your children get spelling tests at this age?

IndigoBell Sat 24-Sep-11 10:39:45

While each teacher / school is free to work however they want, I think they normally still work in tables in the Juniors.

However increasingly more independence will be required of the children as they progress through the school.

magdalene Sat 24-Sep-11 10:43:54

Thanks Indigobell - oh dear, exactly what I thought. Am not keen on the set up and I don't quite understand why they write on whiteboards on the carpet - doesn't sound great for posture!

mrz Sat 24-Sep-11 11:04:16

Last year I had three children who worked at single tables most of the time because they found it easier (Y2).

HazeOnTheHorizon Sat 24-Sep-11 11:11:52

I was quite surprised that the tables system seems to have been adopted right through primary school now. I was quite looking forward to DD having her 'own' place to sit, as she seems to find the scrum of carpet time intimidating and always seemed to end up sitting right at the back of the group (I spent a fair amount of time in Reception helping out in her class).

But I suppose at least 'tables' allows the teachers to sit them in suitable groups, and break up the troublemakers etc.

Is 'carpet time' usually used right up to Year 6?

PotteringAlong Sat 24-Sep-11 11:16:06

I'm a secondary teacher and my year 11 gcse class were writing on whiteboards on the carpet on Friday blush

You'll find a mix of independent work and group work all the way through til 18 so she can learn all skills and different ways of working.

If she's year 2 now could she ask the teacher if she can work at her own desk and why? It should be easy to accommodate at least some of the time

mrz Sat 24-Sep-11 11:20:12

Some secondary schools use the table system too

pozzled Sat 24-Sep-11 11:20:40

A lot of primary schools use carpet time up to Y6, Haze. But there shouldn't be a scrum for the carpet- a lot of teachers have carpet spots so that children are seated appropriately. If you're concerned, have a quick chat with the teacher.

Magdalene, I know what you mean about posture on the carpet, but whiteboards are great. A lot of children like them because they can easily wipe off and correct mistakes or make alterations. It's also really easy to share ideas. I find that using whiteboards gives them confidence to be more creative in their writing.

HazeOnTheHorizon Sat 24-Sep-11 11:25:30

Thanks Pozzled. The teacher did sometimes do some reorganisation of the children once they had sat down, usually to deal with the ones who were poking / hair pulling though !

cat64 Sat 24-Sep-11 11:52:24

Message withdrawn

HazeOnTheHorizon Sat 24-Sep-11 11:56:34

Out of interest, is there a reason why whiteboards are used on the carpet rather than while the children are sitting at the tables? Are there not enough tables?

Sassyfrassy Sat 24-Sep-11 12:13:41

As a teacher (currently in y4) I find that having the children on the carpet really helps them focus. I assign places and a talk partner (changes each half term) so everyone knows where to sit and who to talk to when I ask them discuss something.
If they are at tables they are not all facing front, they are more likely to be fiddling about, and as they are spread out it's harder to immediately spot who isn't engaged.

crazymum53 Sat 24-Sep-11 14:18:06

At my dds primary school they still sit in groups around tables in the Juniors (Ks2) but no longer sit on the carpet. Although they are sat in groups (according to ability) they are usually expected to work as individuals.
My dds school did have spellings tested from Y1 onwards but this was done by taking them out of the classroom with a TA (or parent volunteer) and asking the child to write the spellings on a whiteboard.
In KS2 they do also start more regular formal testing to prepare children for SATs in Y6.

magdalene Sat 24-Sep-11 20:43:22

Some interesting thoughts here. I was aware that some secondaries used the table system (as Ofsted really rates it). It's just that my daughter is finding it difficult to concentrate and the children on her table don't remain on task. They tend to compare each others' work and make comments. I also feel that sometimes children don't want to work in groups or pairs - they just want to have a go themselves!
mrz - great you were accommodated those 3 children.
I understand what has been said about whiteboards but still think it would be more comfortable to sit on a chair. I am getting my DD used to sitting at a desk in her room and give her 'quiet time' every day.
And what do people (parents and teachers) think about spelling tests at this age?

catnipkitty Sat 24-Sep-11 20:48:37

My DD has just started yr3 in a junior school and does have her own desk which she loves! They also sit on the carpet for some things too.

HazeOnTheHorizon Sat 24-Sep-11 21:56:14

Thanks for the explanation re carpet time Sassy, those advantages make sense, especially when the alternative is sitting in tables.

Re spelling tests, I have no idea if they are fashionable these days (god I sound about 100) but I'd be disappointed if they weren't. The 1970s primary I went to gave a bloody good grounding in grammar and spellling, with grammar formally taught from about Year 2, and a 10-word spelling test every morning from Year 2 to 6.

HazeOnTheHorizon Sat 24-Sep-11 22:03:56

or should that be 'taught formally' - ha, just shows you should never be smug re grammar or spelling.

mrz Sun 25-Sep-11 10:49:43

Re Spelling tests HazeOnTheHorizon it isn't a matter of fashion it is a matter of effectiveness. Most teachers will tell you that the child who regularly gets 100% in spelling tests rarely spells the same words correctly in independent writing so learning something for a weekly test isn't the best way to embed correct spellings.

yellowsubmarine41 Sun 25-Sep-11 11:33:19

As an anecdote, a girl in my class in primary regularly got 100% on spelling tests. She wasn't particularly able in any other areas and it was good for her self-esteem.

She did go on to fail her CSE at 16 though, which I think is quite hard to do if you work hard and have support from home as she did.

HazeOnTheHorizon Sun 25-Sep-11 13:42:07

mrz - I'm not knocking the current system btw, don't know enough about it to do that. From what I've seen of the phonics system through DD (Y1) it seems very effective and makes total sense.

I was taught to read via flash cards, Janet and John etc in a 70s stylee, but I always found reading easy and did well in English exams compared to other subjects. I think the daily spelling tests we had were part of a programme which included LOTS of vocab, comprehension, grammar, and imaginative writing. Possibly they put so much emphasis on it because many of the children in the class had parents whose first language wasn't English (it wasn't in the UK).

MindtheGappp Sun 25-Sep-11 13:50:58

My DD has her own desk now that she is in Year 5. It is a proper desk with a lid. She has her timetable and some photographs taped to the underside of the lid. It is definitely her own personal space.

mrz Sun 25-Sep-11 14:32:36

I think you will find there is still a big emphasis on developing vocabulary, comprehension skills, grammar, handwriting, spelling and punctuation.

HazeOnTheHorizon Sun 25-Sep-11 16:48:53

That is reassuring mrz. I have heard things have changed a bit in recent years, and was hoping that was the case. I used to recruit marketing assistants as part of my job, most of whom went through school in the 80s and 90s. It was really hard to find people whose literacy skills were good enough, despite the fact that there was no shortage of bright young arts graduates.

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