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the boy in the striped pyjamas

(344 Posts)
workshy Fri 30-Mar-12 22:07:14

my yr5 DD watched this in school the other day

school sent home a permission slip explaining that it was a 12 but was related to a topic they had been covering in school

I know about the film and chatted to DD about it and was confident she would be ok so I gave my permission -obviously lots of parents had absolutely no idea what the film was like and many DCs were upset by it

is it really a film they should be showing to 9&10 year olds?

ImNotaCelebrity Fri 30-Mar-12 22:12:22

I found the film incredibly upsetting actually, and cried buckets for ages at the end! A bit of an error of judgement IMO, and no, I wouldn't want my DC watching it at 9 or 10. I think carefully selected extracts might have been more suitable than seeing the whole thing.

Wolfiefan Fri 30-Mar-12 22:13:36

I struggled with this one. (Found the book more upsetting) I wouldn't want my Y4 seeing it.

Maryz Fri 30-Mar-12 22:15:20

ds2 read the book at 10 (with his class in school), and then watched the film. They were covering world war 2 in history at the time as well, so it was all tied in together.

I think it was fine at that age, but then ds has always been interested in history and was well able. Because he had read the book, we had talked a lot about it at home.

HuwEdwards Fri 30-Mar-12 22:15:37

Both my DDs saw it. Elder one when in Yr 5 also saw Goodnight Mr Tom. Was really thought provoking and moving for them, but didn't distress them.

It's probably an age when they realise anyway through news etc. that life isn't all rosy.

tentative123 Fri 30-Mar-12 22:17:20

It distressed me and I advised my husband not to watch it cos he's soft. Glad it wasn't my kid!

Maryz Fri 30-Mar-12 22:22:46

I think when taught in school, along with a second world war module, most kids just seem to take it in their stride.

Also, they don't seem to be so affected by the thought of a child dying as we are, as parents.

Once you start to teach children about the Holocaust, it is going to be distressing, and this seems to be a good crossover between fact and fiction. I don't recall any of ds's class being distressed by it at all.

dd loved Goodnight Mr Tom at that age.

LesAnimaux Fri 30-Mar-12 22:25:09

I watched it with DS when he was in Y6 (11yo).

I knew he wouldn't be upset, as he isn't at all sentimental (for want of a better word) and I thought it was important he understood the subject matter. It's not an easy subject to cover. As a friend pointed out to me, it's not really possible to cover the holocaust without it being horrific.

I wouldn't want my much more sensitive DS swathing it next year in Y5. I think the school expected too much of the parents - some parents say yes to anything.

mummytime Fri 30-Mar-12 22:31:59

I objected to the book being read in year 5. I haven't seen the film, it was certainly inappropriate for my DD, she would have been far to upset.
I don't really approve of a school showing a film which is classified for an older age group.

maples Fri 30-Mar-12 22:52:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PastGrace Fri 30-Mar-12 22:57:25

Message withdrawn

CailinDana Fri 30-Mar-12 23:05:58

I did this story with a group of 10/11 year olds when I was covering WW2. The main aim when covering a history topic to help the children to relate to it, as their concept of the past can be very fuzzy. I found this book really good for that. They did find it upsetting, but in a positive way, in the sense that they really understood what they were learning about. If you just teach them about nasty Nazis it can be more scary in a way because it all seems so Big Bad Wolf. This story hit them hard because it showed that the Nazis were normal people too, ones that got caught up in an evil regime. It gave them a more important message than just learning the bare facts would have.

CailinDana Fri 30-Mar-12 23:08:30

To add, we ended up having some really important discussions about why the German family saw the Jewish people as being lesser than them, and why the young boy didn't see it that way. They learned that racism is taught and passed down through generations which is very important IMO - it really made them think about why some people are singled out in society and how arbitrary and unfair it can be.

megapixels Fri 30-Mar-12 23:09:35

DD1's class watched Goodnight Mr Tom and she said she hated it as it made her really distraught. She said she was nearly crying with relief when it ended because she didn't have to take any more sad.

Not all children are ok with that kind of thing, and in our case permission wasn't sought either.

bringbacksideburns Fri 30-Mar-12 23:17:03

They did this at our school too, covering WW11. It sounded like there were more tears watching Goodbye Mr Tom. My son was quite interested as he loves History and had done a project on Anne Frank's diary the year before.

We had to sign permission slips and i am fine about it.
They are currently studying Hitler's Canary, which he has already read and learning about the Titanic.

startail Fri 30-Mar-12 23:35:17

The titanic gives me the creeps even as an adult. Never watched the film.

Would have walked out of a primary school lesson about it. Had a very unpleasant dream I can still remember about seeing my own body floating in a river. Think I was primary age.

Honestly not all children or even adults want to be made to study updating things.

Yes DC need to learn about the holocaust, but not in depth at primary and studying the Titanic is just unnecessary.

startail Fri 30-Mar-12 23:36:26

Upsetting things, not updatingblush

DerbysKangaskhan Fri 30-Mar-12 23:45:47

I wouldn't show it at that age, there are far better books and films for that age group that are not only more emotionally appropriate but are also far more accurate. I found the book and movie to be almost offensively inaccurate, completely downplaying how much the average German family was involved, how deeply rooted it was in society, and playing into the myth that 'good people weren't involved'. I want my children to know the truth, it's the only way this type of cruelty can be fought and this doesn't give that.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Fri 30-Mar-12 23:47:46

God, this really pisses me off- why does the holocaust have to be taught in primary schools at all? It seems that teachers lack the confidence/skill to make anything interesting that doesn't involve mass death and torture

I think it is extremely thought provoking part of German political history, but only when one understands the hugely complex situation leading up to it, the debates around who ordered and sanctioned it, etc. Taught in isolation it means jack shit. It should be left for secondary schools for these reasons, apart from anything else

CakeMixture Fri 30-Mar-12 23:52:00

I wouldnt want my 10yo to watch it.
I also agree that children at primary school level dont need to learn about the holocaust as such.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 31-Mar-12 00:01:26

I would have no problem with it. It is a book about children's understanding of an adult made problem.

I get why some parents are uneasy but I think that that in itself is learning.

mrz Sat 31-Mar-12 09:13:34

As a teacher I would not show the film in it's entirety to a class but I would happily read the book

Theas18 Sat 31-Mar-12 09:25:07

I can't read the book - i tried- the bits that werent in the film about " the fury" and " outwith" were awful to me- and saw the film reluctantly. I was in bits.

However I view it through adult eyes,with background knowledge ,and as a parent. These things were why it was so very terrible.

I suspect, as a 10yr old it wouldn't be so awful.

I read Ann frank in primary school and found it sad but wasn't distressed. Now as an adult I see all the back story and parental view point as well as the political situation , the risk that miep and the other put themselves through, the terrible situation for otto frank as the sole survivor etc etc and my eyes a damp just typing this.

I didn't have that insight at the age of 9-10 then thank goodness.

CailinDana Sat 31-Mar-12 09:42:06

Richman - you do realise that there is a national curriculum, and that teachers don't just arbitrarily decide what to teach their pupils to suit themselves?? I honestly wonder where on earth some people get their view of schools from, how they can be so sensible in everyday life but so completely naive when it come to education. I sometimes wonder if some people are still stuck back as children, with a child's understanding of school. It certainly seems it at times, especially from reading MN.

cansu Sat 31-Mar-12 09:51:35

This is a book for KS3 in my view. I warn my y7 and y8 pupils that the film is upsetting and do screen them when doing the background from some of the more horrific images. I think there is a tendency for some primary teachers who have strong readers to use books and material that isn't suited to the maturity of the children. I would not read this with Y5 or Y6. The book is however much less upsetting than the film.

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