What is it you really want?(24 Posts)
Just that, really. As a parent, what are you wanting a primary school to do/provide for your child?
The important things for me are that my child is happy and secure, has a love of learning and is given opportunities to learn rather than just remembering stuff they're told. I want his learning to be a partnership between home and school - I don't think either I or they can give him a full and broad education alone. I want to feel involved and welcome too.
I would like there to be more flexibility in the curriculum. Children being taught to ability rather than age expectations. Not being tested for this that and the other - what does it really achieve except stress. If a child is at the very top where can they aspire to if the achievement in primary/ secondary is capped. Typical example being a child at end of ks1 being capable of level 4 but being kept steady to achieve level 3 SATS, rather than pushing them on a bit more. Likewise, those who under achieve quickly get labelled as not very bright by parents and it can become a self fulfilling prophecy.
For my child to come home from school having learned things she didn't know already in science. KS1 seems very basic.
To have plenty of notice for school trips/ plays/ etc so that I can plan work committments to attend, instead of constantly having to apologise and disappoint my dds because I can't get there.
For them to enjoy school and be productive in their learning.
I want DS to have an intelligent, creative, empathic teacher who is good at positive dicipline and interested in how children learn, prepared to take risks and try new things.
Ideally I would like there to be a second, similarly Mary Poppins-esque adult in his class and for the two adults to have a good, happy working relationship as I think this adds a great deal to the atmosphere in a classroom.
To be entirely honest I also want DS to be in a small class (~20) at a school with top class facilities (science labs, DT workshop, stage, swimming pool, indoor and outdoor pitches) and specialist staff to make sure the best use are made of all of these. I want him to play sport most days (when he is bigger) and I want high quality, hot lunches made on site.
I want him to have to keep wellies at school because they go out into the beautiful wooded grounds in all weathers to build dens.
I would sacrifice all of that for the teacher though.
EBDTeacher you have described my ds's P1 class perfectly. We also have really good hot lunches made on site although our facilities, whilst fairly good, don't quite reach your standards.
Sadly ds is now in P2 and it's not quite the same. I miss Mary Poppins!
That's the thing. You can shop around for the facilities if you can go private but the teacher, which is by far the most important factor IMO, is pot luck anywhere.
I want DD's primary school to encourage a love of learning, and for her to be excited about learning.
I want them to encourage her to fulfil her potential in everything (social, emotional, academic, physical etc) and be the best she can be.
She has only been there 3 weeks though (Reception starter), so this is all rather theoretical!
Why do you ask?
For my child to be in a class where 'discovering the joy of learning' means just that - they learn stuff and find out its enjoyable. I've had too much experience of schools where it is the other way around, loads of time spent on ensuring kids enjoy themselves but then not much learning. Much better currently...
For the curriculum to adapt to the child and not the other way round. The possibility of re doing a year ( decision made with school, parents and child).
On the same note more stimulation for the more able child.
Above all an able teacher with enthusiasm, empathy, creativity, discipline ,respect and able to communicate honestly with the parents.
Just thought of another one: I want the school to have high expectations of the children (not unrealistic ones, just high), on everything from behaviour, to handing in homework, to manners, to achievement across the curriculum.
And I don't mean that all pupils should all be expected to be geniuses - just that there should be an overall culture of high expectations, whatever that means for individual classes/ pupils.
- High academic expectations tailored to each child's abilities.
- Discipline and an atmosphere conducive to learning in class.
- Motivated, well-qualified, inspiring and effective teachers and ability to get rid of those who aren't up to the job.
- Work tailored to each child - stretch the able to their highest potential, excellent resources to help the less able catch-up and no forgetting the average child in the middle!
- High level of pastoral care and very tough stance on bullying.
- Lots of extra-curricular activities - sport, drama, dance, chess, swimming etc etc
- Truly secular school... no 'daily act of collective worship' where loads of religious indoctrination can be sneaked in should the Head be so inclined.
If this is utopia, then I'd also like a separate teacher for each subject who is qualified to both degree level in that subject and in teaching. No more than 15-20 kids to a class would be nice too.
We live in an 11+ area and I was genuinely terrified that my children would get sent to our catchment area primary which has the lowest 11+ pass rate in the county. It's a lovely school with great staff and a terrific head, and they would probably have been very happy there. But I wouldn't. Fortunately things didn't turn out like that. They're going to a school with all of the qualities listed above which happens to have good results instead.
To be led by a member of staff who genuinly cares about a child acheiving the best of their ability, not pushing them because they need to make themselves look good (and yes I am well aware of pressures and targets).
To motivate dc into having a passion for learning, not the fear of getting it wrong.
To show empathy towards the pupils who struggle with a subject, use positive praise for the subjects the pupil may excel at rather than remove it as a punishment.
To acknowledge that all children develop differently, what may be easy for one may not be so easy for another regardless of what the AVERAGE may be.
Keep dc safe, happy, secure, even when another child is "known for it"
Acknowledge that it isn't all about behavior dc really do have thoughts and feelings, and are very capable of putting 2 and 2 together and working things out for themselves without having to be "told" by someone.
For the education and attention/opportunities afforded to my child not to be based on how much a teacher likes my child, or how much time I put in at the PTA or if I am a Governor. That would be a start.
I really fucking hate nepotism, it was rife at my school a few years ago, then there was a big scandal about money "resting" in some one's safe <channels Father Ted>.
I could not give a tiny shite if you like my child or not, your job is to teach them and give them as much attention as any other child.
My dd was miserable in year 3, I could tell the teacher didn't like her, dd was fine and said she loved said teacher.
Since cowface has fucked off to the far east and dd has a teacher who is new to her, she seems much happier.
Honestly there was a bit of a teacher exodus, then they got a satisfactory rating, since the rating, quite a few
shite teachers have left and more recruited. Funny that.
I absolutely agree with so many posts.
Ban the favouritism for kids of PTA mums
Let a child learn at their level instead of complaining that they are acting up. Eg dd1 was behaving terribly at school, moved to a different school which recognised her abilities and she's much better because she's not bored and is being challenged
Integration - great idea but where's the support? Asking a child with SN to participate in a class with 30 other kids without support and then blaming them when they become overwhelmed is absurd. What do people expect to happen and how is the poor teacher supposed to "handle" the situation when he/she has the rest of the class to teach.
How wonderful would it be to have more time outdoors, I think that would make a huge difference to the overall well being of the children and staff and there are so many ways to learn outdoors too
Better communication with parents would be wonderful but I'm just dreaming now....
To actually answer your question , what I really want is just a solid grounding in Maths and English. They are the base subjects for everything else, a decent grasp of spelling, grammar and the basic concepts of Maths will do you well in secondary school, all other facts can be learned later.
The thing I worry most about is Maths, they don't teach column addition/subtraction until y4 . Why on earth would they not teach this, it's the simplest way. They also don't do the memorisation of times tables, I have such freaking battles with dd about doing her maths homework.
She comes home with 4 figure addition/subtraction, I ask her how she has been taught to do it, but she says "I don't know" she does get some right so must have been taught some kind of method .
A lot of things just seem so over complicated.
To look after him, make sure he eats,help him clean mud off his faceafter being knocked over roughly in playground.Not make mefeel that he is wasting his time there. My expectations are somewhat lower than many,and yet seem not to be met.
Even just doing certain memorisation of times tables helps a lot, you know 2x2,3x3,4x4,5x5..........
Why on earth do they not do this? I don't get it.
Oh gaelic, that sounds shit, can you not move him? Twatty twat faces.
Thank you everyone, this is really helpful. I'm a member of staff in a new primary school and we have the chance to start afresh and focus on what really matters.
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