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Year 4, one child has been naughty, all punished

(14 Posts)
Chewbecca Wed 10-Oct-12 22:35:39

On a school outing yesterday one child damaged the building they were visiting. The child has not owned up so the whole year group are being kept in, writing at break time for the rest of the week.

Now I think this is a real shame because I believe the children really benefit from some fresh air and a run around mid morning.

BUT what other punishment options might the school have chosen?

Has anyone else seen this situation dealt with differently, more satisfactorily or is this a fair solution MN jury?

clam Wed 10-Oct-12 23:14:43

Hmm, tricky one. There've been a few threads recently about whole-class punishments and many of us teachers on here have expressed strong views against them, as a general rule.

In this situation, I guess what's important to know is how much time and effort has been spent (by the Head Teacher, to underline just how serious the offence is being taken) in trying to apply thumbscrews find out who was responsible. I can imagine our Head applying serious pressure and resorting to dividing loyalties among friends to get someone to crack and dob the perpetrator in. She's pretty good at it, actually! She can crack the hardest of offenders in no time at all.

And yes, they should certainly have some time to let off steam/have a snack/drink/loo break mid-morning. I hesitate to use the term human rights, but it's not irrelevant.

clam Wed 10-Oct-12 23:16:38

PS. The teachers also benefit from the children running around to let off steam mid-morning too! Wet play days are the stuff of our nightmares.

clam Wed 10-Oct-12 23:17:40

Oh, and another thing. It's not "just one child." You can bet your last dollar that a fair few kids know exactly who did it and are protecting them. They have a responsibility here too.

Chocoholiday Wed 10-Oct-12 23:18:33

Using writing as a punishment will really nurture their love of learning. What unimaginative teaching.

fishcalledwonder Wed 10-Oct-12 23:21:55

Generally a behaviour strategy avoided by competent teachers. however, i have seen it used effectively by a colleague after some money was stolen. Impossible to identify culprit but class agreed that person should still be punished. They all missed a break time as they wanted to show the culprit that they wouldn't tolerate theft. (They were an unusually feisty year 6 class!)

radicalsubstitution Thu 11-Oct-12 08:24:44

As a secondary science teacher I am, on a daily basis, trusting teenagers with expensive resources (which they often don't appreciate).

As a general rule, no-one goes to break unless everything is counted back in and tidy. This has, at times, meant that classes have had to stay in until the last prism/pair of scissors/compass has been found and returned. It's amazing how many items can get 'lost' and how quickly they are found once the bell has gone.

You could call this whole class punishment, or you could call it looking after resources that the school can not afford to lose.

overmydeadbody Thu 11-Oct-12 08:30:26

I wonder how bad the whole class qwere ont he outing yesterday. One child may have damaged the building, but the whole class could have been difficult, rude or hard to control. The damaged building might have been the last straw.

RaisinBoys Thu 11-Oct-12 09:08:58

It's never just one child.

Whole class punishments punish the teacher too as they have a restless, hard to teach class in the afternoon.

cornsconkers Thu 11-Oct-12 09:13:10

children are very closely monitored on trips out at that age - groups are very small. Who was the supervising adult?
Crap teacher, crap punishment.

FireOverBabylon Thu 11-Oct-12 09:19:43

If the student damaged a building on an external visit, could the punishment not be fitted around that - them all writing to the building's managers to apologise, coming up with fundraising ideas to pay for the damage?

RaisinBoys Thu 11-Oct-12 09:41:58

cornsconkers Y4 are 8 and 9 year olds!!! The groups are not that small - can be as much as ten in a group.

They are closely supervised on the journey to/from the venue but in our school the children are given clear guidelines about behaviour expected, and are then given some degree of freedom (e.g. to look round a particular gallery or collection of exhibits in a gallery).

They are at this age supposed to be learning how to be responsible.

I think neither the teacher or punsihment are "crap".

I think the parents of the children who know what went on haven't taught their children that you own up when you do the wrong thing or that as a group, there is a certain amount of collective responsibility when things like this happen.

IAmLouisWalsh Thu 11-Oct-12 20:26:38

When I use this in secondary, what generally happens is that the rest of the class either tell me who the culprit is or make it very clear to said culprit that if owning up doesn't happen, they will have a bloody miserable few days.

I have been known to leave the room and let them sort it out for themselves when it is a case of missing property. It is always on my desk when I return a few minutes later.

Chewbecca Thu 11-Oct-12 21:45:39

Hmmm, thanks for your thoughts.

fireoverbabylon - that is a good suggestion that might have wiser.
I don't know the Head had any involvement at all, seems to have been handled by the year 4 teachers. I don't think any of them are as skilled as they head who can wheedle information out of children, impressive!

I don't think they were supervised terribly closely at the venue as it was a large but enclosed place with exclusive use by us so they would have had some freedom. But you're right, some other children may have seen so might know more.

Upshot is that DS still unhappy though as no one has owned up and therefore no break time again today and will be the same tomorrow. Totally agree, they are unlikely to get the best out of the children without the mid-morning freshen up.

Well, one to write off to experience I guess.

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