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Bored in Y3 - Question for teachers

(18 Posts)
notbloodybranston Fri 12-Oct-12 23:31:50

Both DH and I have really liked our kids' school up until this year. We've thought the teachers were great, very caring and have got to know first DD (aged 8) and now DS (aged 4) very well.

However since September DD has become a bit disillusioned at school and we want to be able to speak to the teachers without coming across as whingers - so advice and pointers would be greatly appreciated - especially if you are a teacher.

Firstly she is bored (I hate her saying this as "bored" is a pet hate of mine". They are doing baptism as an RE topic for the fifth year on the run (RC Primary School). I accept that RE is going to be a big part of the school cirriculum, but thought they would do a variety of topics. They are also doing healthy eating again - again for about the third year. DD told me she was told off for being cheeky (which I did bollock her for) because she told her Y3 teacher that they had "done" healthy eating and baptism before. I explained to her that what she understood about these topics in nursery and reception was at a basic level, and perhaps she will be learning more now. But privately I also thought "not again".

Maths homework sheets and literacy sheets are fine - 10/10 and no problems

Secondly, joined up handwriting (which they were just starting in Y2) hasn't been mentioned and her homework and schoolwork is all printed. Friends with children at other schools are getting on with joined up. What should Y3 kids be doing.

She has fairly easy spellings (10 per week) and gets them straight away. We have to work harder at times tables as they don't come naturally to her - so she isn't a child genius or anything.

Thirdly - reading time. DD, like many kids in her class, seems to have finished the different coloured books and is able to choose any book from the school library. Homework is to listen to her read from it every night. However, in the day she is reading between 20 -40 pages on her own. I asked her how she has time to do this and she just shrugged and said "it is reading time". Is this normal - that they just sit there and read. I know nothing about teaching - but as homework is reading I'd thought she would be doing more lessons now she is in juniors.

Last - DD says that if one child is naughty they all get shouted at and punished. I explained that perhaps if the teacher punishes all the kids, the naughty one will feel guilty/come under pressure and stop doing it. DD argued back that it isn't fair as they get shouted at fairly frequently whilst most of them are innocent. What can I say to her?

Oh - one more thing. The teacher seems very devout. They read the "Wednesday Word" (a kind of Catholic kids' newsletter) every Wednesday (but DD says it take until 10am and the teacher is very repetitive) do a rosary, prayers at begining and end of bell. She queries whether they went to Mass and if they say she went to, say 9.30am Mass, she will say that as she goes to 11.30 she can't be sure they went. She has taught them a chant "Catholics are Cool" (I am sniggering as I type this). I am Catholic but not particuarly devout - and I feel a bit uncomfortable with how much more ranked up it is compared to infants.

Sorry for rant -it's been a long week.

notbloodybranston Fri 12-Oct-12 23:32:58

ARGGGH - many typos - very tired!

overmydeadbody Fri 12-Oct-12 23:40:04

With regards to the reading, I teach Yr 3 and Yr 4 and they have silent reading time from when they come in in the morning until I have finished the register at 9:15. If they get to school at ten to nine and read silently till then they could easily cover 20 pages.

Then I have silent reading again after lunch for the first twenty minutes while I do the register and do guided reading with small groups.

And then any time a child has finished their work they have the option of reading silently until everyone has finished and we have our plenary.

Joined up writing, well handwriting isn't that important in the curriculum at the moment. Neither is spelling. It's up to the teacher really how much of this they do. Sounds like your DD's teacher would rather do religious stuff.

Shame they are repeating things each year. Sound like long term planning isn't that good. Because the school I work at has mixed year groups we have a two year curriculum. If we did healthy eating last year we won't be doing it this year at all.

notbloodybranston Fri 12-Oct-12 23:47:42

Thanks - apart from the planning it sounds as if DD needs to just settle down and we need to stop overthinking. Might mention the repeating topics at parents evening.


Joyn Fri 12-Oct-12 23:49:02

Ks2 is quite a change from ks1, particularly on the discipline front. They punish all the kids for the actions of the few in my dcs school too.

The teacher does seem very devout. I went to catholic school & it seems extreme to me (and some of my teachers were nuns).

Ds read loads in class in yr3 too, (default for finishing work early =read) but they do also give them a lot more reading time.

Handwriting/joined up writing - yes this was covered in year 3, but you still have a way to go. I see no problem with asking the teacher when this is likely to be covered (as you thought of doing some work with dd at home, but didn't want to jump the gun).

simpson Fri 12-Oct-12 23:49:35

DS is in yr3 and he regularly reads at school to himself, must be something like at overmydeadbody's class. He could easily finish a shorter book or read 20-30 page a day.

He has been told since sept that his teacher expects them to be giving cursive writing a proper go after the October half term, they too have been learning it since mid yr2.

The religious stuff would annoy me though tbh....

notbloodybranston Sat 13-Oct-12 00:02:57

Religous stuff is annoying but can't say anything as I was emotionally blackmailed into baptism etc by my Irish Catholic parents and then had to follow this up with RC education.

I think it is made worse by triple whammy of devout teacher, Y3 is year they make First Communion (and in our diocese- confession and confirmation), and the Pope has just called a year of faith (or something).

The teacher told them on Wednesday that she expected all of Y3 to join the newly formed "Rosary Club". DD went because she was promised biscuits and juice (she takes after me) and was bitterly disappointed to discover it was just in fact... rosary club.

DH has seen his arse over the new 100% sunday attendance if they want to make First Communion (I used to aim for once a month).

ho hum

seeker Sat 13-Oct-12 00:09:57

Not meaning to be unsympathetic-but you didsend your child to catholic school............

notbloodybranston Sat 13-Oct-12 00:21:40

Completely agree - it was my choice. It's just one I regret a bit more every week. I have never believe in God, even as a young child. In the words of Dara O'Briain - I am culturally Catholic.

But now, as a parent, I find it increasingly difficult to have to say "this is what Father XXX and Mrs XXXX believe, Grandma and Grandad agree, Daddy and I think this instead."

Because last week's bible readings were on marriage - the sermon was on marriage. So the priest obviously repeated the church's view on what marriage is. DD listened to sermon for FIRST TIME EVER and pointed out that I had taught her that two men and two women will be able to get married soon and that this is a very good thing.

I cocked up. But whilst my parents and grandmother are still alive I can't do it to them. My solace is that it ends with my kids and they will feel no pressure from me.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Sat 13-Oct-12 00:27:11

You need to separate the issues here, you send your child to catholic school then a catholic education they will receive. The teachers values form part of that in my experience and does not bother me as ultimately my dds religiously education is my responsibility, that's why I send her to catholic school and if a teacher is full on or laced then we discuss that as part of our own value base and religious instruction as a a family.

Other stuff talk to teacher about or seek your self to stretch your dd, I have similar with dd yr2. I plan to bring it up in parents meeting and also help my dd to enrich the homework she is sent home.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Sat 13-Oct-12 00:27:49

Laxed not laced

seeker Sat 13-Oct-12 07:12:41

You really don't have to send you child to this school, you know. It sounds awful. Your parents/grandparents will survive.

If you had another child would you send him /her to this school?

PastSellByDate Sat 13-Oct-12 09:32:34

Hi notbloodybranston

I think you have to separate the religion thing from the education thing.

'Religion thing' - you have sent your DD to a religious school for family & faith reasons - I think you have to accept that some years you'll have teachers that conform more closely with your ideals on how RE should be taught/ catholic context should be weighted in class. And other years you might have some issues. To be fair - I think every parent at faith schools or not has years when they don't like what a teacher is doing - just keep telling yourself this year will be over before you know it. Also - as you don't like this overly religious style the fact that your DD doesn't probably is a good sign she'll also be more 'lax' about the whole catholic thing (so ultimately at outcome you might want).

'Education thing' - repeating topics year after year is lazy - although I take the point you could discuss it more deeply in KS2 than in KS1. I think rather than raising this issue with the individual teacher, I think overmydeadbody is correct in thinking that this is poor managerial oversight of curriculum. This is really something to raise with the Head and if no joy - with the governors. The concern should be about the breadth of RE curriculum - both in terms of discussing aspects of Catholic faith, but also in terms of teaching about other faiths in a non-judgemental way.

I'm not clear whether you are generally concerned about the quality of your daughter's education (in academic subjects - literacy, numeracy, science, history, etc...) or not. It sounds to me she's doing very well, free reading and reading for pleasure at home. Not clear how she is in other subjects - but basically if you are generally happy with the quality of her education, the school environment and the children she is with then I would just see this as the year you have a teacher you're not so keen about - which frankly does happen to everyone.

The good news is this year will fly by. Honest.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Sat 13-Oct-12 11:56:57

i think the content of RE tends to focus on sacrements, I am surprised given that in y3 they are not now focusing on first communion and confession, seeing as many of the children will be experiencing this very soon. My dd has covered creation and baptism for the past three years, however I think the childrens understanding and the teaching its self will eveolve, this may not really be happening with your dd so much. I would not say that is an issue. I wopuld also hope they are experiencing readings from the scriptures and some of the bible stories that can be attributed to thier own lives and understandings, that is what happens in my dds school, however individual childrens enthusiasm and connection with this will be different.

amidaiwish Sat 13-Oct-12 12:10:57

They often give the yr3s the catholic and most devout teachers, it's a bit of a dossy year in many ways - the kids can all read, write and have done the SATS.
There is a lot of RE, esp in the lead up to Holy Communion and even more so with this Year Of Faith (DDs seem to be doing more this year than before).
Weird about baptism and healthy eating again though, DD1 was yr3 last year and did lots on other religions (went and visited a synagogue for example) and teeth was a big focus iirc.
The school cannot dictate how often you go to mass. You met the criteria to get into the school so it is up to you. It is common (and reasonable imo) for them to say as this is Holy Communion year make sure you go to mass as often as possible, prioritise it in your life etc... but no one can FORCE you?
Anyway nearly at half term, 1/6 of the year already done!

RosemaryandThyme Sat 13-Oct-12 14:19:49

Oh sister do toughen up -your clear in your own mind that there is no god, hubby is baulking at weekly church attendance and your still putting your children through a min of 7 years church school ????

The idea that this "ends with your children" is a trite excuse to take no action yourself.

How on earth do you frount up to parents evenings and the like knowing that your not actually catholic and just faking it ?

Tgger Sat 13-Oct-12 16:01:21

Time for a change I think! I would start looking around at other schools. You don't want DD and you to be miserable for the next 3 years. Year 3 is a good time to move- or Year 4.

PiedWagtail Sun 14-Oct-12 19:26:06

My dd was the same in Year 3 - bored! Now she is in Year 4 she is excited and motivated again - the teacher seems to be pushing them harder, which works for dd. Maybe ask your dc's teacher for more work if she has fnished what she has got? Maybe Year 3 is a coasting year?

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