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Is this ok/worth saying something about?

(42 Posts)
Kitsilano Tue 16-Oct-12 16:29:35

My DD2 has just started reception. Generally very happy, old for the year, confident and seems to be enjoying school. But we have just changed schools (I have an older DD) and I am noticing quite a different in her teacher's attitude and level of engagement compared to the teachers I have experienced at the previous school. It's hard to exactly out my finger on but these are some examples.


- They seem to watch TV every day - perhaps not for long but at least at the end of the day just before home time. Once my DD told me they had watched "almost all" of the Sound of Music

- Teacher never greets the kids at the beginning of the day or even notices them coming through the door. As we come into the classroom she sits at a computer with her back to the door, occasionally glancing up

- At child level at the front of the class is a "day" board which says "Today is..." with a changeable date, month and day of the week. When I looked this afternoon it hadn't been changed for a week.

- They have a board in the classroom with a big label saying "Sound of the Week". Empty.

- We had our parents evening (pretty early in the term to be fair) and LITERALLY all she had to say "Your DD has already achieved the milestones for this year so my challenge is going to be to stop her getting bored". That was all.

Am I being precious or would things like this ring slight alarm bells? It's a private school if that makes any difference at all.

LindyHemming Tue 16-Oct-12 16:30:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kitsilano Tue 16-Oct-12 16:38:37

How would you tackle it? It's hard as my daughter actually seems pretty happy but I do feel it's a bit lame/lazy.

trifling Tue 16-Oct-12 16:50:16

You're paying for this? I would go to the head and ask if this is the usual approach. It sounds slack at the least. Is your older daughter's classroom different?

gabsid Tue 16-Oct-12 17:23:34

TV every day, date not changed for a week, not greeting/engaging with the DC in the morning? Sounds very odd to me.

I would be very concerned and make an appointment with the Head, maybe s/he can explain - but to be honest it sounds more than slack and I can't imagine any state school getting by like that.

gabsid Tue 16-Oct-12 17:24:14

Keeping your DD from getting bored!! I would be fuming!!!

Quip Tue 16-Oct-12 18:04:58

Sounds awful. Have you considered local state schools?

LeeCoakley Tue 16-Oct-12 18:08:23

This would never be allowed in a state school! Why are you paying for, well, basically a babysitter?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 16-Oct-12 18:12:49

And you are paying for this??

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 16-Oct-12 18:16:56

Sorry..that was a little brief.

What I meant to say was (like others) that I doubt very much your local state school would be allowed to get away with this level of laziness.

I think you are right to be concerned and would raise it.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 16-Oct-12 18:21:49

The thing about a private school is, you're the customer - if you think its not up to scratch you should say something (though I'm not sure what or to whom!).

GW297 Tue 16-Oct-12 18:23:42

I agree - again, and you are paying for this?! I'm sure you could find such a mediocre teacher for free!

whatinthewhatnow Tue 16-Oct-12 19:02:37

this is what happens at my ds's (state) school - he has just started reception:

In the morning, greeted cheerfully at the door by name by the class teacher or assistant (there are 2 TAs). They are encouraged to find their own name on the board to register and hand their coats up but the lovely teacher/TA will help them if they're in a pickle.

There are tables laid out when they arrive for them to sit in their little groups and do a fine motor skill, or they can play if they want, while the class fills up. They are guided to do this by the teacher/TA.

His teacher is available at the beginning and end of the day to talk to any parent that wants to. After school she is back by the door saying goodbye to all the children.

There is definitely no telly! I would be appalled, tbh. And I absolutely expect the teacher to be kind, engaged and enthusiastic, as she is.

Things like boards in the classroom are updated regularly, as is 'star of the week', house points etc etc.

Parents evening is tomorrow so I'm not sure what that's like, but I am hoping for something better than you got!

Sticking the telly on and ignoring my kids is my job, I'd be horrified if the teacher was doing it grin .

Kitsilano Tue 16-Oct-12 20:08:24

LOL whatinthewhatnow - Exactly! I'm not paying for a bored babysitter...

BlueberryHill Tue 16-Oct-12 20:55:14

My experience at a state primary

- greeted at the door by teacher, go in get sorted, Nursery Nurse assists plus TAs as required

- teacher available to talk at the beginning / end of day

- activities throughout the day, most of it based around play, literacy and numeracy introduced (We had an evening session for parents to explain phonics and the system they used, plus what we could do to help our children). They had a topic for each half term and used that to develop the children.

- access to outside all the time.

- loads of work, displays up

- at the end of the day released by teacher directly to parent, GP etc.

- only TV I knew about, was 15 mins at the end of the day on a Friday as we could pick DCs up from 3.15 pm, kept children occupied whilst parents came in to pick up kids, sort coats etc Friday was a different day for pick ups, they let them finish early as they found that Reception children were really tired by the end of the week.

- most impressive thing was Parents Evening, at around this time, she really knew DS1, had considered that he didn't know anyone before he started, had left other friends behind etc We were gobsmacked, she had put so much thought, effort and insight into it. It continued throughout the year with a really personal, accurate report at the end of the year.

Haberdashery Tue 16-Oct-12 21:23:17

I think my daughter's class ('satisfactory' state school) watched TV no more than twice last year and both times were explicitly educational and topic-related. OP, in your shoes I'd be furious whether state or private. But it does seem to add insult to injury that you appear to be paying for substandard care and teaching. It's just taking the piss!

Also, my experience of going in to school with DD in the mornings was much as others have described - nice, interested, friendly teacher and TAs, help with hanging stuff up, a positive desire to communicate with the children and parents, teachers who seemed to like being teachers!

BTW, DD had also achieved quite a lot at the start of Reception but she'd achieved a lot more at the end (not just been kept out of mischief).

Kitsilano Tue 16-Oct-12 21:26:56

Thanks so much to all for the feedback including the level of detail. It's really helpful....I have emailed the head of the Lower School to ask for a meeting this week...wish me luck!

Morebiscuitsplease Tue 16-Oct-12 21:27:54

Most definitely worth saying something. The TV thing is awful. As for your child not being about challenging her?

HandMini Tue 16-Oct-12 21:35:36

Good luck Kitsilano, you are totally in the right to be doing this. Teacher sounds lazy and unmotivated. If you are really keen on the school, at least get your DS moved to a different form/class, as it may just be one slack teacher?

Haberdashery Tue 16-Oct-12 21:40:42

Good luck. I hope it goes well.

In case it's of any use, DD's morning routine last year in Reception was like this:

- arrive in playground (dedicated Reception area)

- TAs are setting out the outside activities, greeting children, telling them what kinds of things they will be doing today if they want to (and also if they don't, immovable things like Year 2's Assembly or singing or computer room or whatever).

- classroom door open, parents and children free to walk through when they want to, teacher inside classroom, greets every child by name unless they get past her too quickly, asks them if they had nice weekends, are they looking forward to singing/PE/whatever, just general chit chat. It was great as v easy to ask her about anything that you needed to know. Also, the teacher would often show me something particularly interesting that DD had made or written in class.

- children hang up coats (with parent's or TA's help if needed), put lunch bags, book bags and water bottles in three different places, return to classroom and parents leave

- every child, whether they can read or not, chooses a book from the selection on the carpet and is expected to sit quietly and read or just look at it until the teacher begins the school day

I really liked quiet reading as a start to the school day. I thought it was a great way of getting them a bit calmer and ready to start work after haring about in the playground.

This is, btw, a supposedly satisfactory (I think it is fabulous) school with a very challenging intake compared to other schools nearby, in terms of FSM, EAL and SEN. If what is considered to be a not very good school can do this, surely anywhere can?

brdgrl Tue 16-Oct-12 21:41:43

That's awful. The telly business alone would be enough for me!

gabsid Wed 17-Oct-12 16:38:16

GW297 - no, you couldn't find such a teacher for free, as in the state system you wouldn't do it for long - the Head, Ofsted, parents .... would be on your case very soon.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Wed 17-Oct-12 17:32:13

Exactly so gabsid!!

kate2boysandabump Wed 17-Oct-12 17:40:19

You're paying for her to go to school and watch tv?

She can do that at home for free.

Doodlekitty Wed 17-Oct-12 17:47:53

While I'm in total agreement that this is not a good set up and should be questioned attitudes towards the use of TV have surprised me. I agree watching films every day is ridiculous but while I was teaching (year 5/6 to be fair) we used to watch news round every day on I player during snack time and discuss the stories. This is time that would be wasted otherwise and was a valuable speaking and listening exercise but to the kids was 'just' watching tv. Are people horrified by that too (I stole the idea from a school who did it in every age group from reception)

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