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Would you complain about this?

(13 Posts)
Vajazzler Mon 04-Feb-13 19:27:03

My dc's school has implemented a new lunchtime regime that involves coning off areas of the playground into zones such as reading, football, quiet games, art area. The children must choose an area to spend their lunch break in and may not switch area. There is no running, shouting, chasing or free play allowed. Prior to this there was an inside art club and ict club for children that wished to stay inside and do something quiet. The main reason I have a problem is that since this started they have insisted you must stay in your chosen area and keep your lunchbox and coat with you but this means that my dc1's stuff is getting covered in mud every day. The dc's (I have 4 in the primary) are moaning about the whole thing and I must admit I'm a bit [hmmm] about children not being able to run off their energy at lunchtime.

betterwhenthesunshines Mon 04-Feb-13 19:36:24

Hmm I can understand a quieter are of the playground for those who want to play quietly rather than chase around, but it does sound a bit regimented. Have they written to you about it, or is this child feedback? Maybe it's just a trial and it won't last long once they realise it's too complicated

50shadesofvomit Mon 04-Feb-13 22:45:14

Our school has a quiet area and a general area and you have to stick to one or the other.

The arrangement works well for children who find the normal playground too intense.

I would be complaining about the situation at your school. All 3 of my kids love to run around playing games like It or ball games. When it's so cold, I don't blame them for running around to keep warm and let off steam loudly after sitting down quietly all day. Your school is being far too regimented.

Vajazzler Mon 04-Feb-13 23:23:01

Thanks for the feedback. We weren't informed of the change by the school, the first i knew about it was my son suddenly coming home muddy every day, some days if he had fallen over playing footie he'd have to change into pe kit. Then the others started complaining about having to stay in the zones, so i asked a few members of staff what was going on and they confirmed what the dc'shad said, and encouraged me to write to the head as many children and staff were unhappy with new arrangements but were powerless to do anything about it.

PastSellByDate Tue 05-Feb-13 14:03:10


My advice is don't individually write or see the head, talk to other parents and get together a group request.

I advise this, because several of us complained as individuals (being told this was the done way) only to be individually told 'nobody else has raised this issue' by the head, and to be each separately given the impression we were being terribly difficult and demanding.

Unfortunately, for the school we got together as parents found out this had happened and then wrote as a group of 25 out of 30 parents (all invited to write) of the class to complain about something we didn't like and put forward three possible solutions.

We received a very gracious letter, where the Head expressed her surprise that parents felt so strongly, but ultimately we got what we wanted.

Unfortunately, I've rather found our primary school to be a bit like a dictatorship and our solution was insurrection, although we did try to be polite about it.

Vajazzler Tue 05-Feb-13 20:28:47

Thanks for sharing your experience Past, i shall have to speak to some of the other parents and see what they think.

alanyoung Tue 05-Feb-13 20:40:26

Children definitely need an area to burn off their excess energy by running about and I think the school will soon realise this too when many of their children are coming back into the classroom in the afternoon and bouncing off the walls. They will probably have a great increase in discipline problems to deal with. The last school I worked in had a quiet area and an area for physical games and that worked well. The children had to pick one for each lunchtime and stick to it, otherwise it was difficult for the supervising staff, but it worked well once the children were used to it.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Tue 05-Feb-13 20:45:41

I would start by finding ou why it has been introduced.

Is your issue the pack up getting muddy, the clothes or the lack of free play?

I wouldn't mnd something like this, I find the total rough and tumbleof the entire playground is a bt much. I think a quiet zones a nice idea. But it sounds very controlled and free play is fun.

stopthinkingsomuch Tue 05-Feb-13 20:52:40

If this was implemented I'd be up in a shot. British kids

stopthinkingsomuch Tue 05-Feb-13 20:57:58

If this was my dcs school I'd be up in a shot. Having lived in Australia I feel that British kids are in a lot of organised activities by comparison. Let them be. Stick some wellies on, allow them out in the snow, wet mud and get on with it. Let them choose switch. By all means have a quieter corner. My little boy seems to be inside a lot of lunches at the moment by choice. Loves to draw etc but I think he needs the daylight as its dark early!

perceptionreality Tue 05-Feb-13 21:17:30

This happened for a short while in my dd's school (small prep school). It happened because parents were going to the school and complaining and asking why their offspring were not being stimulated for the entire school day, even at lunchtimes.

I don't think it is at all healthy - kids do need down time which is free time.

tiggytape Wed 06-Feb-13 09:05:37

I can see the reaosning behind zones. Football especially totally dominates an entire space and makes the playground less usable for children who hate football and don't want to join in / get the ball kicked at them / have to avoid children tackling and racing after the ball.

Not all quieter children want to sit inside the ICT room. They want to be outside, chatting and playing, but without a football being kicked at them every few seconds

Zones are a brilliant idea but don't think there is such a need to micro manage things beyond creating a quieter area. How rough was it getting for them to decide to introduce a total ban on running for example - that seems extreme?

Startail Wed 06-Feb-13 09:15:15

Separating football and quiet areas I agree with, but so many zones and rules is ridiculous.

Also no changing zones???

How in earth do you enforce that?

Surely a child has the right to decide they have had enough of an activity or the group of friends they they need to be able to move.

It is beyond me why HT make complex arrangements for play and dinner halls.

In the 10 years my DDs were at primary not one of them lasted a term.

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