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Playtime angst

(11 Posts)
manchestermummy Tue 23-Apr-13 11:27:27

More reception traumas in the manchesterfamily household smile

DD1 appears to have developed a bit of a fear/hatred of playtime at school. She says her friends "never let her join in", some of the big kids are a bit boisterous, or those who are not in her immediate circle of friends are saying mean things to her. I have no idea if this is true. However, I do know of others in her class, all girls, who are having similar problems at playtime. The teachers deny it, but one dad sat outside school one morning and saw his DD being harassed by an older girl sad. So there may be some truth in what my DD1 is saying (she can be fanciful, this I know).

She loves school and is progressing really well, but playtime traumas come up in conversation every night, most evenings and every weekend. What I am loathe to do is try to make out that she's doing something wrong: I was bullied at school and it was always "my fault", according to teachers.

Any advice?

learnandsay Tue 23-Apr-13 11:34:56

Can you stand outside the school and watch your daughter? Lots of schools have dedicated Reception play areas to avoid just this sort of thing.

manchestermummy Tue 23-Apr-13 11:44:52

I was considering it. They do have a separate repection playground, but they don't play in that at playtime hmm

freetrait Tue 23-Apr-13 11:47:30

I would take this seriously. There were various issues at playtime in our school last year. There has been a change of leadership and they have a much clearer playground structure now (one quiet playground for younger/quieter ones, some equipment for games, and a rota for the football) and the kids (and parents!) are a lot happier. I'm not sure who you approach and how though- sorry, perhaps others will have a better idea.

PoppyWearer Tue 23-Apr-13 11:53:40

You have my sympathy, my reception-class DD had a lot of playtime-related worries earlier in the year, though she seems more secure in her friendship group now.

Someone on one of these threads told me that when they say other children won't play with them, it means the other children won't play the game your DC wants to play. But they do actually play.

Is there a buddy bench where she can sit and wait for another child to play with if they are being mean?

With my DD it also had to do with her being slow to eat lunch, because by the time she got into the playground others would already be playing a game. She now tends to play with the other slow-eaters.

I find the stuff with the older children more worrying - have a word with the teachers or school office?

manchestermummy Tue 23-Apr-13 11:55:06

That's interesting. She's only got a bit of time left in YR, but I'm sure there will be children next year, the year after that and the year after that (DD2's year!) who will feel the same.

I am now thinking I might drop the school an e-mail. I don't want to collar the teacher at the start of the day and I also don't really want to discuss this in front of my DD as I'm not sure that will be helpful. We are having a change of head this Sept so it might be worth getting this on the agenda.

manchestermummy Tue 23-Apr-13 11:56:39

Yes, I think I'm most concerned about the older children issue. I think sometimes it's to do with her friends not wanting to play the same games, and I'm working on the idea of not being able to do what you want all the time much like at work

freetrait Tue 23-Apr-13 11:59:23

Yes, definitely worth it. I'm sure there are lots of other parents with similar worries. In our school they made quite a few changes- buddied up the YR kids (with Y5s I think), and I think they're also going to introduce them to the playtime thing during the last bit of nursery (there's a nursery class) so it's not such a big shock. Then throughout the school they made behaviour expectations clear and consistent which I guess helped with behaviour at lunchtime as well and then made sure there was something for everyone in terms of quieter/livelier bits of the playground.

manchestermummy Tue 23-Apr-13 12:19:00

I e-mailed this school; hopefully will have an update later.

manchestermummy Wed 24-Apr-13 14:42:38

Quick update: the head will be talking to DD's class teacher, and she will talk to Dd herself to see her take on things. I am pleased this is being taken seriously and I am not being OTT.

Thanks for all of your help smile

freetrait Wed 24-Apr-13 14:51:06

Great. Encourage other parents to communicate like you have done if they have issues. If enough do hopefully the Head will see that it is something that needs addressing more generally.

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