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School "concocts" a burglary and children not told it's not real.

(17 Posts)
Josephinekeepshouse Thu 26-Nov-15 13:46:20

Just wondering if this is common practice. Y5 children went to school on Mon to find classrooms in a mess with trays on floor etc and told staff had had some of their personal and treasured belongings stolen. Same day parents get a text telling us they had "concocted" a burglary and would appreciate our "cooperation". Seems the children still not been told this wasn't real and the purpose of this exercise was to improve their writing as they had to do a newspaper report. Really? does this make sense? strangely my son had a nightmare that night. is this barmy or is it just me?

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 26-Nov-15 13:47:42

DS did a 'detective' exercise in yr4 last year, where they had to follow clues around the school and then write reports. But they were all well aware that it wasn't real.

multivac Thu 26-Nov-15 13:52:33

It's called 'immersive learning'. Our sons' school was invaded by aliens earlier this year (although parents were given notice of this, and had it explained to them that it wasn't real whilst asking for their cooperation - much to the amusement of some of them).

I don't think staging a mock burglary is good practice, though. It's too plausible, and potentially upsetting for the children.

puddock Thu 26-Nov-15 13:54:48

We had dinosaur playground mayhem in KS1. The children knew by the end of the day that it had been set up though. Doesn't sound like it's been well though out or handled in your son's case.

GastonsChestHair Thu 26-Nov-15 13:57:45

I think it's terrible. When I was at primary school we did 'police week' - a whole week of dressing and acting like police with real officers giving talks and teaching us.
One of the exercises involved forensics. We were presented with a criminal kit and had to do something with it (can't remember what now) anyway, I opened this little packet with white powder in you get where this is going one of my classmates said "does it smell of anything?" so I bent down and sniffed it.

The officer in charge went nuts

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Thu 26-Nov-15 13:57:25

I agree, this sounds too plausible and therefore too much potential for upset.

Our school has done similar but always in a way that made it really clear that it wasn't serious or anything to worry about.

GastonsChestHair Thu 26-Nov-15 13:59:34

Ugh bloody phone sorry.

He went nuts and told me that I was a criminal because it was cocaine and I'd taken illegal drugs.

I was in yr 6 and it freaked me out. Have never forgotten. Kept me going for ages and I was very upset. My parents were not pleased

Witchend Thu 26-Nov-15 14:50:35

I don't think it's too bad.

Ds is in year 4 and they've done similar things over the last couple of years. he's got terribly excited by it. Generally he can't stand anything to do with school, but he was logging on the website all hours of the non-school hours to see if any other clues had been found. Really got him going, and interested.

Also when I was at school the school was broken into on a couple of occasions and usually the TV and video recorder and anything valuable and liftable was taken. I was a very nervous child and very easily worried, but I can't remember it being at all upsetting. If anything it was interesting; I can remember the police walking round and seeing the window smashed and all sorts. I did worry about burglaries at home from an early age, but the school ones never worried me.

Shockers Thu 26-Nov-15 15:56:47

Aliens crash landed at DD's special school.

Can you imagine trying to explain to a child with SLD that what she'd seen with her own eyes (slime all over the science labs and a wrecked spaceship in the playground, surrounded by police tape) wasn't real?

She was by no means the only one that was terrified (for months!) either.


Snowglobe18 Thu 26-Nov-15 16:51:39

I am wary of such things. At the age of 9 or 10 I was at a church holiday kids' scheme. We were in a room with no windows and they told us there had been a nuclear explosion and that the whole country was in danger and that we couldn't leave.

It didn't last long, some kind of point was made out of it. It was very badly judged and absolutely terrifying. My dad wasn't on the holiday which was just horrifying.

I know this isn't quite the same but it pushes the same buttons for me.

Josephinekeepshouse Thu 26-Nov-15 17:01:06

thanks for responses. interesting to hear other's experiences. I think if it was a real burglary, yes my son would have been fascinated but probably still a bit scared. But that situation would have been out of school's control. not convinced it makes sense to tell them a pack of lies about something which will worry a few of them in order to improve their writing. sounds from hearing about other's experience that the school in this case could have handled it a whole lot better. nearly two weeks on my son still doesn't know it wasn't real..

btdtgtts Thu 26-Nov-15 17:15:30

For goodness' sake, tell your DS, and make the point that nobody gets to tell you something and tell you you can't tell someone else (without giving you a choice of whether to hear it, knowing it's secret, at least).

lunar1 Thu 26-Nov-15 17:17:26

I wouldn't let my children believe this overnight, it's too close to could be real.

starry0ne Thu 26-Nov-15 17:29:05

My own Ds would of been really upset by this he is a sensitive soul and not slept and definitely not wanted to go to school the next day..He is a 8...Other kids could take it in their stride

G1veMeStrength Thu 26-Nov-15 17:32:22

They did this at DS school but made it just rubbish enough for the DC to realise themselves that it was staged, and they all felt very clever that they had sussed out the teachers' plan.

And that was not long after we were burgled for real at home - DS wasn't at all traumatised - so there IS a way for schools to do this well.

RachelZoe Thu 26-Nov-15 17:40:48

When my son (now 20) was in year 5, one of the teachers pretended to "attack"/have a fight with one of the pupils and they had to write about it (what the fuck about that but whatever), they were told immediately that it was set up and everyone was fine.

I think they have to tell them though, why on earth would they let it continue once the exercise was over? I think you should explain what happened.

mrtwitsglasseye Thu 26-Nov-15 22:56:14

I would NOT be happy with the deception and "trick". My son has enough problems distinguishing between fact and fiction and needs to be able to trust that what the adults around him are saying is true can be relied on. I try to pick my battles but I would go batshit over this.

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