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I realise this sounds ridiculous...'register order'

(63 Posts)
Deliaskis Mon 01-Feb-16 11:56:49

DD started reception in September. She has always been one of the quieter ones, and takes her time to dive into groups of children etc. She's actually very confident with adults, but less assertive with children. We're trying to work on this with her and help her speak up for herself etc.

This is the ridiculous bit, but I would appreciate thoughts nevertheless (even if they are that I need to get over it). At school, they seem to do a lot of things in 'register order'. They sit in register order on the carpet, they go in each morning in register order, they go to lunch and sit in register order to eat, they obviously do a lot of things in class in register order (e.g. 1-2-1 reading starts at the top and they work down). Our surname begins with 'Wy', so obviously DD is last for everything, at the back of every line, last to read, last to go in, last for lots of things.

I know there is nothing the school can do about where we fall in the alphabet, but what I have now seen happening is that DD is hanging back at other activities (e.g. at a sport she does where they take turns, at Rainbows etc.), just assuming her place in everything is last. For a girl who is not naturally self-confident and assertive, I am starting to worry a little about whether this is becoming baggage at an early age that is unnecessary. Obviously we try and tell her that register order only matters at school, but it's hard to get it through.

Am I being ridiculous? Probably. Is there anything I can do about it? Probably not. Is it worth talking to her teacher about how to help her confidence and how to explain to her that register order is actually completely unimportant and she is not destined to a life of being last at everything? This is the bit I need help with.

Prepared to be a bit ridiculed....


KeepingThisAllHidden Mon 01-Feb-16 12:02:27

Lots of schools do this but every school I know takes turn to start at the end and work backwards. I'm really surprised your school don't and I'd go in and explain that it's affecting her confidence. It's also good practice for their alphabet knowledge.

Etak15 Mon 01-Feb-16 12:03:34

This is something I've never thought about but I can see your point my surname is at the beginning of the alphabet and I used to dress being called up first for things! Have just asked my dd's who are off school ill today, the said they don't do anything in register order (apart from the register!) so maybe your dd's school needs to mix things up a bit!

Etak15 Mon 01-Feb-16 12:04:20

Dread not dress!

Buttercup27 Mon 01-Feb-16 12:09:08

1 class at our school does this and there are a couple of reasons why-
-There are a few big personalities in the class that can't be trusted not to mess around when next to each other so having a given place makes life easy.
-no fuss or time wasted as even knows where they need to be.
Personally I don't do it with my reception class they all take it in turns to be line leader as it is fair. But they all have their specific place to sit on the carpet that takes in everybody's needs.

whatsitallabout1 Mon 01-Feb-16 12:10:16

Another late alphabet surname here! I sometimes do in my dc school, if called upon to list a load of children for a newsletter item etc I always do it in reverse alphabetical (whilst feeling slightly subversive!)

I vaguely recall there was a study done which demonstrated late alphabet surnames were at a distinct disadvantage because of using register order. They consistently missed out on teacher individual attention etc. because each term saw a fresh start at A regardless of where the last term ended. It was recommended that approaches such as random choose a name (eg lolly stick with each name on) was more fair.

I think I would have a word with teacher about it in your situation. It's obviously thoughtless rather than intentional, but since it does seem to be having an impact on your daughter I don't think it's too much to ask if they could look at using other methods to select "order" sometimes.

Poledra Mon 01-Feb-16 12:12:37

I'd talk to the school - you have a legitimate concern about your daughter's self-confidence that I'd hope the school would be keen to help with!

FWIW, I've observed quite a few lessons at my children's school, and they do mix it up a bit. So, children will be called by birth month, by register order, by first name order. The teachers use it as a teaching tool - I've seen Yr1 children called by 'If your name begins with the letters between A and G' for example, so the children need to know the alphabet to get into the right group.

chemenger Mon 01-Feb-16 12:16:43

When I married I moved from a name beginning with B to one beginning with S. Until then I never thought alphabetical order was anything but fair. Now with classes of students I use other ways of sorting them when necessary - first name alphabetical order, using the day of the month of their birthday, last two digits of their student number, height (takes time to organise!) etc, and they appreciate the effort. So often they end up with the same partners because simple surname alphabetical order is used.

Towardsthesun Mon 01-Feb-16 12:21:04

I think you have a point. Having said that, there are many situations in school life where children are grouped together randomly or according to ability. It's not always register order.

I find the As hate being first or having to sit at the front in exams so there could also be advantages eg if a child is quite happy to hide.

Teachers are taught not to forget the 'invisible child' eg the quiet hardworker. On the other hand, some children go through agonies fearing they are going to be asked to stand up or answer a question or get singled out in any way. Some children are intrapersonal learners and still do perfectly well.

Deliaskis Mon 01-Feb-16 12:24:53

Wow! I was genuinely expecting to be told to suck it up and that I needed to give myself a talking to.

Interesting to hear other's perspectives on this, including teachers and those working in schools.

Now to try and start the discussion without sounding like I'm just whinging about the alphabet.

Thanks for replies.

BrianButterfield Mon 01-Feb-16 12:26:33

As someone who has both a maiden and a married name towards the end of the register, I hate register order and never ever use it in my classes. I also make sure I call every name on the register in the same tone as I used to hate that "and X" resigned tone teachers would use for the last name, like they hardly even matter. It's a small thing but it matters to children.

CheesyWeez Mon 01-Feb-16 12:27:47

My maiden name began with 'W' and I felt it made me timid and unstretched as I never had to go first.

In secondary school I missed out on equipment and books as none were left for me when they were given out in register order. I frequently had to share with a girl whose surname began with 'Y' when everyone else had their OWN book/bunsen burner/half hour with the language assistant/ or whatever.
It is a pain.

Mind you, at the time, (ca 1980) the registers were also BOYS FIRST ffs. So V W X Y Z girls really missed out!

I am so impressed with my son's teacher (Yr 6) who chooses order using a jar of lolly sticks, 1 named for each child.

I don't mean to pile on the worry OP - but the teacher probably has a name from the middle of the alphabet and has never thought about it. Mention it to the teacher though.

Or change your name to Aardvark immediately grin

Hygellig Mon 01-Feb-16 12:28:46

I think it could be worth having a quick word. Could they sometimes not start from the end of the register? I remember my Year 7 maths teacher used to alternate between starting at the beginning or end of the register (there was a girl whose surname was Marsh who used to be last either way).

Deliaskis Mon 01-Feb-16 12:31:40

grin re change her name to Aardvark. My name is mymaidenname-DHname and my maiden name begins with F. DD actually has it as a middle name but not a double-barrel like me. We could just add it back in!

SoftBlocks Mon 01-Feb-16 12:36:51

Like whatsitallabout I've seen something about research which has found that children with early alphabet names often do turn out to be more assertive and possibly successful because they are used to getting things first. My dc is late alphabet but the school do things in reverse order sometimes, fortunately. Definitely worth having a word with the school, you are not being ridiculous at all.

wigglesrock Mon 01-Feb-16 12:56:40

No, I don't think you're being ridiculous and I'm usually a bit of an eye roller grin. My surname and subsequently the three kids is at the end of the alphabet. The only thing that is done alphabetically in my kids primary school classes is the roll and that is only from P2/Year 1. My youngest is in P1 ( almost 5) and for the roll they pick their own photo from the teachers desk and put it under their name on the wall (Velcro/felt contraption). Have a word with the teacher, it could be no one has brought it up before. When they're going for lunch it's called in tables ie the red table, then the yellow, or the squirrels then the owls. The tables change every 8 weeks or so.

wigglesrock Mon 01-Feb-16 12:57:49

Oh I've just looked at your user name, blast from the post natal club past grin. You are definitely not being silly - hope all is well x

Deliaskis Mon 01-Feb-16 13:10:33

[waves] at wigglesrock . Hope you're all well!

Can't believe no eye-rolling wink

BumpAndGrind Mon 01-Feb-16 13:18:26

I'm 32 and have just got married.

I was super excited not to be W anymore. I'm a H now. Win!

I do think end of alphabet children suffer.

BumpAndGrind Mon 01-Feb-16 13:19:32

I still remember being sandwiched between Nick Warburton and James Williams in every line.

They were twats.

BeaufortBelle Mon 01-Feb-16 13:31:46

Similar here bumpandgrind. I was scarred for life being the girl with a boy always behind her and can still feel the disappointment at the Christmas party when I had to have a blue hat because they ran out of pink ones. Hated it and it happened all through my school days. Even at work my personnel file was the very last one in the cabinet sad. I was delighted to take my DH's name when we got married!

onemouseplace Mon 01-Feb-16 13:41:13

I had an end of the alphabet surname as well, and it was rubbish at school. I particularly remember always having one less swimming lesson per term than the ones at the beginning as they would always take the first 20, then the next 20, starting at the start of the register again to make up the numbers. I'm still irritated by this 25 years later!

This isn't actually anything to do with register order, but it has also reminded me that our French teacher insisted on using the French version of our names in class. Mine is a well known name beginning with Z, but as it apparently wasn't French enough, she called me sodding "Yvette" for 5 years as it was the nearest alphabetical equivalent.

Yokohamajojo Mon 01-Feb-16 14:29:13

I never thought of this but now reading this thread I remember DS1 always moaning in reception about wanting his surname to start with an A, ours is in the middle of the alphabet so not last at all. It seems to have stopped now though and I can only remember it at the very beginning of school! it does seem quite unfair though

BackforGood Mon 01-Feb-16 14:50:45

Whenever I've done things in register order (or, sometimes in Reception, alphabetical order by first name as that's more recognisable for them), then I would take turns for where the line starts - that's just basic common sense and nothing to do with the fact my name is towards the end of the alphabet.
Day 1 would be Annie, Bertie, Colin, Dawn..... Zoe
Day 2 would be Bertie, Colin, Dawn......Zoe, Annie
Day 3 would be Colin, Dawn,.....Zoe, Annie, Bertie
Have a quick word with the teacher to see if they might do that.

Alanna1 Mon 01-Feb-16 15:04:54

It is partly for precisely this reason that I insisted my children have my beginning of the alphabet surname. I noticed this advantage throughout school. Every so often a caring teacher (usually one whose surname began near the end of the alphabet!) changed it round a few times, but it in no way altered the overall advantage. You see it in loads of walks of life I think too. Yes, you could have a word or suggest some other way of doing it. I think it also however helps teachers learn kids names, which is also important.

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