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Changing for PE - mixed class

(32 Posts)
mistypeaks Thu 25-Feb-16 11:18:50

It's about 8 years since I've posted on MN!!
I have 3 dds
Dd1 is in yr 6 & dd2 in yr5. Not so long back dd2 had a strop in the morning as she couldn't find a crop top and its PE day. She is getting quite busty very early (not through fat - actual boobage poor lamb). I queried why she was so upset. Apparently boys & girls get changed together in the classroom and she feels uncomfortable. I asked dd1 if her year still get changed together and yes they do. She now professes to feel uncomfortable (she could be jumping on a bandwagon - it's in her nature, but in this instance I'm giving her leeway). I have spoken to dd2s teacher. I am the 4th parent to comment. On the face of it she seems sympathetic but "hands tied". Dd2 and a couple of other girls are allowed to hide behind a book trolley!?
Now I'm generally not a cotton wool parent, and don't like to put adult issues and body shame onto kids, but my hackles are up. If my dds say they are uncomfortable then that's all I need to hear. Am I over sensitive? Should i be speaking to the head (although I'm 99% sure it will do no good.)

Topsy34 Thu 25-Feb-16 11:23:38

I would say its not unreasonable for them to change seperately at that age. I was incredibly self concious at 10 and we changed seperately.

Is there a suggestion you can offer to solve it?

dementedpixie Thu 25-Feb-16 11:25:35

At ds's school the girls go get changed in the toilets and boys get changed in the class in the latter primary years.

Sirzy Thu 25-Feb-16 11:26:03

Generally girls will go to the toilet to get changed from about year 5 onwards in my experience

BikeRunSki Thu 25-Feb-16 11:26:05

Could they have the option of changing in the toilets? That's what we did in Top Primary.

BikeRunSki Thu 25-Feb-16 11:26:24

X post many!

starry0ne Thu 25-Feb-16 11:28:17

My DS is in year 4/5 ..the class next door all get changed at the same time boys in one class girls in the other then they spend 1 lesson in pe kit as each class does PE then change back afterwards..

FurryFox Thu 25-Feb-16 11:29:37

My dds class yr6 used to change separately, the girls used to take their stuff into a spare classroom, however teachers have decided it was taking too much time and now they all get changed together again.

If you are not happy definitely speak to the head, not nice for anyone to feel uncomfortable. I don't think you're being over sensitive.

mistypeaks Thu 25-Feb-16 11:29:59

the only suggestion I can think of is for the girls to change in the toilets? I have no idea the size of them though. Mind you there aren't so many girls in dd2s class. I'm just glad I'm not being over protective or something. Apparently even one of the boys complained saying "it was disrespectful to the girls". (A mini gent in the making)

redskytonight Thu 25-Feb-16 12:11:38

These threads come up from time to time and I'm always amazed how many schools don't have facilities for separate changing.

DD has had a crop top since Y4 and in Y5 is now wearing a bra. I don't praise her school for many things, but at least they had separate changing from Y3 and so the issue of changing in front of the boys never came up (changing in front of the other girls is bad enough).

eddiemairswife Thu 25-Feb-16 12:14:45

I used to let Y5/Y6 girls change in the toilets. Wasn't school policy, but felt it was the right thing to do. I issued dire threats of consequences if they were silly, noisy or took too long.

LemonBreeland Thu 25-Feb-16 12:17:17

It doesn't seem appropriate to me that they change together. I can't remember what we did when I was that age in Primary though.

Luckily my DC go to a new build school that has changing facilities for PE, this allows the children to change seperately at all ages.

mistypeaks Thu 25-Feb-16 12:21:11

Thank you. I feel safe that I would be categorically told if I was being stupid (I think pearl clutcher is the new MN phrase grin).
I feel safe in my mind to speak to the head. If I can get into the inner sanctum that is... The process to see her is laughable at times.

JonSnowKnowsNowt Thu 25-Feb-16 12:33:58

At our school Y3 and above get changed separately - girls in classroom and boys in the cloakroom in DS's class, but they don't have many boys which may be why.

Lurkedforever1 Thu 25-Feb-16 12:48:37

I think its a perfectly reasonable thing to bring up with the head. Dds primary was a pretty old building but as standard they got changed seperately from y4. No fixed changing rooms but they used to juggle them round, with either girls or boys sent out to various places depending on the gender of the teacher. Eg boys in classroom, 5 girls in tiny cloakroom, 3 in the toilets, 5 in sencos room etc

shamonts Thu 25-Feb-16 12:52:23

At ds's school the girls go get changed in the toilets and boys get changed in the class in the latter primary years.

why can't the boys go and change in the toilets??

GreatBigHoo Thu 25-Feb-16 13:01:21

DD's school decided a couple of years ago that the pupils would just come in wearing their kit on PE days. Has its own pros and cons, obviously, but does get round this issue and means they get more time actually doing PE rather than changing.

Bunnyjo Thu 25-Feb-16 13:37:34

At my DC's school they get changed separately from year 4. The teacher of that class is male, so the boys change in the class and the girls change in the large cloakroom. The previous teacher was female, so it used to be the other way round.

BertPuttocks Thu 25-Feb-16 13:38:30

Dd is in Yr5. The girls get changed in the classroom and the boys go elsewhere.

There was an incident where some of the boys came back and were trying to look into the classroom. I don't know whether it was due to curiosity or a prank but the school took it seriously, so presumably they think it's important for the children to have privacy.

I don't think you're being oversensitive.

teacherwith2kids Thu 25-Feb-16 13:50:25

Definitely not oversensitive, though it is sometimes difficult for practical reasons.

The ideal is two separate spaces, both supervised.

The problem with e.g. one group changing in cloakrooms (if the class has them - many schools just have coats hung in corridors ) or toilets and the other in the classroom is that one group is unsupervised. IME, girls can be just as unpleasant - in fact often more unpleasant - to one another than the boys ever are to the girls, and depending on the group, 15 or 16 unsupervised children of either gender can get very silly.

We get round it in various ways - e.g. boys in 1 classroom, girls in another when 2 classes are both getting ready for games. Or one group in classroom, one in neighbouring cloakroom, with teacher hovering between the two. Or, for indoor PE, teacher takes one group to hall while the other gets changed in the classroom, with a teaching assistant reading with a child just outside the classroom looking out for any trouble.

If none of these are possible, then a private arrangement with particularly sensitive girls that they can go individually to the toilets to change, or getting changed at break or lunchtime is a compromise.

Cel982 Thu 25-Feb-16 14:02:56

In primary school we just came in in PE kit on PE days, and wore it all day. No time spent changing, no pieces of kit bring lost, and it was a uniform tracksuit so it still looked smart. I don't understand why more schools don't do this.
OP, I would definitely talk to the principal - from what people here are saying this situation doesn't seem to be the norm.

TeenAndTween Thu 25-Feb-16 14:24:58

Our y5 and y6s change separately.

They used to send the girls to the toilets (boys mucked about too much), but now y5 and y6 have PE on same afternoon so they just swap classrooms for changing.

Notcontent Thu 25-Feb-16 22:26:44

At my dd's school they get changed together and I find it rather odd, as there are quite a few year 5 girls who have the start of breasts...

BarbarianMum Fri 26-Feb-16 09:53:50

Ours chamge privately Y5 and Y6. Girls in the classroom, boys in the corridor outside. confused

Witchend Fri 26-Feb-16 09:59:24

I can put in a slightly different prospective. When dd1 was year 6 she had a male teacher, and the games teacher (specialist) was also male. So the girls changed unsupervised and it was a real focal point for bullying. The dominating girls made much more of body shape and things like that than the boys ever did.
When they gave the girls the choice of going to a different classroom or not, more than half chose to stay with the boys.

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