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School has asked dcs to use only plain, undecorated pens, pencil cases, rulers etc. Is there any evidence that using 'fun' stationary puts kids off studying?

(119 Posts)
comoco Sun 18-Dec-16 22:18:19

Is banning fun stationery now normal in primaries?

Feel bad for little ones not allowed fun 'character' pencil cases or rubbers etc they've been given as presents. Apparently they will now be confiscated. sad

I've never heard of this before - is there actually any evidence that kids study better with boring stationery? And won't kids get it all confused with everyone else's if it's all identically boring?

InsertUsernameHere Sun 18-Dec-16 22:20:11

I presume it's to stop competition and knicking someone's special stuff- rather than directly better for education.

DayToDayGlobalShit Sun 18-Dec-16 22:21:25

Did they explain why they take this stance?

meditrina Sun 18-Dec-16 22:22:17

It probably makes little difference to the individual, particularly to the 'haves'. But schools are a community, and perhaps don't want to deal with policing all the stuff.

No, not every school will ban it. But not every school will have the same level of social difficulty.

cherrycrumblecustard Sun 18-Dec-16 22:23:34

Sounds a bit ridiculous really. I still love a pretty pencil case.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 18-Dec-16 22:24:11

DS's class of year 2's had to bring home all personal stationery, pencil cases etc. Not because using a character pencil was distracting them but because endless arguments about people taking other people's stuff and tears over lost favourite pencils etc were distracting everyone's learning time. They use stationery provided by the school now.

comoco Sun 18-Dec-16 22:25:49

Never heard of any stuff being nicked. It's a school in a fairly well-off area.

The reason given was it would stop the kids being distracted. But I have an older dc who used fun pens etc and don't recall her ever being distracted by it, not any of her friends!

It just added a bit of sparkle and fun to lessons!

So I wondered if there was any actual evidence linking fun pens or rubbers to not concentrating?

Astro55 Sun 18-Dec-16 22:27:58

Distracting the lesson by chatting about your sparkly pen to create some fun and interest???

Aren't they learning to read and write?

Wheredidallthejaffacakesgo Sun 18-Dec-16 22:28:03

Because the stuff from smiggle and tinc gets nicked
Because the novelty erasers don't erase
Because the kids who are fiddling with their bendy rulers aren't concentrating
Because the kids who don't have this stuff - which is ridiculously expensive - become targets for teasing
Because the kids don't actually need a huge range of stationery in primary school

Woodacorn Sun 18-Dec-16 22:28:11

Perhaps one child lost their special pencil case and parents kicked up a fuss blaming school.
Perhaps some kids felt upset their parents couldn't buy them fancy Smiggle etc stuff.
Perhaps some kids spend too long admiring all their special stuff and not working.
Could be all sorts of reasons. What reason have school given? Was it school or you who said it's because they study better with plain stationery?

irvineoneohone Sun 18-Dec-16 22:28:46

My ds' school allow personal stationary from ks2.
Things get stolen. I tell my ds to only take things he doesn't miss, but had few tears.
They are crazy about certain stuff. Need to have right stuff, etc.
I wish the school ban it.

Namejustfornappies Sun 18-Dec-16 22:29:56

Even in year 7 in a very affluent catchment there was still bloody knicking of the latest "in" pencil case, or rubber, or gel pen. Etc. And not only that when everyone has exactly the same must-have pencil case it's a right PITA to find its rightful owner.
However I've never heard of a School actually banning them before, although I have sympathy with the idea, I think it's a bit daft grin

ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 18-Dec-16 22:32:52

Oh sorry comoco I forgot that children in fairly well off areas don't accidentally put another child's pencil in their pencil case or long so much for a pink sparkly pencil that it ends up in their book bag. These are primary school kids if the teacher says it's distracting then it's distracting whether that is because they are too busy staring at the sparkles or too busy fighting over or losing the stuff. It's not a big deal.

EskSmith Sun 18-Dec-16 22:40:59

It's obviously causing issues or the school wouldn't have taken the time to ban it.
TBH "Never heard of any stuff being nicked. It's a school in a fairly well-off area." just shows how little you understand a classroom.
Things aren't taken purely because other children want them, they are taken to cause distress, and yes children in your "well off area" will be doing it.

SophieGiroux Sun 18-Dec-16 22:44:40

I still remember when I was 4 getting my ice cream cone rubber (that smelled of mint choc chip) stolen by a girl in my class who then chopped it up into little bits with scissors.
Still wouldn't want things banned though.

00100001 Sun 18-Dec-16 22:46:17

agree with PPs

It because the kids are stealing from each other.

irvineoneohone Sun 18-Dec-16 22:54:03

Agree with stealing do happen in affluent area. Some are done with malice.
My ds' pencil was stolen, and broken and thrown into bin. Done by bully, witnessed by his friends.

CotswoldStrife Sun 18-Dec-16 22:55:41

The pop-out Smiggle pencil cases have been banned at DD's school because too many pupils were playing with them instead of working grin After the advent calendar disaster I can't say I'm too bothered. She still uses the gadget-type case at home. Probably the same with scented pencils etc, just write with it instead of passing it round to see if it really does smell of strawberry.

leccybill Sun 18-Dec-16 23:02:43

I teach lots of Year 7.
On any given day:
Somebody's special pencil will be bent/snapped/hidden/chewed/stolen
Rubbers will be chopped up/flicked/stolen
Rulers will be bent/snapped/slapped/boing-ed
Children will 'forget' to write the date and title as they've been too busy laying out their array of Sharpies and Scentos
A plain piece of writing will be jazzed up with highlighters and swirly patterns
Someone will call out 'Can we do it in gel pen?'
Someone will whinge as their neighbour won't lend them a pen/pencil as 'they're my special ones'
Items will be left behind at the end of the lesson.
Repeat ad nauseum.
(I still love stationery though!)

comoco Sun 18-Dec-16 23:04:53

woodacorn - it was the school that said it was being done because it ws distracting the kids, not me!

They didn't mention theft as a reason anmd tbh I think my dc would have mentioned if anytjing like that had happened - and you'd think the school would give that as a reason if that had happened, which they didn't.

The school claimed it was because sparkly pens etc are a distraction. To go back to my original query - is there any evidence for this? I remember much enjoying my smelly pens, Abba pencilcase etc at primary AND coming top of the class - I certainly wasn't distracted. And my dcs have managed not to be distracted by their pens before. So is this really a thing? And is there any proof?

WhoKnowsWhereTheT1meG0es Sun 18-Dec-16 23:06:03

It was all banned in my DD's KS2 class (affluent area) last year after an epidemic of thefts. DD had her first fountain pen stolen and was devastated, she knew exactly how and by who and it was retrieved by the teacher but she only takes disposable pens to school now.

Astro55 Sun 18-Dec-16 23:09:44

They're hardly going to say we have a school full of thieves!!

Let them have the sparkles at home - they're are in school a long time - pick your battles

irvineoneohone Sun 18-Dec-16 23:11:06

Several MN teachers saying it's distracting proof enough?

Emochild Sun 18-Dec-16 23:11:29

Fun stationery is a pain in the arse in the classroom

Competion about who has the biggest collection of rubbers

Children borrowing and using rubbers that the owner didn't want to spoil by it actually being used

Novelty pencils often don't write very well

Taking 5 minutes to decide which pencil to use

Being teased for having a 'babyish' pencil case or the wrong type of pencil case etc etc.....

All of our local primaries now supply stationery, in a pot, in the middle of the table -everyone the same

OutDamnedWind Sun 18-Dec-16 23:11:35

I'd call teachers having to deal with everything leccybill described, both the kids wittering on about it and then the fallout, as a distraction, not literally being distracted by a pencil sparkling in your eyes.

Surely the fact the school have gone to the effort of implementing a ban is evidence enough? Sadly I don't think there's too much research council funding out there to facilitate research into the side effects of Smiggle.

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