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Let children be children

(29 Posts)
Betty1000 Thu 26-Jan-17 11:09:47

Lesson to 6 year olds in 1990s- "Hey look outside children! Yes that's right the playground is covered with ice. Let's go out and investigate!"
At the end of the day the classroom is covered with stories and poems, paintings and a group collage all on 'Jack Frost'.
Lesson to 6 year olds 2017-"Hey, today we are going to write sentences which contain subordinate conjunctions and expanded noun phrases..."
PLEASE let children be children. Ask your 6 year olds when they last did any Drama, Art, baking, made music with basic musical instruments, danced etc.
I work in many schools and the teachers are 'afraid' to do anything creative or spontaneous as if a child has not written in their book that day, the teacher is questioned.They cannot say 'because we did drama'. Sometimes a photo can be glued into the child's book to show evidence of a practical lesson.
Head teachers cannot fill vacant posts...not even one person applies in many schools.
Someone somewhere has to realise our children are individuals. Some will be academic, some will be creative, some will be both. They are not robots. Teachers know and believe this but are constantly expected to ensure every child reaches an often unreachable target. To even attempt to achieve this most creative lessons do not happen.
As parents we have to allow our kids to grow and learn in an enjoyable way. Acting as a 'wolf' in the playground will lead to a much better character description than teaching'expanded noun phrases'.

BastardGoDarkly Thu 26-Jan-17 11:12:51

I agree, but what do you suggest we do about it?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 26-Jan-17 11:14:25

Most 6 year olds I know still do those things on a weekly basis in school.

Do you think there might be a correlation between those schools that choose not to and the schools that seem to have a problem filling vacancies.

TheBitterBoy Thu 26-Jan-17 11:18:11

I agree with most of your post, but my DS does drama at school every week. And art, music, pe AND games (two separate things at his school which I think is great)

Betty1000 Thu 26-Jan-17 11:22:52

I am thrilled to hear that some schools are still being creative. How wonderful for the children that attend. I will be dropping hints at the schools I visit.

Autumnsky Thu 26-Jan-17 11:36:41

I don't agree with OP at all. DS2 who is in y4, they still has music,arts and 2 PE weekly. Although they don't do drama that oftern, but Christmas play takes a couple of months in winter term. And there are sports, music and arts afterschool club as well. Every half term, they learn their English and science around a topic.And there is not much home work. I think they are having lots of fun at school. Once in Y3,they made food stall and invited parents to buy and raised the money to charity, at the same time, they learned to caculate how much money they spend to prepare their food and how much they earned. To be honest, when I walked through the classroom with all the other parents, I did think it must have taken the teacher lots of effort to make this happen. The other time, they acted and filmed a movie themselves.
Overall, I am happy with the ways my children learn at the school.

Rubyslippers7780 Thu 26-Jan-17 11:37:00

Think it very much depends where you are. Our schools are rural and one day a week get ' forest schools' where they are literally in the woods for the whole day..packed lunches and as get older dig own toilet type learning. It's fabulous. Kids love it. Loads of nature and den building etc. Only cancelled if winds too high but there in snow and rain. This transfers to classroom, cooking etc as they draw pictures, collect leaves for art etc.
I have been really impressed.

irvineoneohone Thu 26-Jan-17 11:51:59

I don't agree either.
Ds' school is not all about academics, and he seems to enjoy school very much.

Manumission Thu 26-Jan-17 11:53:00

I think I'd hunt down a Montessori primary school if I had any more DC.

AntiQuitty Thu 26-Jan-17 11:59:18

That's nothing like ds's school! They have an onsite forest school for a start and I just checked year 1's twitter and there is observing a dead fish for changes overnight (!!), a maths lesson with all manner of things to visualise it, composing music, going to see Moana at the pictures, baking cookies.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Thu 26-Jan-17 12:02:14

Not something I am aware of in DS' school tbh.

BastardGoDarkly Thu 26-Jan-17 13:45:13

I think the curriculum is the same country wide though tbh, with sats and targets there's too much pressure on all little kids.

Ours does forest school, and lots of creativity, but it doesn't stop me being disappointed with the unrealistic pressures put on them in the way of tests.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 26-Jan-17 16:19:44

I will be dropping hints at the schools I visit.

Why are you visiting schools? Your caricature of schools of the 90's and today are not ones I recognise at all.

The answer to your other questions that my 5.5year old gave were today or yesterday , other than baking, but then the school cookery room has the workmen in so that would make it difficult for the school right now. I imagine that when it's available they'll be doing that too.

NotCitrus Thu 26-Jan-17 16:27:03

Doesn't sound like our school - the playground is constantly covered in chalk from lessons, they organise forest school in a walking-distance nature reserve every couple weeks, all I hear about from class is various games, but they come out knowing stuff.

The schools that try to focus on the "serious" stuff are probably being counter productive.

MyWhatICallNameChange Thu 26-Jan-17 16:29:37

This is one of the reasons I now home educate. It was all maths and English at my DC's school. No science, no art, no fun. Even the teachers were frustrated, so many great teachers left because they were so restricted. But the kids had to get those SATs grades so the school could change to a good school, not a crap one.

I removed my son because I knew he wouldn't cope with the pressure that would suddenly appear in year 6 after them having ignored my pleas to help him with his SEN since year 1.

I obviously can't talk about other schools, I really hope they are better.

ineedamoreadultieradult Thu 26-Jan-17 16:30:10

DS is year 5 today they did subordinate clauses but after they wrote them they fed them to their exchange student from space (some sort of furry monster) and then took him to visit the people who live in the care home opposite their school to see if they could tell them about watching the moon landing.

Mominatrix Thu 26-Jan-17 16:53:24

I don't recognise the education you are describing. My son 's school actively supports creative play, and music, drama, food tech are all visibly present. Very little boring classroom work, and loads of practical work.

I, however, pay for his education.

Greatballs Thu 26-Jan-17 17:18:32

Not our experience either. My children (4 and 6) are always on the go at school. I'm continually impressed by how creative the teachers are in providing stimulating and engaging activities - a lot if them led by the interests of the children. Currently they're turning their classroom into a pirate ship complete with smugglers cove and giant shark grin

Children come out in the afternoon full of stories and excitement. They have such a good time - the academic stuff happens as a part of that. And they have great fun smile

Tomorrowillbeachicken Thu 26-Jan-17 17:58:15

Our school is currently doing bike activities throughout the school to help everyone learn to ride a bike. In last month they've also dug up some scrub ground in the grounds to make a flower garden among other things.

mrz Thu 26-Jan-17 18:30:35

Apart from the things already mentioned I'd like to say as a parent of children attending school in the 90s the rosy image you paint isn't anything like their experience.

Leeds2 Thu 26-Jan-17 18:36:47

I volunteer in a girls' primary school. They do music, art and drama every week, indoor PE and outdoor games every week, swimming (I think only for one term), home economics and gardening (again, I think not every week of every term). There are loads of lunchtime clubs open to any girl (chamber choir, choir, bollywood dancing, orchestra) and also after school sports training and matches, as well as clubs like dance and pottery. They seem to have a much wider curriculum than I ever had back in the 70's!

What you describe in the OP does sound grim though.

Sirzy Thu 26-Jan-17 18:38:30

Ds often goes outside as part of maths lessons.

Tomorrow he is making a building as part of their London/great fire of London topic.

Trifleorbust Thu 26-Jan-17 19:14:39

Of course children should have opportunities for more creative and relaxed educational experiences. In that sense you are definitely not unreasonable. The culture of accountability schools has gone too far. But this has to be balanced against the need for robust teaching and learning. All very well being able to identify/draw/climb a beech tree, but you are still going to look like a twat if you spell it 'beach tree' to your new boss!

littlepinkmouseofsugar Mon 30-Jan-17 19:21:02

OP I agree. My children go/went to a C0fE school so RE takes up more time than in a 'normal school'. So all the art is RE based or history based to tick boxes as such (angels, Mary and Joseph, Torahs, anglo saxon houses, Roman mosaics etc. There are never random animals from paper maché, creating whatever they want from boxes and lolly sticks etc or just sketching. We now home educate like a previous poster upthread.

somewheresomehow Mon 30-Jan-17 19:37:45

My DD would love to do creative / off plan teaching, however if she does have a duff/lousy (class examination) senior management walk round and not enough work or writing/too much sticking etc in books she gets threatened with being put on 'capability'
she is hating the job many more days than she loves it atm

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