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Year 1 no play or creative activities, spelling tests is this normal

(78 Posts)
starpatch Wed 20-Sep-17 11:38:12

DS s year one class seems really pressured. From what I can tell (I help with reading so I am in first thing when I they goes through timetable). I it is basically rote learning all day no a creative stuff not even exploration in science. I is this normal ? DS likes to be outside he got depressed towards end of last week (to a point he couldn't play properly) and has started grinding his teeth at night. I wouldn't say this was the ethos I of the school he has nqt teacher and she is doing everything by the book.

MiaowTheCat Wed 20-Sep-17 11:45:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 20-Sep-17 11:48:24

Ds is in year 1 and not had this report. On transition and no spellings so far but have been concentrating on reading.

AuntLydia Wed 20-Sep-17 11:51:17

Definitely not the norm in my kids school, it's a lot of play based learning throughout infants there. Dd has just gone into year 3 and the toys and playing have now disappeared much to her unhappiness.

suitcaseofdreams Wed 20-Sep-17 12:32:21

the curriculum does change at Yr 1 and teaching needs to change to reflect that - however it should be possible to teach the Yr 1 curriculum using EYFS methods if you see what I mean. Ie they get the content of the new yr 1 curriculum but taught in a more EYFS style creative/play based way. My boys' school is currently trialling a new programme to do this - too late for us as now Yr 2 but it gets good feedback...

Maybe worth a chat to class teacher/head (if teacher unhelpful) about the negative impact the sudden transition is having on your son and how they could support him better?

starpatch Wed 20-Sep-17 18:19:33

Thanks that's really helpful. Your replies have given me confidence. I'm going to talk to the class teacher and then head. Meanwhile I'm arranging to look at other schools.

Lndnmummy Wed 20-Sep-17 18:45:56

Yes have just finished spelling prep and reading book with ds 5, he is in y1.

Standardpubquizname Wed 20-Sep-17 19:39:59

Are you sure they're not doing more creative interactive activities in the afternoon? The more focused, table based work tends to be done in the morning but they must surely be doing PE at some point during the week as well as art, music and topic lessons which will are likely to be more interactive. Ime the more play based sessions happen in the afternoon but this may have not been reflected by just hearing the timetable for the day.

parrotonmyshoulder Wed 20-Sep-17 19:45:50

My (just) 5 year old in year 1 is mourning the loss of the fun he had in reception too.

PotatoPrint Wed 20-Sep-17 19:49:34

Yep mornings are english/maths. Afternoons more topic based stuff.

Ours have spellings and were fighting them losing some golden time if they don't do well enough in them!

MsPassepartout Wed 20-Sep-17 19:49:43

DS1 has just started Y1.

His class are getting spelling tests every week, maths and reading.

But they're also doing other stuff like PE, music (singing), and his teacher remarked the other day that DS1 liked cutting with scissors and colouring, so they're presumably doing some sort of arty crafty stuff as well.

Fairenuff Wed 20-Sep-17 19:57:19

They will have play and creative activities but it's normal to have reading, maths and spelling homework.

PotatoPrint Wed 20-Sep-17 20:10:10

It wasn't normal for us a few years ago- they'd have spellings to work on over a period of time and at own pace rather than the "you must perform well each week in these."

And reading used to be "we'd like it 3+ times a week" rather than you'd miss some fun time if you don't do it.

Homework pretty pointless in primary apart from reading isn't it.... And spellings don't help with spelling...

TittyGolightly Wed 20-Sep-17 20:13:56

That's not how Y1 works in Wales. Sounds hideous.

PotatoPrint Wed 20-Sep-17 20:14:05

I do wish ours was still more play based learning!!

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 20-Sep-17 20:47:33

It's not how it works in my London school either, last year, YR1 they had one spelling test - and that wasn't one they had a list of words for or anything, the leader of that phonics grouping (~1/6th of the year) decided to ask them all to spell some words as a "test" ie they all wrote down the few words she asked.

Homework was optional, and never really explicit maths/english worksheets, but more open ended think about things.

wheredoesallthetimego Wed 20-Sep-17 21:19:25

Not normal. DS is in a pre-prep, so gearing up for the 7+ and there has been a huge increase in work in Y1 but he still does PE twice a week, goes swimming, music, lots of creative stuff.

Muddlingalongalone Wed 20-Sep-17 21:30:09

Not normal for Dd1 in year 1 last year. They stayed vvvv play based for the whole year, a lot of outside learning in all weather's, no homework/optional homework occasionally, request to read every day and a schoolwide reading challenge but no spellings at all.
I think they had set tables in the last half term in summer but before that very informal.
However, this was v unusual in the area and they are the Guinea pigs with a new head for the new style. They got good phonics screening scores which is the only official measure at this stage but most kids seem happy with it.
It seems to be a lot more serious in year 2 now with weekly spelling but homework only took 10 mins on Saturday morning.
Worth an ask about approach/philosophy

PotatoPrint Wed 20-Sep-17 21:40:57

Oh muddling I want to come to your school!!

Muddlingalongalone Wed 20-Sep-17 21:50:47

I loved it potato - but apparently some parents were unhappy and asking for homework. Can't win!!
Not sure I believe them about homework in year 2 being essential having said there was no evidence of any benefit of homework last year, but because it's a trial they need to push for decent results to prove the approach.

Best homework ever was over half a term - a "bucketlist" containing things like go for a walk in the woods, tell someone a joke, read to someone other than your parents, teach a friend a phonics sound, help to make a meal for your family etc Can't remember the rest but it was such a genius idea.

starpatch Wed 20-Sep-17 21:52:51

Thanks that's so helpful to hear about different schools my friend just came over to chat about it too and DS is a bit better this evening.

PotatoPrint Wed 20-Sep-17 21:55:14

Ours used to be more like that then academised.... sad

bangingmyheadoffabrickwall Wed 20-Sep-17 21:59:03

Every Y1 class is different. There is no 'right or wrong' way to teach. School leaders, in consultation with the class teachers, will plan accordingly to meet the cohort needs. The difference between schools even in the same town can vary a lot.

I teach Y1 and every class I get are different from the last. I have never had two classes the same. 2 years ago I had a class of Y1s who needed to learn through play throughout much of their time in Y1. Yet last year the class were ready to ditch learning through play by october half term (mornings - afternoons was still very much a carousel).

You should find in the majority of Y1 classes that children are more structured in a morning than an afternoon. My class are split into 5 groups - 2 are adult-led, the rest independent BUT those 3 groups could be a simple Bingo game, match activity, handwriting practice in sand or paint etc and a computer activity. They would be told what activities are planned and they 'choose' which ones they tackle first. By the end of the week, 99% of children have had a go with every activity, some would spend longer on it and others would try it our several times over. Sometimes a direct activity for independent learning could be to role-play a doctor's surgery or to write a book about themselves.

'Work' to a five year old could simply mean being told to sit at a table or within an area and complete an activity. It' isn't necessarily sitting at a table doing the three R's. Our aim this half term is to increase their stamina, patience and resilience whilst doing a direct activity for about 10-15 minutes and the biggest aim is to improve their independence skills so they ARE ready to take on more formal reading and writing activities within lessons.

My 5 year old comes homes and tells me he's had a 'work day' or 'done work all day'. When quizzed, one of his jobs might be to draw his family, colour in a robot (some of the things he has said this week!) and play with shapes at their tables.

2014newme Wed 20-Sep-17 22:01:08

Sounds highly unlikely. "from what you can see", how much do you see? 5 mins? Ask the teacher to explain the school day to you to put your mind at rest.

bangingmyheadoffabrickwall Wed 20-Sep-17 22:01:15

Muddlingalongalone does your child go to my child's school?!?!?!?!? We had the same 'bucketlist'!

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