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Why do primary school children have sit in group tables?

(74 Posts)
user1495443009 Tue 10-Oct-17 21:48:57

What's the porpuse of sitting kids in primary schools on group tables where not everyone face the board ? Also why do they need to have working partners? And why is always a boy and a girl? Normally sitting a good child with a naughty one.

Please teachers provide some enlightenment of the reasons for doing this. I am sick that my daughter always has to sit next to one of the naughty boys who doesn't listen and fiddles all the time.

Is this the same in all the primary schools?

OP’s posts: |
WhatInTheWorldIsGoingOn Tue 10-Oct-17 21:53:22

No it's not.

Group tables are to enable a less formal classroom which allows for more group work and cohesion.

Talk to your child's teacher and say she is unhappy with her partner.

Not seeing the board is a bit of a problem with groups. I'm lucky that I've always been able to lay my classroom out so that no one has their back to the board.

Muddlingalongalone Tue 10-Oct-17 21:54:32

Following with interest as it sounds from what I can piece together that dd1 is now having this in year 2. So far she's had 2 boys as partners who don't pay attention and is always at the back of their lining up order.
Lovely that she is sensible etc but not to her detriment.

sirfredfredgeorge Tue 10-Oct-17 22:03:27

Why do they have working partners? Surely because sometimes, and particularly in young kids actually talking about stuff is easier and more useful for them them than trying to slowly write it down etc.

Why would it be boy/girl - no idea, seems odd, ask the teacher, it's certainly not that way in DD's class, although it often does tend to be slightly more different ability. I suspect though that is often so they talk to different people, rather than it particularly being about ability, as those of similar abilities tend to be friendlier anyway. Early years being so much about current attainment, than genuine ability.

Good/bad - what a sad way to describe kids, that's certainly not how it's organised in DD's school, and how can you have good/bad and clever/dumb and girl/boy splits unless you're saying the good/clever/girl and the bad/dumb/boy all go together?

user1495443009 Tue 10-Oct-17 22:06:19

Thank you. I have emailed the teacher regarding her partner; she had to sit next to him nearly 2 terms last year.

I think the table/ group/girl & boy arrangement is particular to this school. I wish they could change it but don't want to complain to the Headteacher as I feel I am becoming one of those mums and I am sure they won't do anything. I already complained about girls and boys in year 6 having to change for PE together in the classroom. I feel because we are not paying for education we have to put up with everything, it is free after all; well not so free for us as we do pay a lot of taxes.

OP’s posts: |
Ttbb Tue 10-Oct-17 22:10:44

We had that in primary school so that we wouldn't loose time picking groups for group tasks. We were always sat two facing the board and two side on to the board though.

knobblykneesandturnedouttoes Tue 10-Oct-17 22:26:29

My sons teacher was happy to rearrange the classroom when my son got fed up of being unable to learn due to his partner (who was also a bully on the playground) I don't know how he put up with it for as long as h did. His teacher thanked my son for being a calming influence but said she understood and changed things around. Maybe you just need to ask the teacher if a change is possible, and then in parents evening, ask how the groups work. This way it's a question rather than a complaint.

All the classrooms I've been in, the children facing away simply turn their chairs when they need to look at the board, which was never for very long anyway.

knobblykneesandturnedouttoes Tue 10-Oct-17 22:29:58

Do you think that because you pay a lot of taxes, your child shouldn't have to sit next to a distractor? Or have to turn to look at the board? I don't understand the relevance of paying a lot of taxes. If someone is on a low income and not currently paying as much in taxes as you, should their child get the worst seat?

user1495443009 Tue 10-Oct-17 22:49:31

Thank you everyone.

Knobbly; I think you just want someone to argue with. You may have to look somewhere else. Thanks for your contribution anyway,

OP’s posts: |
user1495443009 Tue 10-Oct-17 23:08:18

I also have a younger daughter who is low ability and her teacher last year used to sit her and always put her in group with one girl who is very bright and top of the class. I don't agree with this either as I think my youngest was only learning to copy from her and not actually trusting herself and doing what she could do; the other girl was not benefiting from this arrangement either as she probably needed a partner in a similar level to her.

In my ideal world I will sit them on different places every week so they get more opportunity to work with everyone in the class; instead of reshuffling tables every term.

OP’s posts: |
knobblykneesandturnedouttoes Tue 10-Oct-17 23:21:46

No I didn't want to argue, I was just genuinely baffled by the 'paying taxes' part of your op. It sounded as if you maybe thought it should make a difference what taxes you pay. If not, then I read too much into it. I hate arguing with anyone about anything, but can't imagine any situation where I would argue with a stranger in the internet about their taxes smile

knobblykneesandturnedouttoes Tue 10-Oct-17 23:25:41

Also sorry meant to add, I agree about higher abilities and lower abilities, that always having them together can cause problems with copying. But it can also be hugely beneficial. The best class group arrangement I've seen was groups by ability in the morning for maths and English, then mixed abilities for topic in the afternoon. I think changing each week would be too much for many of the younger kids. They tend to thrive on security and routine.

Anotheroneishere Wed 11-Oct-17 01:17:22

At our school, the kids are generally tabled roughly by ability and get a partner at that table they can work with. That tends to be a boy/girl split because that seems to work better. (Less chatty friend pairs for girls and more focus and less rough-housing for boys generally speaking).

I have two boys, so I'm in no way considering boys bad for being generally more active and less interested in some school tasks than girls. In the class I help out in, some girl-girl pairs are worse than any two boys together.

I imagine the teacher would have a headache reshuffling pairs so often, and kids like mine who find the routine comforting might struggle with the changes.

Kokeshi123 Wed 11-Oct-17 02:58:02

There is substantial evidence that grouped seating (as opposed to rows) results in substantial declines in learning. It's distracting and less comfortable for kids. The losses in learning are worse the more vulnerable the student is. High-achieving girls do about equally well in rows vs tables. Low-achieving boys with attention issues lose enormous amounts of learning, causing them to drift still further behind.

It's unusual in many countries and looks extremely odd to many people from overseas. In a lot of countries, the default seating arrangements is paired desks facing the front. This allows children to work in pairs as necessary, but increases on-task behavior during individual work. Students can easily swing chairs round and click twos together to make a four when they actually do do group work. However, the bulk of the time in primary classrooms is not actually spent literally working in groups.

Norestformrz Wed 11-Oct-17 06:11:13

“*Why do Primary School children have to sit in group tables?”*^^ Short answer is they don’t. That decision is down to the school/teacher.
*“*^*Also why do they need to have working partners*^? “
They don’t that’s the schools choice of organisation
“^*And why is always a boy and a girl? Normally sitting a good child with a naughty one.*^*”*
I’d certainly struggle with that as I’ve four times as many boys as girls ... but again it’s a choice made either by the teacher or the school.

user789653241 Wed 11-Oct-17 06:18:29

Totally agree with Kokeshi. I really don't like seating in English primary.
Not just distracting, it can physically hurt children.
My ds had constant neck pain when he had to spent all day twisting his body to see the white board and teacher in yr3. I asked him if he wanted me to speak to the teacher, he said no, since someone had to sit there.

Feenie Wed 11-Oct-17 06:20:07

You lost me at taxes. Ridiculous argument.

Norestformrz Wed 11-Oct-17 06:56:40

Irvine it isn’t English Primary schools ...many don’t use group tables or even have groups. It’s a choice the school or individual teachers have made on how they want to organise their class.

Uptheduffy Wed 11-Oct-17 07:03:13

My ds has a different partner to sit next to every week. They sit in a couple of big rows.
OP you seem very confrontational. Why not just ask the school to make things better for your dc instead of complaining about their practice? And generalising about all primary schools when I assume you’re only experienced a couple at most!

user789653241 Wed 11-Oct-17 07:13:40

Oh, sorry mrz. I was very wrong to generalising English primary from ds's experience as Up says...

waitingforlifetostart Wed 11-Oct-17 07:27:20

My classroom isn't in table groups. I have rows of desks. I don't sit boy-girl although a few children are next to the opposite sex. I don't think that matters. I don't sit children according to ability. My only consideration are that the personalities work well together. I have 2-3 kids at the front who struggle to concentrate so they are there so less oportunity for distraction.

M5tothesouthwest Wed 11-Oct-17 07:37:12

My DCs’ school has tables, but children can complete work however they feel most comfy: lying on the floor, sitting on a beanbag, outside (if the weather is ok). There are no silly seating plans. Dc are Yr3 and Yr1

jamdonut Wed 11-Oct-17 07:37:43

The set up of tables is the teacher's preference. It is usually better for KS1 to sit in tables to do their work. They usually sit on the carpet looking at the board ( at teachers input) before they go off to do their work.

UKS2 Is usually more formal, sitting in rows facing the board, but with the option to make larger tables for some activities.

The boy/girl thing is one form of classroom management. It may be that in that class, all Girls sitting together or all boys sitting together is not conducive to a good working atmosphere.

NapQueen Wed 11-Oct-17 07:39:36

You know teachers pay taxes too right? And maybe even higher bracket if they are on the management team? And the support staff pay their taxes. And probably the majority of the rest of the class' parents?

Believeitornot Wed 11-Oct-17 07:44:47

Just talk to your dd's teacher about it OP as you have a problem with it. Parents evening is probably coming up.

My ds is one of "those boys" and has been sat next to a girl, probably like your dd. I feel sorry for the girl to be honest. I'm not sure what else the teacher can do - if he sits next to a friend, he'll get distracted and will piss about. As it is, he has trouble focusing and switches off if he gets stuck.

I'm regularly talking to the teacher about it and to ds.

But for all I know, the girl he is next to is a chatter box and would get distracted with her friends? I am sure the teacher has a logic.

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