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changing rooms at school

(29 Posts)
missyB1 Sat 02-Dec-17 18:03:37

Just need to get other people's perspective on this as I'm not sure if I'm expecting too much / being a bit precious. So ds is age 8, year four, in a private school. They have sport every day and do various sports with various kits so lots of getting changed in the changing rooms.
They are nearly always unsupervised in the changing rooms, is this normal? At first I thought ds was making it up but on speaking to other parents they all confirmed there is rarely a teacher or any adult in the changing rooms. Ds hates being in there because its loud chaotic and often a bit "Lord of the Flies"!
I asked the school about it and the response was
" The children should try to only enter the changing rooms when a teacher is available. If they choose to change when there is no teacher then that is their own poor choice."
Wtf is that supposed to mean? Ds says they dont have a choice about when they change and are often told to do it in break time or lunchtime.

Am i being weird about this? I just think they are only 8 years old surely they should be supervised?

RedSkyAtNight Sat 02-Dec-17 18:46:02

I'd have thought it was inappropriate for an adult to be supervising in the changing room at Y4tbh (s ome of the girls will have started to develop). Though I'd expect an adult to be on hand.

Not sure what you mean by "Lord of the Flies" - if the DC are trying to kill each other, then someone should be reporting it.

DullAndOld Sat 02-Dec-17 18:50:32

Teachers aren't allowed to supervise changing time.
It was the same when my son was at juniors and had to put up with bullying in the changing room.
he did respond in the end, pushed a kid away from him who then hit his head on a clothes hook.
The teachers took some notice then I can tell you.

missyB1 Sat 02-Dec-17 18:51:54

Ok it’s just I remember being at high school and there was always a teacher in the changing rooms, in fact we weren’t allowed in there on our own.
Why would it be inappropriate for a teacher to be in there? They have male and female sports teachers and obviously separate boys / girls changing rooms.

missyB1 Sat 02-Dec-17 18:54:53

Yes it’s bullying/ aggressive behaviour that is the problem. The situation is just ripe for it. And what about the possibility of accidents? Kids getting hurt?

bookishteacher Sat 02-Dec-17 19:18:17

As a teacher I think it's appalling that 8 yo are changing alone! My children change in the classroom - boys in the main area, girls, supervised by a TA, in the partitioned off cloakroom. Children are not even allowed to remain in the classroom alone at lunch or breaks. At swimming there are separate changing rooms but again always supervised by an adult. IMO not having an adult supervising children, especially of that age, is a massive safeguarding issue!

missyB1 Sat 02-Dec-17 19:32:09

bookish thank goodness you said that, I was starting to think I was going mad! I meant to ask what happens in other schools, so it’s interesting that you say the kids in your school are supervised. I also see it as a safeguarding issue.

trinity0097 Sat 02-Dec-17 19:35:43

Changing room duty is just one of our many duties at a school.

Occasionally we might send a solo well behaved kid in to get changed by themselves if they can’t change at the normal time, e.g. if they have a music lesson right before they leave for a match.

missyB1 Sat 02-Dec-17 19:44:48

Yes that’s fair enough trinity one child is unlikely to start a riot on their own grin

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 02-Dec-17 19:47:33

It is the same at my DS's prep. From Y3 onwards they use the boys/ girls separate changing rooms. They have to organise themselves in there (also wrangling huge amounts of kit) including planning for themselves when to change.

Parents are not allowed in (obvs) but a parent I know has been taken in to help find her son's kit (he is really struggling with holding on to it all). She said it was like kit Armageddon had happened in there. My DS is in Y3, so one of the 'little ones' and is a bit scared of the changing rooms so I'm guessing the behaviour in there isn't always great.

However, I think it is kind of one of those things you sign up for with a very traditional/ boarding prep. They have so much more freedom and therefore responsibility for themselves in many areas (I know because I teach KS2 in a state primary- it's VERY different). It's hard for them in some ways and in some cases higher risk, but they are also learning a lot from being required to be so independent.

Hausfrauenvy Sat 02-Dec-17 19:49:32

At our school Y4 wear their sports kit all day on the days they have sport. This is normal up to Y6. Perhaps this is what the sports department are encouraging? Although they should probably put it in writing somewhere.

missyB1 Sat 02-Dec-17 19:51:12

OH God the situation with all the kit is bizarre and soooo frustrating! Year 3 was particularly hard and I spent a fortune replacing lost / stolen kit. We actually have a FB group for parents to try and track down clothing that has gone walk about!

I appreciate it’s about encouraging independence skills but It can also easily knock confidence.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 02-Dec-17 19:57:55

I just put in serious consequences when the first piece of kit went missing and that has made him very careful!

You don't seem that pleased with the school- do you have him in the right setting? My DS definitely finds some aspects of school challenging, the moving classroom every lesson really stressed him out for the first couple of weeks, but he is absolutely thriving on it. I've seen such a huge (positive) difference in his confidence and independence just in one term (he did also go to the pre-prep but that was the usual one classroom: one teacher set up).

Rheged Sat 02-Dec-17 20:02:14

Teachers aren't allowed to supervise changing time.

What are you on about? Of course we are. Children getting changed is chaotic at the best of times and in my school an adult is always present.

DullAndOld Sat 02-Dec-17 20:04:48

what am I 'on about' - in my childrens junior school teachers did not enter the changing rooms for swimming, and bullying was rampant. I was told that this was school policy.

Rheged Sat 02-Dec-17 20:10:09

I don’t know how long ago that Dull was but it’s not policy now in any state school i’ve worked in. We are required to supervise children while they are changing. Furthermore, at our latest safeguarding training we were reminded that we should take the opportunity when children are changing to visually check for injuries that could indicate that may be being abused (eg bruises to the torso that would usually be covered by clothes).

missyB1 Sat 02-Dec-17 20:11:50

There are lots of positive points about the school, the varied curriculum, lots of opportunities, clubs / activities etc.. and yes very academic too. I am becoming concerned about the pastoral care though, although the school constantly pat themselves on the back about their “amazing” pastoral care set up hmm

Ds is actually very capable and independent, but not particularly assertive and very uncomfortable in confrontational situations. That’s why the changing room situation is an issue for him.

DullAndOld Sat 02-Dec-17 20:18:26

" I don’t know how long ago that Dull "

despite my name, not very long ago. about 6 years.

trinity0097 Sun 03-Dec-17 05:57:54

I had a really bright idea that could be a right money spinner if only I have the technical knowhow, concocted after yet another email to School about a missing blazer!

I bet loads of parents would pay extra to be able to buy nametapes that had a built in GPS tracker that you then had an app for, so you could just hit ‘locate DS1’s blazer’ and toddle off to find it!

missyB1 Sun 03-Dec-17 08:14:19

trinity brilliant idea! grin

BeingATwatItsABingThing Sun 03-Dec-17 08:20:16

I have the boys changing in my classroom and the girls change in the cloakroom with my TA.

Adult supervision is a must and I teach Y5. I remember adult supervision at secondary school.

I also take my children swimming and have been present in both the boys and girls changing rooms. I spend a lot of time staring at the ceiling tiles whilst answering their questions and behaviour managing.

missyB1 Sun 03-Dec-17 08:30:05

Yes I definitely remember not being allowed in the changing rooms without a teacher, I guess they knew what kind of shenanigans could go on in there!
It’s complicated further by the fact that there are often year much older children in there as the school goes up to and including year 8. So I think the teachers think those guys can sort out issues with the younger ones, but that’s not actually what happens. And there have been instances of some of the older ones behaving unpleasantly to the year 3s and 4s.

irvineoneohone Sun 03-Dec-17 08:38:24

My ds in state school change in the class room, so teacher/ta always present. But when they had swimming lessons, he said no one was supervising in boys changing room. There wasn't any issue.

I grew up in other country. There was no teacher supervising changing. No issue.

I think if you(or your dc) have issues, you need to raise it. You don't need to know how other school do, your school have problem, so need to be monitored.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sun 03-Dec-17 08:52:15

I don't think there has necessarily been an actual issue for the OP. She just says her DS doesn't like the changing rooms because they are loud and a bit chaotic.

I think it can be like this, but unless there is actual bullying occurring in there- which of course should be dealt with- it's just part of the learning curve. Many children in this type of prep will go on to boarding schools and many aspects of school life are 'prep' for that environment- including requiring a lot of independence and self-reliance early on. Parents know that when they sign up to that type of school.

On the flip side, certainly in the school I teach in, I think we give the kids WAY too little responsibility for themselves. Y6 teachers lining their kids up to check they have coats and gloves on before they go out to play and getting them to hold their book bags open at the end of the day to check they have their homework in there. confused

Shiggle Sun 03-Dec-17 08:53:19

Ive sewn a tile into DSs blazer so I can use my phone to locate it. Works a treat.

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