Red card sanctions in reception

(42 Posts)
Taddi Thu 24-May-18 16:43:06

Hi! My DS, who is 5, attends a school which employs the traffic light system for behaviour. He has previously had one red card this year, when him and two other reception children hit a year 2 child in September (which is fine, I understand that one!!!)

But when I picked him up from school today, the teacher told me that DS had been put on red because he’d been “in his own little world all day, staring into space and not listening.”

I was furious, but felt I couldn’t say anything because all the other parents were listening queing right behind us waiting for the teacher to let their children go.

I don’t understand how you can put a child on a red card for, what is essentially, daydreaming. It’s not disrupting or hurting anyone, and not putting him in danger. In my experience at home, DS only does this when he’s bored or not being stimulated enough. He’s not hard work, and doesn’t have any challenging behaviours.

I think this daydreaming is a result of him being so tired (he knows half term is this weekend) and not being stimulated/challenged enough in class, as he’s one of the eldest, and doing really well in his reading, literacy and numeracy, which usually, in my experience as a nursery nurse, means that the teachers will just leave him to it, and focus on the children who aren’t doing as well.

But having mental health issues, I know that I wouldn’t be able to confront the teacher about this, (I’m not able to express my feelings very well verbally, and am often misunderstood, then I get frustrated and give up) so just wondered if anyone had any advice? I don’t want DS being labelled as a troublemaker (since he’s now had the most red cards in his class) and that reputation affecting the rest of his school life.

I also don’t want to be the trouble making mum! (The teacher and I got off to a bad start over reading books- despite them having his reading record from nursery, they started him on picture books, when he was already able to read simple sentences of 3-4 words... then I think I annoyed her by telling her that I don’t like the phonic system, and won’t use it with him at home (I never learned to read using phonics, and I find it unhelpful when sounding out words, since in some words the letters aren’t the right sound at all, and it was frustrating DS so much!!!) - in case anyone was wondering how I confronted her about this, it was via little messages to and fro in his reading record book!!!)


OP’s posts: |
SneakyGremlins Thu 24-May-18 16:44:20

It is disruptive though, if the teacher has to keep stopping to snap him out of it. If this was an all-day thing I see why the red card was used.

Taddi Thu 24-May-18 16:48:16

I see what you mean... but I can’t imagine that this was the case... he cut open his chin today in the classroom as well, and she told me they didn’t notice it until about an hour later (her own admission, so they obviously don’t pay that much attention to what he’s doing!)

OP’s posts: |
HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Thu 24-May-18 16:57:52

Wow you really seem supportive of the school! In 2 posts you have explained she was wrong about phonics and about his reading, implied the work they set and the environment/activities provided are not stimulating enough for your 5 year old and that the staff don't supervise the children properly!!

As a teacher this kind of behaviour is just as distracting as children shouting out. If you have to stop continuously to ensure 1 child is listening you are not teaching properly. My advice would be to home school you sound like you are always going to be unhappy and picking faults.

SendYouUpinFlames Thu 24-May-18 17:07:16

Understand the red card for daydreaming. It is disruptive.

But they ABU for not realising he fell and cut his chin. Poor lad. That could be why he was so quite flowers

Taddi Thu 24-May-18 17:09:19

Doesn’t sound like a bad idea if everyone thinks I’m nitpicking... god forbid I should expect a certain standard from a school! I expected his school to be just as good, if not better, than my own primary school, especially since there are only 10 children in his class!

OP’s posts: |
cansu Thu 24-May-18 17:14:33

You really must support the teaching of phonics as this is how all his teachers will be teaching his reading. If you aren't confident ask for some help.

I would also imagine he will have had plenty of reminders or warnings before he got to red for not listening to the teacher.


HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Thu 24-May-18 17:18:16

I would also imagine he will have had plenty of reminders or warnings before he got to red for not listening to the teacher.

It would probably have entailed lots of warnings, a move to amber/orange flowed by more warnings until finally she felt she had no options but to put him on red. You have to realise Taddi that the red card was not for daydreaming, it was for not following instructions.

soapboxqueen Thu 24-May-18 17:44:13

As pp have suggested, he more than likely had plenty of warnings, potentially a yellow or amber warning, before being put on red.

PotteringAlong Thu 24-May-18 17:47:39

I also don’t want to be the trouble making mum!

You are being. Phonics is how they teach reading. He will have a phonics test in year 1 that he needs to pass.

He was on red because he didn’t listen and didn’t do his work. Fair enough.

NiamhFromAcrossTheRoad Thu 24-May-18 17:51:01

He has no special needs, he has been in school for quite a while and it's not really the end of the world.

He does need to listen and pay attention.

Wolfiefan Thu 24-May-18 17:55:25

Not listening and not following instructions is disruptive.
Sorry he hurt his chin.

Quartz2208 Thu 24-May-18 18:01:39

Yes not listening and following instructions is disruptive.

Ignoring the teacher and warnings means a red card for everyone.

I have similar views on phpnics but its the way that schools nationwide teach it so you go with it

You sound angry at the teacher

Oohjuicy Thu 24-May-18 18:08:35

Nah i agree with OP actually, a red card for daydreaming is unfair. It’s hot and sunny, which makes paying attention a lot harder

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Thu 24-May-18 18:13:39

You sound angry at the teacher

Agreed, it sounds like she disliked the teacher from the off all based on the lack of a book with words in it and how this implied to the Op that they thought her child could not read. Ironically she would also hate most F2 teachers as it is perfectly normal to start them all on wordless books. This allows the teachers time to make their own assessments. It also allows children the opportunity to develop story telling, inference, language and comprehension. There is more to reading than the words on the page and wordless books are not just to be consigned to those who cannot decode, they are a great literary resource.

Wolfiefan Thu 24-May-18 18:28:16

A red card for a child drifting off once would be harsh. A child who has had reminders and not listened all day deserves a red card.

Taddi Thu 24-May-18 18:30:17

Hi everyone, sorry if I got a bit narky, I just found the whole thing really upsetting.

Yes; I am upset with the teacher, as are 4/5 of the other parents in the class as she doesn’t communicate well with us (the phonics/book issues only got addressed through me writing to her, and if they’d explained to us that they’d have to start the reading tree again, despite the nursery being attached to the school, I probably wouldn’t have been as annoyed!), and also as she overreacts to so called “behavioural issues” (most of the mums know the drill at the school as they’ve already had children there).

The phonics thing is also just personal opinion, yes, I know he needs to learn it because that’s how they do things, but I also don’t see why I as a parent have to actively support it- it stopped my son enjoying reading, which, as a parent, was devestating to see. he started enjoying it again when I went back to reading how we had before, learning words through repetition and recognition.

I still feel that getting into trouble for daydreaming is excessive. Like my mum said, if my school had punitive measures for daydreaming/not listening, I’d have been expelled. I, like my son, was also one of the top in the class, so I know what it’s like to be bored and distracted when the teacher has to repeat things over and over and pays no attention to you because you’re waiting for the others to catch up!

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Thu 24-May-18 18:33:44

Her communication is a separate issue.
The phonics thing is a separate issue.
Not listening and not following instructions aren't "so called behavioural issues". They are actual issues.
So now he's the top of the class and bored so he's not listening? Or he's just not concentrating and you could actually support the school.
You have many years of your child being at school. Bit soon to be "that" parent.

GnotherGnu Thu 24-May-18 18:40:51

Why is he so tired if he is also not having to work hard in class? Doesn't he get enough sleep?

BubblesBuddy Thu 24-May-18 18:46:31

I think this is too harsh in YR. His behaviour is annoying but it’s not dangerous or using inappropriate language. Children who haven’t got to KS1 yet are likely to have wobbles in behaviour. They are hardly y6 who should know better so the behaviour policy should be in tune with their lack of ability to have a long attention span and be flexible as to the behaviour of very young children. It seems heavy handed to me. They are not concentrating on lessons with the teacher all day either. This would be hard work and inappropriate.

10 in the class worries me. Is this a state school? It may mean he is becoming a marked child because he is standing out as being a bit different. My DDs class had a child that hid under the tables. He wasn’t given a behaviour card, he was helped to overcome his difficulties and participate. This is the wrong approach, op, and I think you should ask about what really went wrong. Ask if you can see the teacher bit stay calm. Ask how you can help him. She cannot be that busy with only 10 children to teach!

cansu Thu 24-May-18 19:07:37

For you he is top of the class. This is not necessarily true. Part of reception class is learning howto behave and respond to instructions. You are not helpig him here. Try not to overreact and allow the teacher to manage the class.

RainbowFairiesHaveNoPlot Thu 24-May-18 19:10:57

DD2 would be so fucked if she got sanctioned for appearing to be in her own little world. Thankfully school took mine (and nursery's) advice on this that she might LOOK like she's away on another planet somewhere but ALLLLL the lesson input will be going in as she does not miss anything to heart and they accept it as part of who she is (she has additional needs meaning she does do things like fidget - which is supported by her sitting on a wobble cushion). They accept her focus might look like it's not there but that it is (nursery actually spotted it - gently tried to call her lack of attention out by asking her what was happening in storytime - and she could tell them exactly every single time).

Mind you the ultimate sanction needed in their reception class is to be asked "do I need to use my cross voice" which is apparently a force of ultimate terror judging by the reaction and compliance it gets!

After a total nightmare situation arose with DD1 in her old school I vowed never to be concerned about being "that parent" in terms of raising genuine issues with the school (we moved school though - the old one was a lost cause in terms of any confidence in it) - and I've gently and politely raised a few things over the year that have been dealt with sensibly when I've done so - but I do think you're coming at things from a very negative place in terms of refusing to do phonics and the like.

This time in the year and the heat and loads of them are really starting to flag anyway as well - even my very very sparky and engaged older child is just in a "want to stare into space and flump on sofa" mindset.

Amaried Thu 24-May-18 19:30:30

Gosh, for someone who says they don't have the confidence to speak to the teacher on this, you've done ok so far!

Tomorrowillbeachicken Thu 24-May-18 19:35:31

My yr1 son would have been sunk in reception if this would have been the rule.

Hmmalittlefishy Thu 24-May-18 19:39:18

don’t understand how you can put a child on a red card for, what is essentially, daydreaming. It’s not disrupting or hurting anyone, and not putting him in danger.

If he is continually not listening, paying attention or doing as he's told it is disruptive to the teacher and the rest of the class and could put him in danger.

I think the teacher shouldve asked to have a word at the end of the day rather than in the line as I think alot of your anger seems to come from embarrassment that your son who you see as 'top of the clsdd' was reprimanded (and rightly so)

Take this half term to calm down and go back and support your sons school and their approach to teaching or move him

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