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Primary school officially gone bonkers - bans handstands

(36 Posts)
FancyFlight Fri 06-Jul-18 09:44:59

I need some perspective from level-headed parents so I can tone down my probably very sarcastic involved reply to the head who has emailed me to clarify that the school has banned gymnastics moves including handstands, bridge, headstands at breaktimes. But for some strange reason, cartwheels are permitted. (What about a cartwheel that accidentally turns into a handstand? Eh?) The reasoning, I'm told, is that they have had a lot of injuries. DD broke her arm going down a slide at the park. I didn't stop her going on slides. What's next? Ban football in case someone gets hit by a football, ban running in case a knee is scraped?
The school are gradually banning fun/childhood, one step at a time, this is one thing in a long line of other things and might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back and makes us move schools, but then again, perhaps all primary schools have bonkers rules, just for the sake of having rules? A friend told me dancing the Floss has been banned at her school... Do your kids' schools have equally crazy rules or is our school just becoming really strict? What random things have your schools banned for the sake of it?

ArfArfBarf Fri 06-Jul-18 09:53:49

Is this on grass or concrete. I don’t think banning gymnastics moves on concrete is that bad an idea tbh.

BlackInk Fri 06-Jul-18 10:16:10

Handstands, cartwheels etc. are banned at my DC's primary school too. They say it's because of the risk of injury either to the child doing the gymnastics or to other children who may get kicked in the process.
I think it's madness - of course children are becoming more overweight, less fit etc if schools bare banning exercise (and fun)!

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 06-Jul-18 10:20:18

If they've just banned gymnastics moves, do parkour ones...

No such bans in DD's school, although some of the rules around how the play equipment can be used is a little more restrictive than you'd imagine.

Theknacktoflying Fri 06-Jul-18 10:26:06

Our school headmaster got the request from the health advisor as there were a lot of injuries ..

Reasons given :-
A cartwheel is a motion and doesn’t put strain or weight on a joint/limb unlike a handstand or other requiring balance or weight distribution (?.) - weight is through the movement

BubblesBuddy Fri 06-Jul-18 10:33:10

No doubt it’s because the school will get blamed for injuries. They are risk averse. I think it’s a natural thing for children to try out. Perhaps you could start a gym club with mats etc? Or could the PTA provide a soft area for play?

I thought you were going to say it was all about showing knickers!

UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername Fri 06-Jul-18 11:20:31

Running has been banned in schools around here for decades!

FancyFlight Fri 06-Jul-18 12:40:03

It's a soft surface (astro-turf or grass), not on concrete, which I would agree is too big of a risk. I'd have thought cartwheels were worse than handstands as the weight goes on one wrist at a time, rather than being spread across both, and there's more risk of someone else getting kicked with a cartwheel, but who knows, and I don't profess to be an expert.
I find it really sad that kids have been stopped doing something they enjoy (again, added to the list of other things). Initially the astro-turf area was designated for gymnastics (there's also a designated football area).
I'm not qualified to start a gym club, nor do I have time as work full time. Thank you for the suggestion but I don't feel that would address the issue - the point is the kids want to play and be active in a way that they enjoy and have been doing for years, away from a structured class. They've already had gym clubs running now and again at the school.
I can't believe running has actually been banned at certain schools. That's shocking! No wonder we have an obesity crisis in this country. The able-bodied kids should be made to run round the field several times each morning as far as I'm concerned (and I used to hate running at school but now see the value in it). I heard about a local school that does this. It not only helps with fitness but also focuses their minds if they have regular exercise rather than a paltry, once a week short PE session.
I feel that doing simple gymnastics moves (I can understand that back flips etc. are a step too far in this situation) builds resilience, balance, coordination, confidence and strength/fitness. What's not to like? (Lots, apparently.)

sallythesheep73 Fri 06-Jul-18 12:53:10

Our primary banned gymnastics (I'm guessing including cartwheels) 2 years ago. As far as I know no one was injured - it was a precaution.

Meanwhile my son gets hit in the head I would say once a fortnight by footballs during breaks from games he is not even playing in (he is in reception).

On balance I probably rather my daughter sprain her wrist than my son have a head injury (I love them equally :-)).

sallythesheep73 Fri 06-Jul-18 12:54:46

The girls sit around during break and chat whilst the boys play football. It is all wrong to me. We are reinforcing negative stereotypes and not supporting the girls in their interests... very disappointing.

FancyFlight Fri 06-Jul-18 16:30:01

I absolutely agree and was just starting to think myself how this is also a sexist ban because of the way that schools reinforce gender stereotypes and so the girls and boys generally play separately and indulge in different activities. Football stays (and there would be uproar if it were banned - and I don't think it should be) but gymnastics goes so the girls are less active and are the ones that suffer.

user1483972886 Fri 06-Jul-18 18:31:01

Agree 100%

They only banned gymnastics because it be a me very popular which seems totally counter productive.

My son has come home with endless accident slips re being hit in the head.

I had the audacity once to suggest the boys only have part of the playground for football so the girls could play netball and the HT told me this would be unfair. She said the boys have one end for football and the little kids have the other end. So I asked where do the girls play? And she just looked at me blankly. ...

FFS. And we wonder why we are the most obese nation in Europe.

wentmadinthecountry Fri 06-Jul-18 21:57:53

I have mixed views on this as a teacher - small tarmac playground. Obviously we want the children to get as much fun and exercise as possible but one of our lunchtime staff nearly got a broken jaw from a cartwheel last week. There's just not enough space. On the field? No problem.

wentmadinthecountry Fri 06-Jul-18 21:59:46

We haven't banned btw - just ask children to be aware of the space around them.

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 06-Jul-18 22:04:00

I always ask, in every school I work in, where is the space for non-footballers to play. Usually met with a blank stare.

8 yo DD now asks this question frequently. She doesn’t get much better responses...

qumquat Sun 08-Jul-18 11:40:10

It's the sexism of this that gets me. It will be mainly girls who do gymnastics at playtime. I assume football is still allowed? So girls are basically being told to sit nicely while the boys run around. I would include this in your letter and question their commitment to equality. If you can, look up their equality policy and point out where they are breaking their own policy.

user789653241 Sun 08-Jul-18 12:05:24

My ds's school have rules about which side of corridor they need to walk on. My ds was on the right side. Everyone else was on the wrong side. He was shouted at by a teacher, who was too far away to say anything to her, as she walked away after shouting, and everyone giggling. He sucked it up, but ds was very unhappy. Truly, bonkers. grin

ShawshanksRedemption Sun 08-Jul-18 20:33:51

Football isn't just for boys - girls can play too, so nothing sexist in that. Girls should be encouraged to join in and play rather than sit around and chat.

Speaking from another perspective, it may be that there have been too many injuries from the gymnastics, which takes up time for the TAs to address and delays them (and the kids) from starting class. It's not just ice compress or a plaster; we have to write it up and do a note home too. Perhaps the knock on effect is that it's stopping the primary function ie education?

As for doing the "Floss" I have no problem at break/lunch times, but am fed up with kids doing it when lining up for assembly or coming into class for maths, or even just moving around the classroom to get a pencil and doing it for laughs (and not just the "Floss" but other Fortnite dances). Some kids don't know when to stop and need a firm boundary.

Ohyesiam Sun 08-Jul-18 20:36:47

Not at my son’s school. Half the girls were upside down last time I lookedgrin

ThatsWotSheSaid Sun 08-Jul-18 20:41:33

Children can’t sit in a chair for any length of time because they have such weak core strength. Children can’t learn because the are not getting the right kind of sensory input to be calm enough for learning. Children are obese and have poor mental health.
All of these things are helped hugely by exercise and gymnastics in particular. Children know what they need.

catherinedevalois Sun 08-Jul-18 20:50:23

Unfortunately it will either be a parent complaining or lack of staff. Some schools have no TAs and no one wants to supervise at lunchtime due to no respect/abuse of MSAs. To keep all pupils safe there has to be compromises. Although my money's on a complaint. Regarding blaming schools for obesity, children spend a possible 5 hours a week at school in the playground, but over 30 hours outside of school at weekends and after school. Parents need to be held to account sometimes you know! wink

MrsTeachy Sun 08-Jul-18 20:51:18

sally exactly! It gives a horrible message to children to ban an activity usually done by girls, but not the one usually done by boys. Yes, girls can play football too, but in my experience they don't play it nearly as much as boys. Banning handstands is shocking imo. Thank god my school hasn't tried that, although no need sadly, the girls just sit around at playtime while the boys are running around with the footballs.
OP, i think a well-worded letter to the head would be in order. Just to explain the double standard that they are banning activities usually done by girls and that shows underlying sexism. They may not have thought about it that way.

catherinedevalois Sun 08-Jul-18 20:54:16

Also your comparison with your dd breaking her arm, you didn't have to supervise 200 children at the same time. Yes, it could be a pathetic/sexist reason but sometimes safety for the majority is the main concern.

Babymamamama Sun 08-Jul-18 20:54:33

Things that have been banned so far this term: flossing (obviously -far too much fun), cats cradle string, chatterboxes (that foldy paper thing with four corners).

catherinedevalois Sun 08-Jul-18 20:57:21

Lol at chatterbox banning! Unfortunately flossing (or those that are not so good at it) is catching boys where it hurts. Again, not enough staff to contend with multiple pile-ups probably!

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