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Does the curriculum get more interesting than this?

(12 Posts)
hilbobaggins Mon 14-Jan-19 16:52:27

Could any experienced parents/teachers advise? DS is in Year 2. We struggle with getting him into school anyway as is youngest in the year, and has never really liked school. Now I’m just having a look through his timetable this term and just it looks so deeply boring. It is basically English, spelling, maths, arithmetic, phonics all day every day. 2 sessions PE, one music one computing and one PSCHE per week. Is this typical at this stage? It’s my first go-around with the education system and it just seems so incredibly repetitive and uninspiring for a 6 year old. I don’t blame the teachers at all for this and his teacher seems good and dedicated but am I right in thinking (hoping?) that this is required for the SATS and that next year things will get a bit more interesting and varied? He already tells me that he feels that he’s not good at anything which is pretty sad, and I’m wondering when if ever he’s going to actually enjoy the process of learning. Thanks for reading - any experience gratefully received.

OP’s posts: |
Sleephead1 Mon 14-Jan-19 17:03:25

my little boy is only in reception so no expirience of older years but my little boy does phonics, writing, science experiments , baking , maths, 'RE, computer work, PE and French then lots of playing ECT but it seems a shame for your little boy not to get to enjoy more fun subjects I would ask his teacher

Mumofonetwothree Mon 14-Jan-19 17:04:51

It all sounds boring on paper...but what the timetable won't say is that maths could incorporate baking: weighing ingredients. Or topic could be listening/watching Charlie and the chocolate factory and discussing some of willy Wonka's ideas and having a go at making them. (My son wrote about his dream chocolate bar and they made them and then wrote an instruction text on how to make it.)
Topic could be taking photos of something in the playground (eg my DD is learning about weather so took photos of Shadows, puddles, wind blowing stuff) and then they can write about it and incorporate it into an art project.

I would hate to think of my 6 Yr old sat at a table doing worksheets all day... I hope most schools are like ours and mix it up a bit. Maybe speak to your DC's teacher and ask what they have done that day.

gallicgirl Mon 14-Jan-19 17:08:34

It might depend how their curriculum is set up. National curriculum says children must learn set basics but it's up to school to choose how to implement that.
My DDs school has a great curriculum with themes each term which are covered across all subjects. This term, for example, they're covering ancient Egypt. So they'll look at the Nile in geography, hieroglyphics in art, read books based in Egypt, I can't think what else off the top of my head.

Your school should publish the curriculum on the website, it's a legal requirement. I'd suggest having a read and maybe meeting with the teacher to discuss how best to support your DS.

Aragog Mon 14-Jan-19 17:15:44

I work in an infant school and often I am in Y2.

We do Maths, English, Phonics and Handwriting most days - 4 or 5 days per week.

We then have, per week:
1 x computing
2 x PE, one with a sports specialist
3 x assembly
1 x singing
1 x RE
1 x PHSE
5 x story time and/or 'social' circle time

Then the rest of the timetable is topic based and includes history, geography, art, DT, science, music, etc. Plus many of this is also cross curricular. I teach most of the computing curriculum across KS1 and I incorporate aspects of topic, English and Maths into this work, as well as some stand alone computing material.

Maths and English at our school often incorporate topic and science work too. English may be written, reading, drama, art based, etc. Maths will often include a lot of practical work, with some lessons having no book-based writing in at all - evidence taken through photographs, etc.

Though it may look dry on paper, the actual content will be far more varied, and have a lot of cross curricular swap-over work too I should imagine.

goldengummybear Mon 14-Jan-19 17:18:44

Y6 is a very dull year until SATS are finished.

I don't know what you mean by English but my kids had Literacy and Guided Readjng. Even my most reading-avoidant child enjoyed some of the books (I remember he liked The Hodgeheg) and the teachers were creative enough to come up with interesting tasks like thinking of an alternative way for hedgehogs to cross roads.

There was always a termly topic. I remember y2 term 1 being Fairy Tales and they'd write one from the point of view of a different character (say the wolf rather than 3 Little Pigs)

cananybodyfindmesomeonetolove Mon 14-Jan-19 17:23:01

Unfortunately much of education now is basically like working in an office. Completing rather dull, repetitive administrative tasks set by someone else and waiting until hometime. Sorry.

HexagonalBattenburg Tue 15-Jan-19 08:13:30

Depends how the school are covering the curriculum - one of mine is in year 2 at the moment and they were in as superheroes the other day (they made volcano villain lairs in science, wrote about the things that made them super for PSHCE and have been doing comic strips in English), and they have some fantastic themed weeks to make the curriculum as fun and engaging as possible.

Lots of the time though they actually DO like what sounds like quite a boring structure - the kids like knowing that it's handwriting for 10 minutes after lunch... that phonics is first thing in the morning and the like - you'd think it would be dry and boring as shit for them but they actually really like the consistent predictable nature of it.

I spend a lot of time in school as a volunteer and a governor and it's definitely not boring being in there - even though it might look like it would be on the visual timetable for the day's events!

DippyAvocado Tue 15-Jan-19 08:28:58

Ofsted has recently changed its focus to monitoring the breadth of the curriculum as so many schools were focussing too much on English/maths (because of the Ofsted focus on results!) and not ensuring a broad and balanced curriculum was taught. Geography/history/art/DT/music/science etc are all in the national curriculum and there are specific skills that are expected to be taught - technically academies don't need to follow the curriculum but in reality they still need to show a balanced curriculum. Sounds like your DC's school haven't got the message.

Work can be cross-curricular, but the subject-specific skills still need teaching. If I am teaching a topic on Africa, for example, I may look at African folk-tales in literacy but I still need to teach some geography, eg comparing a location in the UK with one in Africa.

Obviously Ofsted still expect us to produce brilliant results in English and Maths on top of this!

bookmum08 Tue 15-Jan-19 08:36:19

Are you sure there isn't a topic for the term? Sounds unusual. I am trying to remember what my girl did in Year 2. They have 6 different topics a year (half a term each).

drspouse Tue 15-Jan-19 16:53:37

My DCs' school also works by topics - last term they did Colour and a lot around Elmer and had some fabulous art work, literacy, they've had some half term themes that were based around books/authors and some around other themes. This half term the theme is a country, and we've also had science themes, local themes etc.
I know they are doing maths/spelling/reading but we hear a lot more about the theme and the lovely things they bring home/food we hear about, are on the theme too.
The theme this half term includes a book I'd not heard of but which looks great to read to DS, and a pop artist I also hadn't heard of but now I want to know more!

AllMYSmellySocks Tue 15-Jan-19 18:17:39

My DC's go to a prep school and the eldest is in Y2. She's been doing Ancient Egyptians this term, they also do science and have been covering the stages of life (e.g. seeds) and it usually involves some practical work too (e.g. planting a seed and leaving it in different conditions).

They do handwriting etc which DD finds boring but also do English which is more interesting; talking about stories.

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