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Use of downloaded worksheets

(39 Posts)
Conchamar Tue 12-Feb-19 00:06:41

Hello Mums!
We are new to the UK education system with a daughter in Y4. What has surprised us is the extensive use of classwork/worksheets downloaded from teaching resource websites, particularly Twinkl. I am wondering how widespread this practice is across schools? On a couple of occasions, the worksheets have contained American spellings/spelling errors/incorrect punctuation. There is little room on these printouts for the child to respond fully to the question. There is a vast range of material out there but it strikes me that a good teacher will use such resources with care/thought. At the other end, it must be fairly easy for a lazy or inexperienced teacher to click into material that will get them through without necessarily much thought being given to how the info sits together or flows. I would love to hear comments on this and indeed the resources/methods used in other schools for the teaching of English and Maths at Y4 level. Thank you!

princessna Tue 12-Feb-19 09:07:07

Yes, used to different degrees by teachers. My two DSs are at two different independent schools.
One has used these sorts of worksheets more than the other. Used in conjunction with 'textbooks' such as Collins Busy Ant.

I do find it pretty annoying and a bit lazy.

Maybe it is the modern way of teaching...

TortoiseLettuce Tue 12-Feb-19 09:09:52

Teaching is such a heavy workload nowadays that teachers cut corners and cobble together lessons. I don’t see how that will change until teacher workloads are adjusted to allow more paid hours for preparation.

Smoggle Tue 12-Feb-19 09:10:33

I think they're more often used as homework, since most teachers find primary level homework fairly pointless but are obliged to send something home.

Fantababy Tue 12-Feb-19 13:24:25

most teachers find primary level homework fairly pointless but are obliged to send something home


TeenTimesTwo Tue 12-Feb-19 13:30:18

Personally, I think it is far better for a teacher to use a pre-done worksheet that is 85% good, than spend hours re-inventing the wheel just to get it 'perfect' for their class. Over the year, the time saved will be significant, time that can go to prepping other lessons, or to give a better work-life balance for the teacher.

Individual teachers all spending time on their own schemes of work for teaching fractions, or adjectives, or whatever, seems absolutely bananas to me.

We had awards at work for 'proudly found elsewhere' and 'proudly given away'.

MissMarplesKnitting Tue 12-Feb-19 13:30:51


Please see X million other threads about "lazy" teachers.

They have to set homework. They have limited time and energy and frankly, most homework is of limited point.

Seniorschoolmum Tue 12-Feb-19 13:40:33

I haven’t seen that at my son’s school. They use the UK sites of TTRockStars and Mymaths, both online.

The only paper I’ve seen is SATS practice sheets in Y6

FionnaMAC Tue 12-Feb-19 13:51:35

Where did you come from? The majority of countries use textbooks and worksheets to a much higher degree than UK schools (and tend to do better than us on international scores) so I don't really see the problem either way.

Unless you're just implying that a teacher should reinvent the wheel just so you don't think they're lazy...

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Tue 12-Feb-19 13:55:46

hmm yes, lazy.

I'd rather they used print outs & had the time to plan lessons than stay up until 3am making something that 'flows'.

My DC's school uses TTRockStars too but in addition to their normal (paper) maths homework.

PCohle Tue 12-Feb-19 14:04:34

Why not speak to the teacher directly if you have concerns?

TeenTimesTwo Tue 12-Feb-19 14:28:51

And lazy isn't a bad thing anyway. smile

I regularly tell my DDs that mathematicians are 'lazy' in that they want to do things by easy methods rather than hard ones. (e.g. simplifying fractions before multiplying them, rather than harder multiplying followed by divisions).

Conchamar Tue 12-Feb-19 14:35:32

Thanks for your observations ladies. I am interested in giving my daughter a good education. I posed an open question! There have got to be goals and thought given as to how to achieve them. I agree entirely that there is an abundance of useful online material for teachers but it should be used selectively and appropriately. Eg why ask a child to select words from a box of superhero themed vocabulary to illustrate a piece of creative writing involving fairyland.

MissMarplesKnitting Tue 12-Feb-19 14:47:57

You know what, the teacher is "interested in giving her a good education" too. She's the teacher. It's her job.

So why not let the teacher do their job, and you back that up as you see fit.

This place gets worse for teacher bashing on a daily basis.

Conchamar Tue 12-Feb-19 19:38:33

Hello Granny Marples!! I’m always delighted to let the teacher do his/her job if s/he is competent. That’s all I ask. Sorry Marples but I am not bashing the profession. Hardworking, dedicated teachers are deserving of wholesome praise and respect.

MissMarplesKnitting Tue 12-Feb-19 20:33:49

Using worksheets doesn't make the teachers not dedicated or hardworking.

LJdorothy Tue 12-Feb-19 21:39:24

Aggh. Textbooks have got old and haven't been replaced. Schools won't shell out for workbooks. Teachers waste years of their own time looking for resources online and/or making their own. If one more person on Mumsnet accuses teachers of being lazy I'm going to take my pile of assessment folders and marking and planners and chuck them out my front window. It is supposed to be my half term after all.

user789653241 Tue 12-Feb-19 22:43:07

My ds gets some sort of worksheets every week as a homework, and I don't find it that bad at all. It takes about 5 minutes to finish, and it's to do with something they have just learned. If I go to the parents' eve and look at his books, it's clear that's not all he does at school at all.
Is your dc's work books at school filled with all those printed out work sheets?

spinabifidamom Tue 12-Feb-19 22:49:18

And this is why I homeschool my children. Maybe you should talk to the school? How many worksheets does he get?

BringOnTheScience Tue 12-Feb-19 23:41:11

OP, have you ANY idea how time consuming it is to create worksheets?!! Nothing wrong with downloading them if it means getting some sleep.

AngelaHodgeson Wed 13-Feb-19 00:13:25

Wholesome praise and respect be damned. Hardworking, dedicated teachers are worthy of decent pay and conditions.

And, actually, downloaded worksheets does not mean staff aren't hardworking and dedicated. It's a pretty simply thing to understand: school funding is cut -> fewer staff -> remaining staff having more work -> staff have to save time -> not every worksheet is perfect.

I honestly think that the best thing for education in this country would be for teachers to start working a maximum 45 hours per week term time (the equivalent of an average office job with statutory holidays). Perhaps at that point parents/governments would realise that teachers aren't actually lazy!

HexagonalBattenburg Wed 13-Feb-19 09:50:32

With how regularly they faff about with the curriculum - shelling out for textbooks is a hell of a risky business these days and I can understand schools making the decision to fork out for a subscription to something like Twinkl and knowing that there will be stuff on there fairly rapidly in response to a change in the curriculum or user demand.

Reminds me - I think I'll put my awkward hat on and make sure our school isn't expecting teachers to be paying out for those subscriptions themselves.

I have absolutely no issues with the teachers of my own kids using anything pre-made that fits their needs if it means they get to keep a bit more of their weekends and evenings back for their own family (hell I pass resources I've found onto them as well). I always liked and was good at designing worksheets and the like and fiddling about on the computer but not everyone is - and it was my kind of semi-productive wind-down time on an evening (hell my dream job would be something like being an elf making pretty worksheets for Twinkl really!)

FionnaMAC Wed 13-Feb-19 16:08:44

Hello Granny Marples!! I’m always delighted to let the teacher do his/her job if s/he is competent. That’s all I ask. Sorry Marples but I am not bashing the profession. Hardworking, dedicated teachers are deserving of wholesome praise and respect.

1. What experience and understanding of schooling do you actually have to decide if a teacher is 'competent'? Or do you think you understand it because you went to one as a child?
2. Your last sentence just sums up the expectation problem in our country: teachers are expected to break themselves to gain respect from parents who have no idea what it is like to teach 30 children for an entire day.

Despite what you say, you are bashing the profession - just in a more subtle way than most.

PurpleAndTurquoise Wed 13-Feb-19 18:33:41

I like the worksheets- they are usually engaging for the children.

nuttybutter Wed 13-Feb-19 19:35:12

I was at work for 11 hours today. I was going to rest and eat dinner this evening but I'm going to stay up until midnight making perfect worksheets instead. Wouldn't want to be accused of being lazy.

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