Can I ask for your child's typical day in primary school as I'm at my wits end

(49 Posts)
BlackMirror Fri 24-May-19 05:34:50

My son hates school as he says it's all writing and maths (he's yr2). I don't remember primary being like this, I remember doing art and music and other stuff besides English and maths.

He's currently being assessed and finds it hard to sit down and write/read for long periods. I meet with the school regularly and have made adjustments for him outside of the classroom.

I am going to ask the school if I can see what he does on a typical day but thought I would ask MN about their kids' experiences first as maybe this is normal now? If he's doing English and maths for hours and not much else I may consider home schooling him part time so he does other things like music, art, science etc. I've seen his science book and it's just writing worksheets on science.

What does a typical day at primary look like in your child's school? Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Aroundtheworldin80moves Fri 24-May-19 06:00:25

I don't know the typical day, but Yr1DD is currently doing a project on plants and Yr3 is on Kings and Queens. Her science is about magnets. Yr 3 also have ukulele lessons and Spanish lessons.

Definitely not English and Maths all day at their school.

Bokky Fri 24-May-19 06:02:15

I'm a teacher. In the schools I've worked in, it's spellings, reading, English and maths before lunch, then science, history/geography, art, PE, etc. after lunch.

StBernard Fri 24-May-19 06:02:19

My dd is in yr2. Her day is broken into half hour sections, they do reading, maths, maths challenges, sociology, art, world studies, music and Science, as well as gym at least 3 times a week. In amongst activities they also have time to draw and play with friends, or choose Lego or occasionally play a math quest game on the iPads. She loves school. I think their school may be unusual in that they move between classrooms and teachers for different subjects but I also thinks that helps in mixing up her day.

cansu Fri 24-May-19 06:06:01

Most primary schools seem to have maths and English sessions in the morning plus carpet time, snacks, assembly, playtime etc then topic or music, pe or whatever in the afternoon. The school is trying to teach your d's to learn the basics in literacy and numeracy so they have to do these every day.

BlackMirror Fri 24-May-19 06:08:54

Thank you, I'm going to ask for a weekly overview of what he does as I think he's exaggerating, although to him it probably feels a lot.

Reception to year 1 he found very hard. Teacher says hes defiant and refuses work, i suggest a bit more play based learning. He's in y1 not 2 mistake.

OP’s posts: |
VashtaNerada Fri 24-May-19 06:10:53

I teach Year One and agree with those who say it tends to be maths and literacy in the morning, topic etc in the afternoon. We have plenty of focus weeks as well - art week, RE week etc. Can you ask to see a copy of the timetable? Just say you’re interested in seeing what he gets up to! With each year there is less focus on learning through play, so he may just be feeling the loss of those freeflow sessions that he did when he was younger.


reefedsail Fri 24-May-19 06:12:39

I'm a teacher. At my school it is Maths and English all morning. After lunch there will be some reading and potentially spellings. Some classes may 'catch up' with things they didn't finish in the morning.

Then there will be non-core subjects. However, it's pretty likely that these will involve writing because cross-curricular writing is a 'thing'.

So, yes. Lots of writing. I think it's pretty standard. How you feel about it depends what you want. MANY of the children at my school (bog standard state in a deprived rural area) can write at a much better standard than my DS, who goes to a Prep where he spends his days playing cricket and putting on plays.

VashtaNerada Fri 24-May-19 06:13:50

Just saw your update - some children do struggle with the transition from Reception to Year 1. There is a big difference between the EYFS and the National Curriculum. It will only get harder next year though, so it’s now about how to support that transition. If it’s likely there’s an underlying special need, you could ask to talk to your SENCO about it. I’ve had Year 1 children spend short sessions back in nursery if I feel they need it.

Fatted Fri 24-May-19 06:17:30

My DS is in YR1 and we've all definitely noticed the difference. It's more like proper school now. He moans about having to do maths because it's boring. But in reality it's about half an hour and they have different types of maths activities so sometimes they will be outside applying maths to something etc. It's not all just sitting around working out of a book.

Seniorschoolmum Fri 24-May-19 06:17:49

Ds is year 6 and just finished SATS.

Generally English, maths French and spelling in the mornings. ICT, sport and project ( science history etc) in the afternoons.
He still moans about having to write too much but that seems fairly normal. I’ve seen his books and it doesn’t seem too much to me.

grumbling about school is normal. They’d rather be playing football.

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Fri 24-May-19 06:18:56

My DS is year 2 and has been at two different schools this academic year. In the old one, they had a very clear timetable (shared with parents) and it was basically English for the first part of every morning (til playtime), maths between playtime and lunch, and everything else squeezed into the afternoons.

New school, I haven’t had sight of a timetable and it’s definitely not exactly the same (really concrete differences like some days start with English, some with maths, PE is in a morning etc). DS though is also less clear on what he’s doing when eg if he’s doing an art activity relating to their current English story then he doesn’t really know whether that’s ‘english’ or not. He also sometimes does something I don’t understand where some of the class are reading and others are listening to music on headphones - he was very excited by that when he first moved. 😂

I’m sorry your child is struggling. Mine hasn’t needed assessment (or not that anyone has spotted, incl me, anyway), but he found the transition to year 2 reeeeeally hard - much more formal than year 1 for him, I remember him being in tears that “there’s no choosing any more”, and while he’s confident in maths he really struggled with English and it must’ve been horrible for him starting every day with a heavy dose of something he basically felt shit at. Feeling that all you do is maths and English, unless you happen to love those, sounds similarly dispiriting.

For my DS I think a lot of it came down to how good his classroom teachers were - his first year two teacher was inexperienced and I think only ever taught maths and English in a carpet time/sitting and reading/sitting and writing format. His class now go outside and do maths all over the playground with chalk, and things like that. He is writing a lot (being required to write a lot) now though. Not just his English but also his topic book - it’s full of very long bits of writing he’s done, which totally surprised me as he’s always hated writing and only got the hang of it quite recently.

ValleyoftheHorses Fri 24-May-19 06:26:55

DS is year 2.
He has assembly on Monday and Friday and infant assembly on Wednesday.
On Monday he has music and games as well as maths/ English.
Tuesday is maths/ English/ tables test.
Wednesday they don’t have their class teacher as she’s Forest school on Wednesdays. He has Forest school once a half term. Otherwise he has his guitar lesson, RE, Art and topic. This year so far for topic he’s done Egypt and Australia.
Thursday is mainly maths and English.
Friday he has Science and PE.
It is quite a lot of work these days but he does have free choice play every week. He likes English- particularly creative writing. At the moment they have been doing magic and dragon stories.

Hadenoughofitall441 Fri 24-May-19 06:38:27

I couldn’t tell you. DS is 11 and has asd and ever since reception whenever I asked him what he did I always get ‘i don’t know or I can’t remember’. He sees school as school and home is home he doesn’t blend the two together. Dd however tells me all the drama but doesn’t tell me specifically what she’s done ☹️

PotOfSilver Fri 24-May-19 06:41:58

Ex primary teacher here, from an area where most primary schools are technically failing. Management made us teach maths and English most of the time, where we could, but linked to topics. For example, reading/maths/English in the morning then in the afternoon "topic"...topic might have been science but then we had to link it to writing. I suspect most of our kids felt like that's all they did too sadly.

AnnaFiveTowns Fri 24-May-19 06:42:44

He's right. It is all literacy and maths. The current primary system is heart breaking both for teachers and pupils; too much testing, obsessing with sats and very little fun. If my kids were little again I would seriously consider home schooling.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Fri 24-May-19 06:54:34

This week my Yr1... Had a trip to the cinema, has been for a walk around the village to look at different plants, been to Forest School, had PE (involving walking over to the Secondary School as they share a field), fallen over a few times, cone home covered in mud, moaned about her spelling homework, forgotten to change her reading books,and hopefully fitted some writing and maths in there somewhere.

colditz Fri 24-May-19 06:56:33

In year 2 he will be doing precious little art and music. It will be writing, maths, and self-evaluation (criticising your own work). It's all geared towards sats and it's a miserable year.

PantsyMcPantsface Fri 24-May-19 08:02:41

Today I think my Y1 child is doing phonics, mass trip to the loo, walk to the local library to change books and do a storytime, bit of Art when they get back and then the afternoon is Maths, assembly and golden time. With how far behind they are hearing readers this week I suspect any child that stands still for a second will be grabbed by any available adult to hear them read.

The transition from reception to Y1 has been terrible for my child this year - but that's in terms of a lack of support for her SN and constant criticism of her handwriting (she has dyspraxia) and not from the way they actually implement the curriculum in the school which is generally really well done. We just have a class teacher with the empathy of a housebrick this year.

woodcutbirds Fri 24-May-19 08:07:08

At our DCs' primary the work was all project based, so they'd pick a topic, like Space or The Tudors and then all the maths, art, writing etc was based around that topic, so it didn't seem quite so dry (though they did get bloody sick of the topics by the end of half a term!)

They did a lot of add on stuff and didn't focus on the basics - so much so that we had to teach maths and literacy at home, then they'd go into school to do gardening and drama and bang drums. Which I thought was the wrong way round. Must be so hard for schools to get the balance right at that age.

Singlenotsingle Fri 24-May-19 08:30:39

My dgs goes to a small school and they seem to do a lot of interesting stuff. Learning about food, and what the different foods do for your body. The solar system - he told me the other day that Neptune is the furthest away planet. (I thought it was Pluto). Different cultures in other countries. The water cycle. Of course they do maths and writing as well but everything seems so interesting.

UrsulaPandress Fri 24-May-19 08:33:47

Loving the notion of the prep school with just cricket and plays!

UrsulaPandress Fri 24-May-19 08:34:35

(Poor Pluto was downgraded from a planet)

Singlenotsingle Fri 24-May-19 08:37:34

I didn't know that Ursula. Dgs told me. He's only 6! I was impressed!

IHeartKingThistle Fri 24-May-19 08:38:10

My DS hated Year 2 too because of all the SATs prep. He's been a lot happier since but goes into Year 6 next year and I'm dreading it.

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