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Help! Please tell me about state primaries where you are, are they so different to here?

(62 Posts)
SSSandy2 Tue 08-Jul-08 09:06:09

I have been very disatisfied with the primary schools/curriculum where I live(overseas) for the past two years but I wonder if I have unrealistic expectations and whether schools elsewhere are really so different that it is worth moving so dd can attend school elsewhere. I need to get it in perspective.

(I think private schools just have other facilties/options/freedoms with the curriculum etc and that's why I'm not asking for comparisons with those)

1. Do your dc hate school/hate their teacher? Is this just pretty normal do you think?
2. Are your teachers often nasty to the dc? (Sarcastic/ screaming at them / belittling them in front of the class). Does this happen regularly, say every week/2weeks?
3. Are the dc learning what they are being taught at school or are the dp having to do a great deal at home to supplement the school teaching of core subjects?

SSSandy2 Tue 08-Jul-08 09:08:33

The curriculum here I don't find great, lack of content (no history, geography, science, no real music as such, etc) but I could live with that.

It's the social side of things and the fact the school subjects (language, maths) are being taught but somehow not effectively. It is the dp who are effectively teaching what has been touched on in school. It's very parent-intensive and I wonder if it has to be this way. Is it just the way things are these days?

throckenholt Tue 08-Jul-08 09:09:11

1. no - my kids love their teachers
2. no - have never seen any evidence of that at my school
3. we do little to supplement core stuff - but do talk to them a lot about wider things.

I think your expectations are not unreasonable and from the tone of your questions I think you should investigate other schools with a view to moving your dd.

Where are you ?

SSSandy2 Tue 08-Jul-08 09:10:15

I didn't want to say because it always feels like I'm bad-mouthing this place, you know and I feel uncomfortable with that - but I suppose it is no secret Throckenbolt. I live in Germany.

2sugars Tue 08-Jul-08 09:10:15

1. No. Neither.
2. No, never
3. Yes. Can supplement if you want them more than up to speed.

Will post more when H leaves for work. Where are you btw?

elliott Tue 08-Jul-08 09:10:45

1. No my ds loves his teacher (he is 6) and has loved all of them so far.
2. No, this would not be tolerated
3. Well, I can't say i really know what he is being taught but his reading and writng have certainly improved. The only thing I do at home is read with him and provide generally interesting things to do and talk about.

elliott Tue 08-Jul-08 09:13:08

Hmm, in terms of 'curriculum' so far (ds is in yr 1) it has been heavily weighted towards literacy and numeracy - too young really to be doing 'subjects'. They sing and do lots of art/craft things but not really 'music' as such.

Hathor Tue 08-Jul-08 09:14:05

How old are your dc?
Answer to your questions re state primary Y3:
No - like school, love teachers. Occasionally dislike school, but that is normal I guess.
No - absolutely not. Teachers treat children with respect and expect respect.
Yes they learn / No tutoring at home

ChopsTheDuck Tue 08-Jul-08 09:15:29

I've never had to deal with teachers being nasty to my children, and they've always liked their teachers.

Curriculum is too narrow, but at least they are learning that well and can supplement at home.

SSSandy2 Tue 08-Jul-08 09:15:32

Thanks you know what I'm wondering if it is ME who is the problem and this is all just pretty normal. My own primary school days are wrapped in a haze, but I can't remember ever having disliked a primary school teacher and I did have quite a few due to moving around a lot.

Hmm thing is dd is always saying these days she wants to leave and go to school in England and I'm wondering if she does move, whether it will be all that different. So it's really interesting to hear how you find your schools.

SSSandy2 Tue 08-Jul-08 09:16:12

Hathor she's year 2 now

edam Tue 08-Jul-08 09:19:23

1. No, certainly not.
2. No, certainly not, and I'd be horrified if this happened.
3. Ds is learning what he is taught and I am very impressed with the standard of education.

My impression from MN is that lots of people (expats) have problems with the German education system. I don't think you'd find no. 2 in the UK, would be seen as completely unacceptable behaviour from a teacher.

Hathor Tue 08-Jul-08 09:20:18

Talk to the teacher about it.
If no help, then talk to the head.
If no help, then talk to the head of governors if you have one.
Teachers "screaming" at children or belittling them not good.
However, if all this is reports from your dc, then also remember this her point of view - listen to the other side of the story before you make your mind up.

hotcrossbunny Tue 08-Jul-08 09:22:35

Dd 4 loves school. She's coming to the end of Reception and would go in on weekends if she couldshock We've never heard of any teachers being rude/unkind, dd thinks the teachers/HT are wonderful. We read with her each night and count up to 100 etc, but very informally. She is learning well I think.

bythepowerofgreyskull Tue 08-Jul-08 09:23:23

3)We could leave it all up to the school but don't, we are encouraged to go in and do shared writing with the children and help them at home with reading.

SSSandy2 Tue 08-Jul-08 09:26:20

Thanks I'm starting to feel really crap that I have put her through this for 2 years, you know

I see your point Hathor. I'm a bit weary of it these days so I may sound defeatist. Generally speaking another tone of voice/manner of approach is considered acceptable here. It is not something a teacher would get in trouble for - screaming at the class for instance.

Just another question: So in a state primary in the UK they would be doing just literacy/numeracy through till the finish? Is that right or do they start other subjects like history, geography, science at some stage?

elliott Tue 08-Jul-08 09:30:02

as far as I know, they don't do separate subjects taught by subject specialists in primary school, but the curriculum will cover humanities and science (I'm possibly talking out of my bottom here though - you'd be better off with info from a primary school teacher). I would imagine though that you might get quite a lot of info about the curriculum from govnt websites as it is all very prescribed.

MadBadandDangeroustoKnow Tue 08-Jul-08 09:30:55

In our case

1. Love school. Not keen on current teacher (a supply teacher who came suddenly when class teacher left at very short notice) but gradually warming to her.
2. A few children in the class with difficult/challenging behaviour so there is some occasional shouting over the din, to restore order. I don't like it but I concede it's probably necessary, because previous teacher never really got on top of the behaviour problems and so the new one has to re-assert some authority.
3. Children do learn and make progress. Frankly, I think they would progress even quicker if classes were smaller and if so much class time didn't have to be devoted to behaviour management, but that is probably cloud cuckoo land!

SSSandy2 Tue 08-Jul-08 09:33:28

Thanks interesting to hear different views because I'm wondering, you know, if it's Cloud Cuckoo land I'm envisioning if we move.

Mercy Tue 08-Jul-08 09:37:21

Sandy, my dd is in Yr 2.

There is a great emphasis on literacy and numercy in her year group but they also do plenty cross-curricular stuff such as history, science, art etc. They are not separate subjects as such.

For example, this week is Healthy Living Week so they have been covering science, art, maths, music etc which culminated in their class assembly. Hope that makes sense! (I'm not a teacher obviously!)

madness Tue 08-Jul-08 09:37:21

1 no, absolute love it
1 no
3 no idea what they do apart from playing/colouring/playmobile stuff in reception. dc in y2 doesn't really talk about what he does at school. I know of 1 parent (private school though) who sends her ds to 3 different tutors every week shock

(not too impressed by choice of subjects in sec school though)

Cadmum Tue 08-Jul-08 09:40:13

SSSandy: I am sorry that this is your thread...

Our experience of state/church schools in London was so positive that we use it as a benchmark for elsewhere (Canada, Vienna and now Geneva.) So far none have measured up. I really think that for the most part, the UK is doing brilliantly with state schools.

Can you find another school there? Would you really consider relocating back to the UK for schooling?

SSSandy2 Tue 08-Jul-08 09:41:40

I see thanks Mercy, that's a big help, so other sujects are being brought in via project-based work. I was just wondering because I get some UK workbooks via the internet (writing, maths) and I saw they had Key Stage 1 science etc as well, so I assumed it was a regular primary school suject these days.

Secondary is another worry, isn't it, madness? Don't think my brain could cope with worrying that one just yet, although I probably should!

SSSandy2 Tue 08-Jul-08 09:46:08

Hi Cadmum, I know I really keep resolving to NOT post any negative stuff about Germany and then I always fall back into it and feel bad for doing it. I just have to make some decision about the schooling, you know, that's why I had to bring it up again today.

I have really thoroughly researched what there is and the one school I would have tried didn't have a place for us. So not good the whole thing.

It's good to hear that in comparison you liked the schools in London best. Are things not working out with the international school in Geneva? I thought you sounded so much happier there.

MadBadandDangeroustoKnow Tue 08-Jul-08 09:55:57

SSSandy -

Didn't want to suggest that you are living in cloud cuckoo land - rather, that I had been in expecting my child's experience of primary school to be like mine was in the (ahem) 1960s.

I don't know how much it will change in juniors, but in infants there is little teaching by subject - apart from numeracy, literacy (which take up a lot of time) and some science - and more done by theme, such as black history month and healthy living week. And although (I'm told) it isn't legal to set homework for infants, there is an expectation that we will do reading every night, spellings every week, the occasional worksheet and so on. So schools do assume that parents will reinforce what's done in class.

I'd echo what was said about speaking to the teacher/HT/governors if you have concerns about the quality of lessons or about inappropriate language or communication in the classroom. But I think you do need to bear in mind that - especially if there are children with challenging behaviour - it may not always be sweetness and light in the classroom. Even so, all the children are entitled to be treated with respect. (And you might also find that, if the issue is that the teacher isn't, frankly, very good the HT won't be able to discuss this with you as this is a management issue and so confidential).

Do you know any of the other parents well enough to discuss your concerns with them?

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