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Should Reception class children be constantly supervised?

(22 Posts)
moodywren Mon 06-Jul-09 19:53:47

My ds friend started in April and her mum had a phonecall on fri afternoon from the school to say that her dd was outside in the playhouse with another little girl and the other little girl cut all her hair off (she has gone from having hair halfway down her back to having a bob).

My ds is due to start at this school in Sept and I am now worried the children do not have adequate supervision. Should children be allowed unsupervised outside with scissors? How long were they out there for if one child had time to give another child a haircut with bluntish childrens scissors? The teacher said this wasn't the first time a child had cut hair with scissors, it happened 3 weeks ago a different child cut their own hair.

samsonthecat Mon 06-Jul-09 19:56:09

My DD1 and 2 others cut their own hair at nursery. The teacher was mortified but they can't watch them every second and hair grows back.

Olihan Mon 06-Jul-09 20:02:04

Do you watch your dc every minute of the day?

I don't and I've only got 3 to keep an eye on, not 30.

Children need to be left alone to a certain extent and the new Foundation stage curriculum demands a lot of free play and independent 'work'.

Kids + scissors inevitably end up with haircuts at some point. It can just as easily happen at home as at school.

purepurple Mon 06-Jul-09 20:02:57

at my DD's nursery a child cut through a computer cable shock
luckily it wasn't switched on

cazzybabs Mon 06-Jul-09 20:08:22

you can't possible hope to keep an eye on all of them all of the time....

well that's not quite true - sitting on the carpet or in rows copying from a blackboard you stand a better chance.

Littlefish Mon 06-Jul-09 20:41:03

In my first year a teaching one child in my class cut another child's hair.

This happened while I was in the room, sitting at the next table - it only took a couple of snips to change a beautiul bob to a bob with spikes on the top blush

Yes, children should be adequately supervised, but that doesn't mean watching over them every minute of the day.

Things like this can happen even with the best supervision.

serin Mon 06-Jul-09 20:46:55

My friends daughter snipped a large strand off her teachers long hair.

moodywren Mon 06-Jul-09 20:52:44

If it had been a large strand of hair or a clump of hair I wouldn't have questioned it but this was a full hair cut from waist length to above the shoulders, and as childrens school scissors aren't particularly sharp I would have thought it would have taken quite a while.

Olihan Mon 06-Jul-09 20:57:44

You'd be surprised how easily hair will cut, tbh. Those useless completely plastic 'first' scissors won't cut paper but will cut hair no problem! (I speak from experience hmm)

I doubt the child was combing it out and trimming each section carefully grin. You could probably hack off a headful of hair in less than a minute if you just grabbed handfuls and chopped.

moodywren Mon 06-Jul-09 21:00:50

SHe actually did quite a neat job (for a 4 year old) apart from being a bit uneven.

southernbelle77 Mon 06-Jul-09 21:16:53

Sorry don't mean to laugh! This happened to me when I was 4! Not at school mind you, my sister did it under the dining room table while mum was out and dad was looking after us. He didn't even notice when we put us to bed! It was only when mum saw the hair in the bin that she figured something must have happened!

My own dd is in reception now. Thankfully she has never done anything naughty when not being fully supervised but someone did put her (new Hello Kitty birthday present) hat in the toilet today! Poor little mite was so upset, especially as she had to fish it out herself. These things happen I guess! hmm

Anyway, as much as they are supervised, they also do need a bit of independence. Possibly a word to the child with the scissors from the parent might be warranted!

Olihan Mon 06-Jul-09 21:19:12

Her future career's all mapped out then grin.

wannaBe Mon 06-Jul-09 21:25:26

sorry but I am pmsl at this. grin Not helpful I know. grin

myredcardigan Mon 06-Jul-09 21:29:25

You can't watch them constantly, but, when I taught in Reception it was made very clear that scissors were to be used for their intended purpose only. They were counted out for use and counted back again. After each session were scissors were available, the kid who could reliably count to 20 counted up the scissors.

You cannot have too many rules in Reception otherwise they pay no attention to any of them but one of my biggies was that scissors were not toys and were only allowed out of their tray when I said so. Taking a pair outside the classroom would have resulted in mock shock, crossness and disappointment.

Still, when it comes down to it, nobody was hurt. Nobody was even trying to hurt as TBH, at 5, they've actually got quite good control with scissors so unlikely that anyone would have been hurt.
My big concern was somone sitting on them as we had lots of cushion/beanbag areas in my class.

Oh and as an aside, bobs on little girls far cuter IMO. smile

hocuspontas Tue 07-Jul-09 08:05:00

Unless the girl was being held down against her will I think you have to put it down to experience. They obviously went into the playhouse so they wouldn't be disturbed!

Toffeepopple Tue 07-Jul-09 10:55:49

My DD cut her hair sitting on the floor of the headteacher's office surrounded by me, the headteacher, another teacher and three other mums - no other kids.

In reception DS was allowed outside nearly constantly if he wanted. It was a safe, secure, enclosed area. Staff did not always follow them out - though had a pretty good view of most of the area.

mrz Tue 07-Jul-09 11:33:19

myredcardigan you obviously haven't taught reception for a while certainly not since EYFS came in with free flow indoors and outdoors, free access to the resources and Child Initiated Learning.

As someone has already said it can be difficult to watch your own child at all times multiply that by 30 or the 56 we have per session. All it takes is a few seconds ...

myredcardigan Tue 07-Jul-09 14:57:09

mrz, no I haven't taught Reception for about 6yrs but I'm still teaching so do know about the EYFS stuff.

The access to resources thing really has to be taken in relation to the class. Where I teach now that wouldn't be a problem but I have taught in some very deprived inner city areas where on entering reception they have little or no skills whatsoever and would (and have) eaten pritt sticks, and stuck drawing pins in their fingers. Many had never eaten off plates or used cuttlery (unless polystyrene and plastic count). I shudder to think what free access to resources would mean here.

mrz Tue 07-Jul-09 15:55:10

I'm afraid the access thing isn't relative to where or who or the age you teach it is a requirement. I teach in an area designated as in the bottom 20% for deprivation and our children arrive lacking all the basic skills you mention. Yes I've had my share of Pritt eaters ... I've also had the child who ate handfuls of sand on a daily basis. I've had parents complain that we give children knives and forks (dinner is often a packet of biscuits or a bag of crisps) I've even had a mother complain that we gave her daughter peas (and she'd asked for some in the shop!)
Free access to the resources and equipment hasn't resulted in death and destruction and rarely in hair cutting (although someone did chop off one of their bunches a few years ago) but in children respecting the resource/s and using it/them (for it's/their intended) purpose ... yes even the real hammers, screwdrivers, saws and nails (also free access)shock
Children are more likely to misuse the unfamiliar things they see rarely than those that they have been taught to use correctly IME.

myredcardigan Tue 07-Jul-09 16:04:06

I agree with you to a large extent, I just wouldn't want to be the one in charge of it all. grin

You comment about the peas made me laugh as I had exactly the same thing but with salad. Mother complained that the child now constantly asked for salad when they went shopping.

Again, I agree about the familiarity. When, at my last school we introduced water bottles it was a nightmare. But a term in and they just started using them as intended.

I'm teaching in Cheshire now and when I compare these kids to those I taught in inner city Glasgow and Salford, it truly is a different world. We have about 3% FSM here, yet I've taught in schools with 90% (Goven). Which makes you realise that in comparison, cutting hair is no terrible tragedy.

myredcardigan Tue 07-Jul-09 16:04:27

That should be Govan, sorry.

mrz Tue 07-Jul-09 16:09:27

It's a factor the government (and OFSTED) don't take into account when they impose new curricula upon us.

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