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OK, what action can/should primary teachers take to stop unkind behaviour in the playground?

(11 Posts)
elliott Tue 14-Jul-09 21:29:58

Ds1 is having persistent problems at playtime with classmates pinching his sunhat in order to wind him up. I've mentioned it twice to his teachers in the last few weeks (though not his actual class teacher as she hasn't happened to be there when I've been doing the pick up and able to chat). Today he got rather a nasty bump on the head when he fell over trying to retrieve the hat. I'm obviously a bit disturbed that whatever has been done or said clearly hasn't had any effect, but I'm wondering what I should expect? Obviously kids are not always going to be lovely to each other but is it unreasonable for me to expect the teachers to be able to stop this going on, given that I have already drawn it to their attention twice?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 14-Jul-09 21:33:39

Who supervises in the playground at playtime? You need to talk to his class teacher so they can ask whoever is on the rota to have an eye. I think it is a bit unreasonable of you, depending on the size of the school, to expect members of staff who do not directly teach him to sort it out. Also you need to tell him that rather than chase after his hat, if someone pinches it he is to go to the nearest adult and tell them what happened.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 14-Jul-09 21:34:53

Sorry, should have added, all depends on how old he is of course.

elliott Tue 14-Jul-09 21:42:06

Yes that is a good idea re telling him not to chase people but to tell an adult - I'll do that! (I have told him to get help but reinforcing that he should do it straight away might help).
Is it unreasonable of me to expect that other teachers in temporary charge of the class communicate with the class teacher? I pick up from school maybe once or twice a week, and often the class teacher is not there so I talk to whoever is. We are encouraged not to talk to the class teacher in the mornings so that they can start the day promptly. I have no idea who is in charge at playtime actually.

elliott Tue 14-Jul-09 21:42:32

he is 7, year 2.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 14-Jul-09 21:46:03

Depends on the size and structure of the school really how much communication there is between class teacher and whoever is covering for them. I think usually it is better to talk directly to the class teacher. At our school, for instance, lunchtime play is covered by mealtime assistants not by teaching staff, while morning break is covered by teachers on a rota basis - they won't necessarily know what is going on with your son.

elliott Tue 14-Jul-09 21:56:30

It is a large and rather impersonal school, but does have pretty good systems in place in general - its just sometimes hard to penetrate them!
I do appreciate it would be better to talk to the class teacher but I can't predict how long it will be before I next see her. in fact I will not be picking up again until Friday which is too late! Anyway I am intending to write a note to her just so that she is aware that this has been a persistent issue and hopefully something will be done. Its very hard to know what is appropriate concern and what is overly interfering, but I think the large bruise on his forehead today coupled with my having already mentioned it not once but TWICE mean I am going to have to do something!

mrsmaidamess Tue 14-Jul-09 21:58:14

Tell him to let an adult know when this happens again. I know it's a pain for your son but in terms of playground behaviour, it's pretty par for the course.

melissa75 Wed 15-Jul-09 11:46:07

perhaps try calling the school and seeing if you can set up to meet with the teacher when you pick up? The other side of the coin as well is, when does term end for you? If it is this Friday (as it is in my borough), then it may be a bit more difficult.

Totally agree with telling DS to approach the staff on duty as opposed to running after the child that has taken his hat. Speaking as a teacher who does duty in our infant playground with 120 kids at playtime, I obviously cannot see every single thing that happens, so I rely on kids to come to tell me so we can get it sorted out.

I am pretty shocked that you were not told about the bump on his head at the end of the day, either verbally or via a note. I personally do not know of any schools who do not send home head bump notes at the end of the day with children if they have fallen (and obviously it is not severe) or they have bumped heads with another child. If you had picked him up and he had a concussion for example and you had not been told about it, they would be in a lot of trouble!

Unfortunately, there is usually LOADS of issues dealt with at playtime, especially at this time of year, where a lot of kids are starting to lose the plot...and obviously I do not have the time at the end of play or throughout the day to go to each teacher with a list of each incident for the children in their individual class. If it is of major consequence, then staff do make a note of passing it on to the individual child's teacher, but otherwise, it is dealt with outside, and it stays there, and the classroom teacher may be none the wiser if she/he is not on duty that day.

bigTillyMint Wed 15-Jul-09 12:52:41

He should have brought a head-note home - you could ask why he didn't have one. You obviously should also let the teacher know that he is getting upset because his hat is being pinched.

Is he the only one (or one of just a few) who wears a hat? Does he wear one for a special reason? Kids spot differences at a mile off, and hats are something other boys like to pinch and tease with.

Is it a school hat / cap? I don't think many kids at my DC's school wear their caps at playtime unless it's particularly sunny, but as they are only allowed to wear the school uniform cap, maybe there's less excitement in taking them off another childs head?

Does he HAVE to wear the hat, or would he just get teased about something else anyway?

elliott Wed 15-Jul-09 17:16:35

He did have a head injury note - no complaints there. He does need to wear a hat because he is a redhead with very fair skin and he should have adequate sun protection (though I have to say I think the same applies to all the kids, but obviously he's the only one who is my responsibility!).
Anyway I managed a quick word with the teacher who was sympathetic and said she would do waht she could.
I think I was just a bit alarmed because it has been persistent despite me taking action (which I don't do lightly, ds1 had been complaining for some time before I decided to approach the teachers, normally I try not to step on their toes too much!)

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