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Keeping all of class in when only a few "naughty"

(40 Posts)
Helennn Mon 19-Oct-09 11:19:59

My ds is in year 5. His new teacher is a bit old school and strict, although my ds seems to like her and is doing well for him. She has been at the school for years and her dh is caretaker, just so you get the picture.

She has recently kept the whole class in for break when only 2 or 3 boys were mucking about in PE. She has done this before, sometimes when my ds has been the culprit.

So, I am quite happy for my ds to be kept in when he has been mucking about, but do not think the whole class should be kept in. If he has not done anything wrong then he needs his break to run off some energy (think labrador dog personality).

I have parents evening later, do you think I should say something about this, and if so what are the best arguments against it?

Bucharest Mon 19-Oct-09 11:22:40

That used to happen when I was at school, way back in the Dark Ages...I think the feeling behind it, is that the good kids will be so hacked off with the naughty ones that the naughty ones won't do it again. But I doubt that works somehow.

I'd mention it as being a bit old-fashioned and OTT.

Greensleeves Mon 19-Oct-09 11:22:54

I think whole-class punishments like this are very poor practice. It's lazy on the part of the teacher and uses the majority of the children to punish the few miscreants by making them angry and resentful. This sort of crap is discouraged in prisons these days and certainly shouldn't be happening in schools. The teacher wants a kick up the arse.

Angeliz Mon 19-Oct-09 11:23:38

I think you should. We had this last year when the whole school missed their break as someone had put loo paper down all the toilets.
We spoke to the head about gruop punishments and he actually said it was NOT a group punishment but it went on so long the children accidently missed their break.
I think it's wrong for a child to take the wrap for others bad behaviour. Although it may make the 'naughty' kids a bit ashamed as they will probably get moaned at all day by other kids, i still don't think it's fair.

VictoriousSponge Mon 19-Oct-09 11:25:19

agree with greeny

ds was told that the whoel class will get a detenetion if adam doesnt do his homewoek
i told ds he wouldnt

potoftea Mon 19-Oct-09 11:27:43

I've often had this with my dc. Some teachers even used it to keep the whole class from PE which also implied that PE was optional in school rather than every bit as important as every other subject. It's so wrong in my opinion.

Firstly it encouages bullying because the rest of the class gang up on the ones that misbehaved.

Secondly there is no incentive to be good, because whether you are or not you will be punished.

Much better punishment to have to watch your classmates have fun while you miss out because you did wrong.

AMumInScotland Mon 19-Oct-09 11:27:48

You could try pointing out that group punishment is outlawed by the Geneva Convention. Or just the, more practical, point that if they don't get their run-around then they're only going to be harder to control for the rest of the day.

This used to be done to us in school, and I thought very badly of teachers who had to resort to it - frankly they were the ones who were not able to keep control, and I despised them for it, even as a child... It certainly didn't improve our behaviour, as it only confirmed what we already knew - that the teacher had no effective methods for keeping control. If I could see that as a (very goody-goody) child, then surely the really boisterous ones have cottoned on too?

Fennel Mon 19-Oct-09 11:30:30

I agree it's just not fair, and I would probably raise it, as being unfair on the well-behaved. Noone should be punished for someone else's behaviour.

On a related theme, my dd wants me to complain at parents evening tomorrow that the naughty boy in class (the one who's relentlessly disobedient at every possibility and in every possible location) gets more treats and house points than the routinely well-behaved. I can see it's a strategy not to alienate the boy and categorise him as bad, but it's really pissing off the ones who do behave well.

marialuisa Mon 19-Oct-09 11:31:25

The behaviour policy for DD's school explicitly states that such punishments will not be used. I'm still resentful about the whole of my reception class being made to stand facing the corridor wall with our hands on our heads for morning play because Ben Jones had scribbled on the blackboard and didn't own up so I was delighted to see DD's school was against that sort of thing.

Helennn Mon 19-Oct-09 11:33:31

Thanks all - mumin Scotland, do you know any more about how I could find out more about the Geneva Convention bit?

Regarding her not being able to control the class, in fairness to her, the PE lesson was being taken by a new TA so she may not have known the names of the offenders. However, rumours abound that last year the class were kept in for lunch hours with school dinner kids not being allowed their lunches!

Feel I need more specific arguments rather than saying you are old fashioned, this punishment is out of the dark ages and you need a kick up the bum grin

TheApprentice Mon 19-Oct-09 11:35:31

I don't think this kind of punishment works. I think, if I am honest, I did try it once in my first year of teaching (a big learning curve if ever there was one!) when I couldnt find a culprit, but it certainly does NOT encourage anyone to own up. And as for punishing the whole class when she knows who the wrong doers are - thats madness imo. But if she's old school you may have trouble persuading her! I guess you could try talking to her first and then if that is not forthcoming you may have to take it higher.

AMumInScotland Mon 19-Oct-09 11:36:52

Just Google it - I can't remember the links, but I looked it up myself many years ago when it was done to DS's class.

You could ask to see the school's behaviour policy (they should have one) and see how it meshes (or doesn't) with what she's doing.

alana39 Mon 19-Oct-09 11:44:30

Mad. School should have a policy on both rewards and punishments which deals with pupils on an individual basis. If you get no joy out of her I would definitely take it further. Keeping kids in is likely to lead to further frustration and bad behaviour in the afternoon.

Helennn Mon 19-Oct-09 11:52:39

Mum in Scotland, yes, just been doing that but can't find anything specific, it only seems to relate to wars!

But I did find an interesting piece mypointexactly.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/group-punishment-ineffective-unethical/

Trouble is, my ds seems quite happy and is doing well at the moment, but I have a very strong "Not Fair" gene. I don't want to rock the boat but don't want the situation to keep arising, I suppose now is the time to mention it!

Helennn Mon 19-Oct-09 11:54:06

Sorry, just checked and link broken, not sure how to get it to work.

crumpet Mon 19-Oct-09 11:56:07

not great, but surely not that big a deal if it only happens very occasionally? If it was a regular occurence then agree it should be taken up, but otherwise citing the Geneva convention is just a tad OTT.

crumpet Mon 19-Oct-09 11:58:24

not sure I can equate this to 20 odd 10 year olds tbh.

colditz Mon 19-Oct-09 12:00:22

keeping well behaved children in as a punishment will result in a lack of motivation to be well behaved.

I distinctly remember our whole school being kept in at break for three days running - one of the reception kids fainted sad and I startedbeing naughty because there was no reason not to be.

I do remember that this was enforced by the head teacherand that the teachers were opposed to it. But this was 20 years ago, I would expect an older experienced teacher to KNOW that this doesn't work.

crumpet Mon 19-Oct-09 12:03:17

am not saying it is the wisest choice of punishment, but just can't see that it is a big deal unless it was happening all the time.

Helennn Mon 19-Oct-09 12:08:30

I agree Crumpet, it happened a lot in the first few weeks of term as apparently she was making her mark and setting out as she meant to continue. My DS missed quite a few breaks, quite often as he was one of the culprits I hasten to add. It has now tailed off but I still strongly disagree with it and don't want it to go un-mentioned.

She also has a reputation of favouring girls, and it always seems to be the boys who are told off even when the girls have apparently been mis-beheaving. I knew she had this repuation, but my ds has now noticed it.

So, I'm going to bring it up, but maybe I won't mention the Geneva Convention smile

katiestar Mon 19-Oct-09 13:47:47

Might be a human rights issue though !

ICANDOTHAT Mon 19-Oct-09 17:28:44

NO WAY should the whole class be deprived of their break because of a few others. I would talk to teacher and if no joy, talk with the head. Depriving children of their 'playtime' should not be on any school's behaviour strategy policy. Don't mention Geneva though, you'll probably get stoned !! grin

Helennn Mon 19-Oct-09 21:03:22

Well, I brought it up. You could tell she had done many a parent's evening. She swiftly moved from one subject to another with not much chance of a discussion.

So, at the end, I did say that I was un-happy with the keeping in the whole class issue. She deftly said that for the first couple of weeks she had had to keep them in quite a bit but now they had really settled down and had improved a lot, therefore it had worked! I said that maybe that was true but I still didn't think it was fair on those that hadn't been misbehaving, and I felt strongly about things that weren't just. She did say that she saw my point!

So, really, I think I was done over. I don't think any-body will ever win with her, but if it stars happening again I'm going to speak to the head, who is an equally strong character so I may need one of you to come with me grin

Honeymum Mon 19-Oct-09 22:16:42

I haven't read this thread yet but look at my recent one www.mumsnet.com/Talk/primary/838754-Over-strict-teacher-Yr-3?msgid=17229190

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