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Form Time

(17 Posts)
FarAwayHills Thu 14-Apr-16 15:01:51

Just wondered what your DCs get up to in their form time. My DD is in Y7 and other than registration this lesson every day seems to have little purpose. They often use the lesson to read (but not a lot of reading happens) while the form tutor gets on with something else or sometimes the watch newsround.

I can see the need to have a form tutor as a central point of contact but I can't help feeling that form time is a bit of a waste of time - at least in my DDs case.

Is this the norm for most secondary schools?

SpeakNoWords Thu 14-Apr-16 15:24:23

Presumably they have assembly at least once a week during this time? There will also be admin that needs doing eg sick notes, permission slips for whatever, notices to go through. Watching newsround is something that I would do weekly too, as was silent reading. So 3 mornings out of 5 were fairly well organised. The other two days depended on what was happening that term. Sometimes there were inter form competitions to do, or other projects. And sometimes not very much to do at all. I don't think it's harmful for the students to have a few minutes to settle in and get into "school mode".

Lizzylou Thu 14-Apr-16 15:28:58

I am a form tutor. Once a week is assembly. We also have at least one morning on a theme, kindness, internet security, Sport relief, whatever.
One morning is for signing planners and going through merit/demerit points.
We also watch The Day.

FarAwayHills Thu 14-Apr-16 16:40:55

Thanks for your replies.

It is interesting to hear what happens in other schools. It probably doesn't help that I went to school in another country and where there was no form time so this is all new to me.

It's just when DD says she spends the lesson chatting & doodling while the teacher gets on with something else, I'm a little bit hmm

SpeakNoWords Thu 14-Apr-16 17:14:07

It's not a "lesson" though like maths or English. It is usually less than half an hour and at least 3 out of 5 mornings there are going to be organised activities. There will be times when the teacher is doing admin where your DD isn't doing anything in particular. That is normal.

LIZS Thu 14-Apr-16 17:19:14

Registration followed by assembly, pshce, house meetings etc

Groovee Thu 14-Apr-16 17:23:48

Our school has changed registration. They go direct to class every day and registered there. Then twice a week, Monday and Wednesday they get 20 minutes before lunch for tutor time where letters etc get handed out. They used to have 10 minutes per morning but the school changed it.

VulcanWoman2 Thu 14-Apr-16 17:53:59

A lot of wasted hours IMO.

cricketballs Thu 14-Apr-16 20:08:15

Form time is important not only for the administration side i.e planners, letters etc but also as creating a base given the movement/staff they deal with day in day out. It gives a the students a group to be part of for comps etc and a familiar face who supports, guides, mentors them. It is also a major point of contact for not only parents but also subject teachers

clary Thu 14-Apr-16 23:57:57

I agree form time is a useful thing to have and as students progress through school they can develop a different kind of relationship with a tutor.

A colleague of mine has had the same form group all the ay from yr 7 to yr 11 which is pretty special (quite unusual sadly due to staff changes/people swapping groups etc).

We have half an hour a day tho which I think is too long unless the students have something to get their teeth into. 20 mins would be enough time to do assembly/admin tasks/quiet reading.

housemoverihope Fri 15-Apr-16 00:07:14

I'm a secondary teacher and have a year 7 form. We do spend a fair bit of time on admin as well as assembly and other scheduled activities but I really enjoy getting to know them all. We spent a few weeks before Easter setting up fundraising which was great for team building. I think form time gives a routine and a "nice" start to each day, especially important for those who perhaps havent even spoken to anyone before arriving at school.

BackforGood Fri 15-Apr-16 00:15:34

That's funny - I only had a conv. with dd about this this afternoon, as she said they are going to cut form time from 40mins per day to 30mins per day (She moved to a new school for 6th form and I was stunned they were wasting this much time, tbh, I'd not taken that much notice until she said blush).
It does seem an inordinate amount of time to be wasting every day. Form time lasted about 10mins when I was at school - take the register and any notices were given out... kind of like a staff briefing at work.
dd says they don't do anything like PSHE - just sit around mostly. Bit too distracting to be able to settle to work, they all just sit about and chat from what I can gather.

FarAwayHills Fri 15-Apr-16 15:18:53

That was exactly my thoughts Back. I understand that there needs to be some time each week for assembly, notices and a bit of general admin, but a whole lesson for this every day for this just seems like a wasted opportunity.

SpeakNoWords Fri 15-Apr-16 15:24:36

Perhaps you could feed that back to the school, maybe contact the head of year 7 or whoever is the relevant pastoral person? You could make some suggestions for what the form tutor could deliver during that time as well.

housemoverihope Fri 15-Apr-16 16:49:39

FarAwayHills if you do decide to talk to the school, our year 7s have just started a scheme called PiXL Edge. It is a programme where students need to complete a set of activities (basically life skills) in order to receive a qualification. It is very student led and both the students and I are enjoying it so far.

cansu Fri 15-Apr-16 17:04:12

It isn't a lesson. It is simply a twenty minute slot to get the kids settled again before lessons start. It is a time to do the register, admin, read out notices, sign planners and sometimes deal with social problems that have cropped up. There is usually an assembly at least once a week. It really isn't helpful to compare it to a lesson.

MrsGuyOfGisbo Sat 16-Apr-16 11:04:06

In several of the schools I go to ( supply teacher) form time happens not at the start of day but before morning break or lunch.
I was shock to be in a school a few weeks ago where the kids as they lined up all had their phones out said that their form tutor allowed them phones during this time (30 mins) on Fridays.
I called asked a passing teacher - he said rubbish, school rules apply even on Fridays, and confiscated one from a boy who was being argumentative.
As they trooped in, with phones reluctantly put away, some latecomers arrived, same story, and were arguing. Called another FT teacher in neighbouring room to reinforce the rule - he said, 'No, let 'em do it, it is Friday'
In the staff room later I asked around. Most said they didn't but a few said they did.
My concern for those that do apart form the inconsistency) is that it is not only listening to music, but photos, snapchat - could be cyber bullying - no way to police it. And parents should surely be able to expect that no cyber bullying is facilitated in a classroom... These were y8 btw - ie 12/13 - not sixthformrs...

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