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To not understand age segregated playgrounds?

15 replies

apricotdanish · 11/09/2015 17:31

DS is in second year of secondary in a boy's school. He has made a couple of friends in his year but this took a while. He finds his year group quite cliquey and doesn't have much in common with the popular boys within it, he's more of a "geeky" kid than a jock type.
The new crop of Year 7's have arrived and he has chatted with a few boys in the year and found them really easy to get along with, commenting that he really enjoys their company and feels that he can "really be myself with them". However this situation has been curtailed by the fact that the school have ruled that the different year groups can't play in the same area and if they cross into another year's space they are punished.
I understand that they have to encourage the children to establish relationships within their own year group but AIBU to think it's a bit unnecessary to not allow them to socialise with other years. After all it's quite conceivable that some children in one year will be closer in age to others in the year above or below if due to birthdays very early or late in the school year.

OP posts:

usual · 11/09/2015 17:34

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DonkeyOaty · 11/09/2015 17:40

Never heard of this at secondary school age! Sure, in primary, keeping the tiny reception dcs away from enormous yr6s at break is quite sensible, pragmatic. But secondary - nope.

I wonder if they've been having a dealing problem in the past? Or something. Ramble ramble.


MrsMummyPig · 11/09/2015 17:42

We don't have separate segregated areas for year groups but due to lack of space different key stages have different break times.


drivingmisspotty · 11/09/2015 17:49

That does sound odd, I can only imagine it being for a discipline issue rather than trying to get individual years to bond. Perhaps just as much as helping teachers track who is where.

Could your son and his new mates perhaps start a lunchtime club? Eg if they like chatting Lego and are no longer able to could they approach a tech teacher and persuade them to host a cross-years lunchtime Lego club. They could argue that it would be educational and that with new playground rules it will help school community integration.


steppemum · 11/09/2015 17:50

one secondary we visited did have an area for years 7 and 8. It was an area they could chose to go to, there was also a sixth form only space. There was plenty of space elsewhere for all to mix.

It came out of a student survey. The younger children felt that the older ones dominated all the space available.


apricotdanish · 11/09/2015 18:10

Thanks for replying Smile. You've kind of confirmed what I was thinking- that it's a bit odd. I don't think it's down to dealing, never heard any such rumours but I guess it's possible. My son says that he's been told by staff that the reason is that the new intake should be getting to know one another rather than boy's in the year above but I think that's a bit short sighted. I think the idea of putting at least year 7 & 8 together in the same playground would be more reasonable I can understand that younger ones could feel that the upper years were controlling the space but think that would at least be a compromise.

OP posts:

Witchend · 11/09/2015 18:13

In this area it's standard for the secondaries to have see a year 7 only playground. Then usually a 8-9, and a 10-11.

Although I think dd1's considering changing the latter 2 to ball games /non-ball games.

I think it's certainly sensible at this time of year when a number of the year 7s are feeling intimidated by the much bigger ones.


NullaBore · 11/09/2015 18:13

I thought this was relatively to primary school and was going to say yabu. But at high school Hmm definitely yanbu!


NullaBore · 11/09/2015 18:14

Related to primary school.


LadyPenelope68 · 11/09/2015 18:17

Totally normal round here to have a Year 7 area, it's to make them more comfortable and not find breaks/lunch quite as intimidating as being in the general chaos of the main area.


Devilishpyjamas · 11/09/2015 18:19

Ds2's school has a year 7 only (& 6th form only) space - but they don't have to go there.


BoneyBackJefferson · 11/09/2015 18:27

We have a yr7 area and a year 11 area.

Some yr 7s like having an area where they are "safe" from the other years. (they don't get caught up in some of the silly behaviour or are not as settled, or want to mix with older years)

The yr 11s like having their own area for similar reasons.

The other playground areas of the school are open to all years if they want to use them


AuntieStella · 11/09/2015 18:29

Like devilishpyjamas ours has a year 7s only area (but year 7s don't have to stay in it) and a sixth form only area.

And in theory everyone else is all in together, though in practise different tribes occupy their own areas.

Maybe this school has had a particularly intractable tribal problem, and has gone a bit OTT in measures to break them up?


sproketmx · 11/09/2015 19:38

I'm in scotland so not familiar with the English system. They do it here at primary separating 123 into one and 4567 into another because of obv size difference but in high school they don't even have to stay in school grounds. Rediculous. How do they expect these kids to be functioning adults at 16 if they treat them like little kids? Hmm


Helenluvsrob · 11/09/2015 19:48

Hmm maybe not year 7 from year 8 but when you see year 11 playing playground footy or rugby you wouldn't want a little year 7 about!

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