Put a question to Bridget Phillipson, Shadow Education Minister

My feed

to access all these features

Join our Primary Education forum to discuss starting school and helping your child get the most out of it.

Primary education

gym in pants

43 replies

DeedeeD · 17/09/2007 13:05

My dd is in reception and is refusing do gym in her pants. Her teacher is making her sit at the side of the class until she gives in. I have asked the teacher if my dd can wear shorts but the teacher says she can't set a precedent. My dd is now saying she doesn't want to go to school because of the gym issue. Has anyone else had this problem?

OP posts:
Skribble · 17/09/2007 13:07

I think teacher has to be questioned as to why she thinks this is how kids should do gym in this day and age. I would say most school children wear shorts for gym not just pants, seems a ridiculous precident to uphold.

HonoriaGlossop · 17/09/2007 13:40

Yes I would think it's more common now to wear shorts; ds class have shorts and a white T shirt.

However it may be to avoid the hassles of changing, which can be so time consuming for those in reception. I'd be quite pleased if ds hadn't had to change for PE then change back again, he was rubbish at it and I bet he hated it and took ages doing it, when he could have been enjoying himself DOING gym!

I wouldn't see why it's a problem at four - why does your dd not like it do you think?

WotsZePoint · 17/09/2007 13:43

Time is normally the issue, but mine were given the choice to wear shorts in reception.

NAB3 · 17/09/2007 13:46

The school is barmy.

The children should be allowed to wear shorts or skirts.

NAB3 · 17/09/2007 13:47

Our school has the children doing PE in their uniform for the first few weeks until they get a bit bigger. 28 kids all getting changed = end of lesson by the time they are all ready.

mrsmcready · 17/09/2007 13:47

we used to do this when I was at primary and I hated it. Seems very odd these days, my dd wear shorts from reception at our school. I can imagine a lot of girls of this age being upset. I would challenge the school on this, why not talk to a few other parents at the school to gauge opinions.

Bluestocking · 17/09/2007 13:48

Why don't you put her in a little pair of shorts under her skirt?

MaryAnnSingleton · 17/09/2007 13:48

our school has no changing facilities so all the boys a nd girls change in the classroom together - ok when little but they're in yr 6 and it must be embarrassing for some of the girls - ds not bothered,though.

Fizzylemonade · 17/09/2007 13:54

At my son's primary they don't have a scheduled PE lesson, if the weather is good they sometimes do a practical lesson outside as well as PE. They have shorts and t-shirt.

I think it is an odd message to send to a child that they have to be exposed to the outside world in their underwear. I wouldn't take my son shopping if he were only wearing pants, why is it ok for them to do gym in just pants or knickers.

As your daughter feels very strongly I would talk to the other parents and if needed the head. I would be very unhappy if it were my child being ostracised.

CarGirl · 17/09/2007 14:05

H&M sells knickers that are shorts, very comfy and would perhaps give your dd more confidence along with wearing a vest????? Think school is a bit strange though tbh

seeker · 17/09/2007 14:13

!s this a state school? If it is, then I wsould have a word with the head - some little girls get very "knicker conscious' at this age and I don't think it's soemthing the teacher should eb making an issue out of. They have PE kit from ~Reception at ds's school, BTW, but the always have PE first lesson so that at least some mums can come in and helpt hem get changed!

themildmanneredjanitor · 17/09/2007 14:15

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HonoriaGlossop · 17/09/2007 14:21

I'm showing my ignorance here then! Don't have a girl so didn't realise this could be an issue. DS probably wouldn't notice if he had to do PE in spangly lycra leggings and a twinset and pearls He just does not regard clothes, pants, or lack thereof, as something you pay attention to.

wheresthehamster · 17/09/2007 18:12

But we ALL did gym in our pants in the sixties all the way up to year 6.

Agree that nowadays it seems a bit odd but why was your dd so concerned? Obviously by now it has become an even bigger issue with her and I can't see what problem the teacher would have if she wore shorts to school on PE days and so what if it sets a precedent.

Hope you get it resolved

hanaflower · 17/09/2007 18:25

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Reallytired · 17/09/2007 21:46

My son does gym in his pants and vest as well. He is in year 1 and did PE in pants and vest all of last year.

I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. I would be extremely surprised if your little girl went outside. It would be too cold to PE in underwear outside.

yetihed · 18/09/2007 18:24

Sounds barmy to me! I reckon short shorts as pants would be practical solution, but in the meantime you might like to point out to the teacher/ school that your child is legally entitled to PE lessons, and how they are planning on ensuring she is meeting her early learning goals for physical development without them???

I can see it's only a small issue, reallytired, but it does show a complete lack of common sense on the part of the teacher. I am a teacher too, and it really makes me mad when other professionals behave in such stupid, un-childfriendly ways.

Sorry, rant over!!!

jennifersofia · 18/09/2007 21:56

quite common around here for YR and Y1 to do it in pants and vest. (Have you ever tried to get 30 5 yr olds out of clothes and shoes, into kit, have a lesson, then out of kit and into their own clothes and no one else's in 45 minutes?)
Having said that, in my school, we have been told in our school that we are not allowed to teach children that are not in kit, and they will have to sit the lesson out.

DeedeeD · 19/09/2007 15:11

thanks for all your advice but my problem now seems to have escalated from dd's refusal to do gym in vest and pants to refusing to do anything the teacher asks. DD is very self-conscious and lacking in confidence she is now not willing to write or use the computer with the teacher. She is too shy to say good morning and the teachers initial response to this was to make her sit in the corridor until she did. She is saying that dd will be sent to the headmistress and that I should contact a child psychologist about her behaviour. This is after one week in reception. dd is 4.

OP posts:
TheApprentice · 19/09/2007 15:15

OMG, what IS the teacher doing? I taught reception for many years, and your daughter's behaviour is by no means uncommon. By making an issue of it the teacher is making it FAR worse. Some children are naturally shy, and the best thing to do at this age is to let them just watch the others do things they are unsure of until they feel confident enough to join in.

I think you need to explain this to the teacher, or if not go to the head.

TheApprentice · 19/09/2007 15:18

Also, contacting a child psychologist after just one week in reception is nothing short of ridiculous. Most teachers wouldnt consider doing this unless things hadnt improved after Christmas. I hate to do down someone in my profession (feel that teachers get enough bashing as it is!) but she sounds barmy!

BTW it was the norm in my school for little ones to do PE in undies as changing takes so long, but ONLY if the child was comfortable with that. Anyone who wanted to wear shorts could,

seeker · 19/09/2007 15:37

This is bizarre behaviour on the teacher's part. Have you had a formal meeting with her about this or is it just a few words at the ens of the day. I would arrange a proper meeting and ask her what her strategies for helping your dd settle down in school are. Is there another reception class your daughter could move to or is it a one form entry school?

flowerpotty · 19/09/2007 16:50

I felt so sad when I read that your dd was made to sit in the corridor in her first week of school. This teacher could really affect your dd's attitude to school if you don't intervene now.
My dd1 has also just started school, and i would be very upset if I thought she was being treated like that. I hope you manage to sort it..good luck.

lemonaid · 19/09/2007 16:53

Good Lord. Are there other schools she could go to, or would you consider home ed? That teacher sounds like a nightmare...

themildmanneredjanitor · 19/09/2007 16:54

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.