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Aaargh! Year 2 class

29 replies

SkirtingBored · 16/06/2008 14:13

Just come back from 'helping' in my dd2's Yr 2 class. Again, I am left wondering why I bother getting her to go to school. The children don't sit and listen. Several just wander round the classroom randomly poking at things until the teacher requests they sit down. Some 'need' go to to the toilet 3 times in an hour and no-one notices when they don't return for 5 mins. Children are asked to be quiet when others are talking but it doesn't happen. There is a constant noise of chatting and constant level of poking, playing with others' hair, fiddlig with toys. Children don't seem to feel the need to listen to the teacher,and quite opnely say 'No' to TA's and parent helpers.

It is not a full blown riot, but fairly chaotic, very noisy. No sense of focus or purposefulness. No real respect for adults or other children.

Sometimes work is done in groups and the able switch off because it is so slow while the less able are effectively excluded because they aren't able to read and write yet.

It just feels horrible to see all these children so lost in a school. A large cohort are bright, so results are good despite this. However, there is so much potential that is wasted, while those that need help struggle to concentrate in such a melee.

Ofsted say it is an outstanding school. To me it feels lik a holding pen.

I suppose my question is - to other parents who help and to other teachers - is this normal?

OP posts:
Scuff · 16/06/2008 14:17

The huge rise in the numbers of children being home educated suggests that this is not an isolated problem, sadly.

lljkk · 16/06/2008 14:23

Crikey, much better disciplined in my experience (have helped reception-Y3). And our school is only a Satisfactory or Good rating! But lots and lots of crowd control needed by teacher, at all years. Think that's inevitable given class sizes > 15.

Toilet trips: by end of Y2 they would probably be asked to wait until break time, with some grilling and still allowed to go for some children. Only one child to toilet from the class at a time (during class time, I mean).

More able children usually given harder exercises are allowed quiet freetime at end (to read or draw or even chat quietly).

Problems of not being able to read is what adults are there for, hopefully, to read the exercise instructions out to the children -- that said, the less able often tune out due to inability to get it, too true.

Good teacher will watch for wandering, keep fiddling and chatter to a minimum. Sounds like teacher is not on top of them, adequately (then again, it's near end of term and the kids are probably all finding it hard to focus, too, got to cut them some slack).

frogs · 16/06/2008 14:30

No, it's not normal or acceptable. I used to have to take my dc into school late after hospital appointments, so used to see what was going on when the teachers thought they were unobserved. Dd1's class was known as the worst in the school (a few v. bright kids, large no of low-ability and disruptive ones) and even with them there was generally a reasonably productive atmosphere when you walked in unexpectedly. With ds's class, boy-heavy but much smaller ability spread, they would usually be working in silence, even in Y2, and even if the teacher was occupied with helping one individual child and thus not watching the class as a whole.

Rough-ish inner-London CAtholic primary, this.

In dd2's school (community primary in leafier area) when we went round for the guided tour, I thought some classes must be out for the day, it was so quiet. And those that were noisy were constructively noisy iyswim.

QueenMeabhOfConnaught · 16/06/2008 14:48

No, it's not normal - I helped out with ds1's class when he was in Y2 and it was nothing like that.

This was at just a bog-standard state primary btw.

Mercy · 16/06/2008 14:52

SOunds nothing like my dd's class either (Yr2 large London primary)

seeker · 16/06/2008 14:58

Our school is "satisfactory" and has a VERY mixed catchment - and is nothing like this. Children sit and listen when necessary, and are expcected to be reasonably polite and respectful to each other and to adults. I would be talking to the head if I were you.

Gobbledigook · 16/06/2008 15:11

Doesn't sound normal to me. Our infant classes are nothing like that from what I've seen (I'm in school quite a bit).

tiredemma · 16/06/2008 15:12

Doesn't sound like my Ds1's class (also yr 2)

Twiglett · 16/06/2008 15:14

doesn't sound like DS' year 2s either

SkirtingBored · 16/06/2008 16:22

Not normal then. Oh. Well that is good and bad I suppose. Good that not all schools are like this, bad because I need to tackle it then.

How can I go about it without it becoming personal? I expect no one is very interested because it is near the end of term and the class are moving schools when they go to Yr 3.

I do know that it is rumoured that the classes will be mixed (there are 3 x Yr 2 classes) as they go to Yr 3. I wonder if it is my DD2's class that is the reason why?

Is there any point raising this so close to the end of term? Teacher is very well established and experienced with a good reputation . Head is known for wanting to be left to run the school as he sees fit.

NB Apols for typos, am multi-tasking

OP posts:
gingernutlover · 16/06/2008 16:26

i would be very worried about this (teach reception) and would be ratyher embarassed if my class behaved liek this infront of a parent helper.

i think if this is somthing you saw just today then not to worry too much but if it is more than a one off then speak to the head - i appreciate you may not feel able to speak to the teacher themselves

what you are describing is more like our key stage 2 classes on quite a bad day, still not acceptable i know and parents have voiced their concerns even though it is not a consistent situation

gingernutlover · 16/06/2008 16:26

i would be very worried about this (teach reception) and would be ratyher embarassed if my class behaved liek this infront of a parent helper.

i think if this is somthing you saw just today then not to worry too much but if it is more than a one off then speak to the head - i appreciate you may not feel able to speak to the teacher themselves

what you are describing is more like our key stage 2 classes on quite a bad day, still not acceptable i know and parents have voiced their concerns even though it is not a consistent situation

gingernutlover · 16/06/2008 16:30

hmmmm just read your recent post again, sounds like they are the biggest fish etc etc but there is still a good month to 6 weeks to go .......

if the head is not very accepting of parents views then assume she wont react outewardly when you tell her (or him) but it might just prompt some drop in observations ...... unannounced you know we have them at school and i dont mind but some of the other teachers do !?!?!

also apologies for awaful typos - the reason why they only let me teach reception hehe

SkirtingBored · 16/06/2008 16:57

The class is always like this to some extent. I have certainly seen it like this before, although some weeks it is better. Quite often though, that is when the 5 or so children who need extra support receive that in another classoom.

They had a sculptor in today to talk about his work and show the children some pieces. Most of the group sat and listened, but about 5 children on the fringes of the group were in no way participating, and the teacher just seemed to accept this level of background noise from the children when the sculptor was speaking.

I have another child to go through the shool so I am worried about creating a difficult relationship with the head and teaching staff, but also aware that I don't want another of my children to have to attend these sort of classes.

Is there any way to get this addressed without having to stick my head above the parapet? Sorry for being a coward

OP posts:
SkirtingBored · 16/06/2008 20:59

Evening bump. All comments welcome

OP posts:
gingernutlover · 17/06/2008 17:15

so really you have to find a way of brining this to the heads attention without the teacher thinking you have "complained" abut her.

do speak to the head, it is not rght for the other children to have this kind of behaviour accepted as the norm

make it clear you are not slaggin off the teacher, voice it as concern over these particular children and that you really enjoy helping out and dont want to stop therefore dont want it public knowledge that you have spekn to hera bout it

hope tht helps

much much better that you speak to the head than chat to other parents a bout it and word gets around in my experience, gve the school the chace to srt it out (not suggesting yoiu are a gossip)

Blandmum · 17/06/2008 17:18

It doesn't sound like the class my ds was in last year. His year 3 class isn't like this either.

In fac,t the worst classes that I have taught in secondary school don't seem to be as bad as this class sounds.

smartiejake · 17/06/2008 17:57

No this doesn't sound right to me. Children at the end of year 2 who are probably all 7 and some nearly 8 should be able to sit still and listen for about 10 mins and should cetainly know (ie have been taught) the correct way to behave around other adults. Talking when another adult is talking is plain rude and the only reason they do it is because they are ALLOWED to. Sounds like the teacher has very litle control and just accepts this behaviour. Unsatisfactory IMO.

The only excuse for behaviour such as this at age 7 is if the child has special needs.

frankie3 · 17/06/2008 18:33

My DS is also at a "good" primary school, but I have always been really shocked at the behaviour allowed in the classroom. In all the lessons the children never seem to be all doing the same thing, but there are different activities and work on each table and they just seem to walk from one thing to the other. There is a lot of noise. As they are all doing different things they seem to be easily distracted and obviously only choose to do the things they enjoy and are good at.

I am probably old fashioned, but I think that if they all sat quietly facing the front, listening to the teacher and all doing the same thing, they would learn more and the environment would be calmer and better for all the children.

nappyelite · 17/06/2008 19:33

frankie3- you hit it on the head- bring back the front facing rows and the teacher in front. How can a child learn if they can't see the teacher?

I'd have to say something and then deal with the fallout. I read somewhere about doing that and it really works. went along the lines of- do you worry about everything and never do anything, or do you grab life by the balls and worry over the consequences if there even are any ?

smartiejake · 17/06/2008 19:48

I agree to a certain extent nappyelite but actually children don't just learn from their teacher.

They can learn quite alot from each other too and sitting face front does not allow that sort of learning.

It is said that concepts are made more concrete when you explain them to another. Speaking and listening skills, social skills and collaborative work are much harder when the kids are in rows too. Having said that it sounds like there's not much of this going on in the class described by the op.

Any good teacher would be able to ensure all the children were learning in what everway the lesson required. Fact is this teacher is inadequate and I doubt the children would be any better off which ever way they sat.

Litchick · 17/06/2008 20:30

I dropped my friend's daughter at her Y1 class and it was bedlam. The teacher was rtying to listen to someone read while the other 29 were split into two grouos and were listening to two different story tapes. It was so noisy. Some of the kiddies were just looking out of the window or wandering round.
I was horrified.
My own dcs classes are model- like in comparison.

Runnerbean · 17/06/2008 23:21

This sounds pretty much like my dds ex-class, I spent two years helping out in the classroom, the treatment of a SN child was particularly appalling.
I also think sitting in rows facing the board would be better.
The children sitting with their backs to the board had to keep turning round awkwardly to copy things, the teacher couldn't see who was or wasn't chatting and mucking about, or who needed help.
The dc's weren't interested in their work because they were distracted by other dc's on their table.
The different tables also knew which was the 'clever' table and which was the 'bottom' table! Not great for the old self esteem!
I'm now a home educator, I honestly don't think I would have been completely convinced to HE unless I had that classroom experience.

bigTillyMint · 18/06/2008 09:13

Are all the classes like this or is it just the teacher?

at comments that Y2 children should be sitting in rows facing the front all doing the same thing. How is that going to help their learning? Young children learn through talk and play, but obviously this has to be in a calm, controlled environment - not a riot! Also the problem with the literacy and numeracy hours was that they meant that all children had to be taought the same thing at once, regardless of their level of understanding, etc.

I would go in and voice my concerns to the head, in as non-judgemental manner as possible!

Buda · 18/06/2008 09:23

My DS is in Yr 2 and there are about 3 or 4 "challenging" children in the class who would wander about and not listen etc. But the teacher and her assistant do not tolerate it. The teacher is strict but fair and tells them off where appropriate.

She insists that each child shakes her by the hand and says "Good afternoon Miss X" and looks her in the eye as they are let out at the end of the day. She also hugs them often when they are good. She can be shouty but it hasn't been a problem.

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