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Punished For Not Keeping Up In School?

This festive period has been great, it really has. Then 2 days before the girls are due back we decided to make sure things were all sorted and ready for their return. That’s when reality took a swing at me! 

The reality of schools, authority and how much stress and frustration the current education system gives me. As I’ve said in a previous post, I don’t agree with homework, read it here. I especially don’t agree with homework during Christmas!

Further to this, I’ve now come across a school ‘policy’ that I certainly don’t agree with and can’t actually believe is even real! So despite the long winded emails and emotional bullshittery, the short of it is… If children don’t hit set targets, they will be given extra work to do at home and then made to take tests during break/lunch times/after school. Now upon hearing this was happening to one of mine, I immediately made my feelings known that this is quite frankly nonsense.

I did the 2016, oops, 2017 thing and put it out there online for other people to have their say, turns out everyone else thinks it’s a load of crap too! It was polished up as a positive thing to do that of course helps the child. RUBBISH! Apparently there is no time within the curriculum to squeeze this extra work and tests in, otherwise they will then be missing parts of the next topic. Again, RUBBISH! So basically, if you don’t learn at the pace the school have set each individual, unless you catch up in your own time it’s tough, because the curriculum doesn’t include time for people who need extra help.

So let’s say you’re learning about Topic A. You’re in class and you take in what you can but it doesn’t quite click, in most cases because it’s something you’re not remotely interested in. Now you’re given extra work about Topic A to do at home. It’s likely you’re even less engaged in your home setting. Then you have to take another test, at break time!! If this stuff isn’t clicking for you in the classroom environment or at home, how are you expected to get through a test during your break time?! This isn’t the way, where’s the flexibility in learning?

It’s not a punishment. Forcing a child to stay in to take a test at break time/after school isn’t a punishment? Who are you kidding?! What child see’s that as engaging and beneficial?

I think this has pissed me off more than usual because I thought I was buying into something groundbreaking when deciding to send my children to this particular school. Turns out, on the surface, they’re very different to standard schools, but underneath, ultimately it’s all about tests and results. The system is broken, education is failing and curriculums no matter how fancy the names, are narrowed to meet government targets.

I guess I should add that I’m not against learning. Very much the opposite! I just won’t allow precious family time to be eaten into, because someone else has targets to hit. If my child was struggling seriously with fundamentals of learning I’m not an idiot, of course I’d buy into extra things at home. But, that’s for us parents to decide, education doesn’t stop for our family at 315pm, but what and how the children learn from that moment on is under our control and based on what we feel is important.

I’d love to know what you think, should there be time within set school hours (NOT BREAK TIMES) where children can be given extra support?…. See you online @dadvworld

 

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17 thoughts on “Punished For Not Keeping Up In School?

  1. Interesting reading. How old are your kids? And curious about what kind of school it is (your line about ‘groundbreaking’ intrigued me). My daughter has just started, and we’re all loving it – but just want to get an idea of possible trouble ahead.

    1. Thanks for reading mate! My girls are 11 & 12, this post is mainly aimed at my 11 year old. I felt this school was groundbreaking because it’s an expeditionary school and they teach in a different way to the ‘norm’. The children are often on expeditions and learning through activities not just classroom based. I’m disappointed because there is soo much good their school is doing, yet they make a ridiculous policy like this, which confirms my confidence in Home Education being the future of learning. (We Home Educate our 4 year-old boy)

  2. Personally, I think Schools should be tailoring their approach to individual types. Not everyone learns the same way and at the same rate. It must be awful to be singled out in a negative manner.
    It’s good when schools communicate properly with parents when issues start to build, before they get out of control. I know this must be a monumental task from a schools perspective. Nurturing progress together in a concidered manner must be the way forward.

    In my old school, children were taken out of classes like Drama and Art for further Maths/English intervention. This stretegy worked well from a results perspective, but then why should other subjects suffer? And surely there’s a fairness aspect on the child and the respective teachers. I can tell you though that we never did it in break times though. That is frankly, ridiculous!

    1. Hi Mark, thanks for your comment. Yes I agree, other subjects, usually creative and/or physical ones are considered less important thus are the first to be effected when more time is required for the ‘important’ subjects. It’s wrong. Schools currently are in a very difficult place. There is an increasing amount of pressure for them to tailor needs but a lack of time and resources. What this tells me is, the entire system needs changing otherwise not only will schools get worse, but children will not realise their potential and that is a monumental failure. Thanks again for reading and commenting, it’s massively appreciated!

  3. I don’t like the idea of children being forced to meet government set targets. Not all kids are able to keep up with the “required” pace but is that a bad thing? There should be time in the school day to give extra support. If not then the system is wrong. I’ll share a video with you on FB that you might enjoy about the stuff taught in schools…

    1. Loved the video, I was actually saying very similar things to Donetta last night. I’m useless at DIY but can create websites, am I intelligent or not?! All kids are taught a one-size fits all education and take a generic test to determine intelligence, yet all learn in different ways, it’s a joke. Then taking away their break times…. I don’t think so!

  4. As bad as the Irish system is, this is one area I feel they are good at.

    I’ve heard of numerous children, including my own, who go for additional help with certain subjects. Normally in pairs or small groups of other children with the same requirements.

  5. This is the first I’ve heard of this kind of thing – my two are still preschoolers at the moment, but I am with you 100%! I have fundamental issues with this approach – Break times are important for children to recharge and refresh. They are called breaks for a reason! In employment law we are all legally entitled to breaks and this should be even more critical for children. Using breaks or after school time is just detention surely? I believe that schools should be responsibly tailoring their support for those that need it and using their resources to best do this, rather than just offering a railroad approach and letting those that can’t keep up with the speed just fall by the way side to be picked up at home by their parents and in break times. Very well said. Thank you for sharing this with #DreamTeam x

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting! You’re exactly right, they need to tailor their approach to suit the child. That is how the entire education system should be but sadly isn’t 🙁

      Good luck for when your’s are in school, unless you decide to Home Educate… It’s the future 😀

  6. I totally agree. I’m a former teacher and home educator who thought I was just a cynic, but now understand that all the policies schools operate are for the perpetuation of the establishment, the league tables, the politics, the budget etc etc and our individuals get their individualism squaring off so that they fit in with this! Having seen home educators blossom and achieve without any of these tight strictures I’m even more convinced how unnecessary they are! (You can fin out more on my blog!) All the best.

    1. Thanks for reading Ross! Something that scares me about our education system also, is how many ex-teachers such as yourself have opted to Home Educate. That for me says it all! Who better to judge the system than the people in it.

      I 100% get your cynic comment. Sometimes people will roll their eyes at me when I’m talking about the bigger picture of HE. More people are opening their eyes now though, thanks to the power of social media and realising the education system is quite rightly as you say, all about results and budgets.

      Thanks again for reading and really appreciate you taking the time to comment. 🙂

      1. My pleasure – glad it wasn’t too cynical! As you say about teaching; part of our reasons to home educate was that I saw what happened to some of the kids in classrooms! I readily admit that school works brilliantly for many, but it should also be acknowledged that it doesn’t work for all! And more parents should be made aware of the real reasons for many educational policies!! 😉

        1. That’s the thing about Home Educators. Most aren’t saying school is rubbish and that’s that. Certainly I’m not, there are tonnes of beneficial things in schools, I just prefer to go a different way that suits my child better! When researching Home Ed your video played a big part Ross. 🙂

  7. Oh Dave DON’T get me started!! This is one of the reasons we can never come back to the UK! It has got out of hand totally. Stressed out unhappy teachers. Deflated stressed out kids. What the hell has happened?! To be honest, it’s not much better with the schools here in Malta (apart from the one our kids go to which is very laid back on the homework and exams front…possibly too laid back!) and kids of a young age receive mountains of homework all the time. I could rant for ages but anyway just to say I hear you! #dreamteam

    1. Schools in this country are so bad you’ve had to move to Malta!! Haha! You’re right though, there are soo many unhappy teachers which means the kids are unhappy and it’s an awful environment to be in most days 🙁 – Thanks for reading and commenting, really appreciate it 🙂

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