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Changing class names

Discussion in 'Primary' started by csnyman, May 15, 2010.

  1. Please help.

    Our new headteacher has sent a memo around asking teachers to think about new names for classes for Sept.
    We currently have our classes named after famous authors. She suggested something linked to River Thames - as we are really close to the river. Other suggestions I have from others is colours linked to gems, animals and tree names.
    Any ideas?
  2. My suggestion is, let the children choose - really helps build a class identity & they love it!
  3. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I find a system based on numbers and letters works particularly well. For example, a year 3 class run by Miss Smith might be labelled something like... say... 3S
    This has the added advantage of actually conveying some useful information when messages need to be passed, things organised and lists drawn up.
    Or, to put it in the words of one of my students who visited a partner school that had classes named after animals: "It's a bit... well.. gay."
    tinkerbell25 likes this.
  4. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I suppose there are the names of river creatures; Kingfisher, Otter, Stickleback, etc., although I am not sure whether pupils will clamour to be in Class 6 Frog.
    Why not suggest the names of famous people specifically linked with the Thames.
    For example, there is Jerome (Jerome K Jerome wrote the book "Three Men in a Boat"), or Graheme (Keneth Graheme's "Wind in the Willows" is set on the Thames), or Gardner (author Sally Gardner's childrens' book "I, Corriander" is based on the Thames),
    Taunt (Henry Taunt was a renowned Victorian photographer of the Thames),
    Bazalgette (Joseph basalgette designed London's sewage system in order to clean up the Thames),
    Kipling (Rudyard Kipling who wrote the poem "The River's Tale" about the Thames, but there are many other poets who wrote similar poetry). Other Thames poets include Wordsworth, Spenser, Eliot, Arnold,
    Handel (George F Handel wrote his famous 'Water Music' for King George 1s concert on the Thames),
    Canaletto (the artist Canaletto painted 'Westminster Bridge' in 1746). Other artists to use the Thames as their subject include Whistler, Monet and Turner.
    The list of worthies is rather short of women's names, but I am sure that a Google search will rectify that. On the other hand, with surnames, does it matter?
    You may want to suggest to the HT that if famous names connected with the Thames are to be used, it could be as a result of a research project by the pupils and chosen by the school council.

  5. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I would be inclined to agree with your student (although those might not be my exact words!).
    Also, I think that children like the identity associated with the number to indicate their year group. Year 6 children like being Year 6 children, as they're top of the school. Year 5 like the fact that they're not Year 4 any more. And so on.
  6. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

  7. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    A cynic maybe, but I've never understood the point behind class names like those.
    In most schools I have worked in the classes have been named 3S and similar. It has huge administrative advantages, not least in being simple for parents to comprehend. If you know your child is in Mrs Smith's class, and is in Y3, and then 3S have an assembly, you can be pretty sure that it's your child's class assembly. If, however, you know your child is in Y3/Mrs Smith's class, what reason would there be for you to identify that Rowan class was your day to turn up for assembly, any more than Oak class, or Wild African Leopard class?
    Similarly, if I want to ensure that every class has seen a message, or had delivery of something, it is easy for me to put each class code on a list - if only based on my knowledge of who teaches where I'd never remember enough animals / writers / minibeasts to have a hope of getting them all.
    Similarly, if I find a piece of paper, or diary with 4R written on it, I have a fairly certain chance of being able to locate its owner - much more than I would ever have by guessing where Parrots class was. And I say this as someone who was a governor at a school with such a system, where every time a class was mentioned by name, I'd watch the Headteacher struggle to recall which class it was: "I think they're in the corridor by the gym, so it must be Mrs X or Mrs Y... I think... or are they upstairs?"
    If it's not for ease of reference for administrative purposes, why give the class a name at all? What's wrong with "Mrs Smith's class"?
    Gay might not be the right word, as nick909 rightly says, but it does strike me as a rather twee attempt at making things 'meaningful' for the children. But actually,in my experience, the vast majority of children understand simple letters and numbers - and indeed value the promotion linked to each change. Where is the fun in changing from Badgers to Greenfly?
    tinkerbell25 likes this.
  8. Surely event the most intellectually challenged child would recognise that that would be a backwards step?!

  9. Which is fine, until you have a mixed age class! I would rather not be 5/6S thank you as that makes me feel as if I haven't quite got the hang of teaching a whole class and so have only been given a fraction of one, although I'm clearly more able than the 1/2 teacher who can only manage to teach half a class! We used to be class 1,2,3,4 but then parents were confused as to whether you meant Class 4 or Year 4 which were two entirely separate things. So we are named after trees, we old folk in yr 5/6 being the weeping willows! ( although that may be a reflection on my teaching[​IMG])
  10. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Hmm... I see the issue with mixed-age... not something I'd considered, having never had to work with the system.
  11. That's Ok, we're a strange and unusual breed[​IMG]
    secondary schools seem to take the "initialising" to extremes, my son is in 11GDKMV-apparently G is his House and DKMV the full initials of his form tutor!
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Ours are called I or J (infant or junior) and the class teacher's name. We've only ever one had a cross key stage class (mine) and it was know as Mrs Msz class
    I'm not a fan of twee names either tafkam
  13. wordclass

    wordclass New commenter

    Or, to put it in the words of one of my students who visited a partner
    school that had classes named after animals: "It's a bit... well.. gay."
    [​IMG] That borders on legitimising homophobic discourse and depressing evidence of the likelihood of the following statistic:
    97% of gay pupils hear insulting homophobic remarks such as ‘dyke’ or
    ‘***’ used in school. 98% of gay pupils hear ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so
    gay’ at school. Half of teachers fail to respond to homophobic language
    when they hear it.
    lindenlea likes this.
  14. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    Children often say things are gay (even a pupil in my class who has been brought up by his dad and male partner) I tend not to comment other than to be a little sarcasic: "work sheets don't have a sexuality" etc etc This seems to work much better than confronting them. As in the past it leads to the usual questions. "Do you have a girlfriend Mr C?" [​IMG]
  15. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    Our feeder schools give the classes names and I can't stand it!! We use year number and letter of teachers surname. (or second letter of teachers name if its a duplicate) starangely lots of C's in our school so we have a 5C,6C and 7C! (no chance of me using mine letter as the newbie!)
  16. wordclass

    wordclass New commenter

    Thank you for informing me that "children often say things are gay". I would 'challenge' the use of language rather than 'confront' the individual - in the same way I do when faced with gender stereotypes and derogatory comments related to age, disability, race and religion.
    I'm not obsessed with 'political correctness' - just like to create an inclusive, positive, respectful, safe and tolerant learning environment.
    lindenlea likes this.
  17. Thanks for all the responces.
    As a school we are trying to keep up with the trends in the schools in this area. Loads of schools in our area no longer use the '3C', '4W', etc way of naming schools. They are using various themes to name their classes - gems/colours, animals, birds, trees, etc. We don't want to appear to be 'copying' them! Hence the effort to find our own, individual, unique way of naming our classes.
    And of course we will be consulting our school council and pupils for their input.

    I must agree naming a class 'Frog class' - ewwwww Not for my class thanks hehe
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Like many words in English the meaning changes over time and has to be taken in context
  19. flickaz

    flickaz New commenter

    My friend works in a school where they have mixed age classes, there are 4 classes made up of years 5 and 6 for example. All the classes are named after planets/other bits of the solar system. My school had mixed aged classes until this year. They were known as year 3/4, year 4/5 and year 5/6. This year we have enough children to be separate classes and are just known by their year eg my class are called "'year 5". Simple.
  20. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I suppose size is a factor.
    Our feeder school has 20 classes. That can't be that uncommon at primary level. That's a lot of animals / writers / explorers to find and remember!

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