1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

I just can't believe it!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Donjee, May 31, 2012.

  1. I thought I would share my Victor Meldrew moment and see what you guys think.
    My 5 year old son went on his first ever school trip yesterday to a local animal park. When I sked him to tell me about his day, he told me that his class were told they couldnt play in the play area!
    It was a sunny day, no other schools present. I just cannot think of a good reason to tell a class of 4 and 5 year olds that they "can't play in the play area and that play areas are for when we go with Mummys and Daddys". He didnt understand why they couldnt play when "it was right by where we ate out lunch so it wouldnt have been a long way to get there".
    I don't know about you, but that is the primary purpose for my son wanting to go to these places and then play area completely explored and played with, we retire to walk around the animals.
    I did the usual "well we dont always see the point of school rules, and sometimes we may not agree, but we must follow the rules and do the things the grown-ups tell us to do because they are trying to keep us safe".
    I still don't get it though.
    What do you think? Am I unjustified in thinking they are a bunch of miserable so and sos?
    Your thoughts??
     
  2. I thought I would share my Victor Meldrew moment and see what you guys think.
    My 5 year old son went on his first ever school trip yesterday to a local animal park. When I sked him to tell me about his day, he told me that his class were told they couldnt play in the play area!
    It was a sunny day, no other schools present. I just cannot think of a good reason to tell a class of 4 and 5 year olds that they "can't play in the play area and that play areas are for when we go with Mummys and Daddys". He didnt understand why they couldnt play when "it was right by where we ate out lunch so it wouldnt have been a long way to get there".
    I don't know about you, but that is the primary purpose for my son wanting to go to these places and then play area completely explored and played with, we retire to walk around the animals.
    I did the usual "well we dont always see the point of school rules, and sometimes we may not agree, but we must follow the rules and do the things the grown-ups tell us to do because they are trying to keep us safe".
    I still don't get it though.
    What do you think? Am I unjustified in thinking they are a bunch of miserable so and sos?
    Your thoughts??
     
  3. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Oh well I'm an old misery of a parent so I'd think that was great!! When we go to these children's attractions and the play area detracts from the rest of the visit (to see animals, or whatever) I find it extremely irritating - bit like sweets near the cashdesk at the supermarket.
    You can play at home in the garden, or in the park, or in the school playground. School trips are to do supposed to be an educational visit, and they are packed into a very short space of time. If everyone went into the play area it would take away a significant amount of time from what they actually went to see. Also, if they all bobbed up and down to the play area during lunch chances are there would be quite a few who didn't eat or drink properly, a right pain for the teachers for the rest of the day as they are going to lack concentration.
    It's a shame it was near the picnic area. It's done this way for visits with Mummy and Daddy - gives them a bit of peace while they're eating their lunch when little Johnnie goes off and plays on the climbing frame etc. But on a school trip they were all having a sociable lunch together, with the teachers, hopefully, and the rest of the day should have been of sufficient interest and sufficiently varied for him to survive without a trip to the play area.
    It might be better to explain it to him differently as it sounds as though you are telling him to obey the teachers but the underlying message to him is that you think it was a silly rule. And why is the play area the "primary purpose" for visiting these places? Don't you have a local park? How's he going to manage on a school museum trip?
     
  4. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    I agree with you, Mystery.
     
  5. Gosh, you're being very worthy! These are 4/5 year olds. Can you imagine the gazing with longing inspired by the play area? We give our children unstructured playtime during the school day so they should have it during the school trip, if possible. When we plan a trip we take into account the down time in the play area. If the children all go at once or in rotation if it's too small you can allow for it in the timetable of the day.
     
  6. I normally play on the play area with my class when we go on a trip. Normally we rush our lunch and pile on the play area.
    Its often the bit they enjoy most. They are children!
    I wish it was the other way round and the museum/gallery/installation/zoo or whatever it is was the most engaging. Don't get me wrong they are engaged with the activities etc but a play rea is a play area.
    When in school the children in my class are ususally engaged and the majority of them enjoy being in school. They still can't wait to get out to play at lunchtime and breaktimes. Why should this be any different on a school trip?
    If you don't let the children play when on a trip I also think you are a Grumpy Teacher
     
  7. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Nope, I'm a grumpy parent!!! Truthfully, I can see it both ways. However, we all pay quite a bit for our school trips, and they are terribly terribly short. There's usually about 2 hours max at the place itself, which when you take into account lunch and toilet trips is not very much. I'd be pretty disappointed to find out they spent good proportion of it in the play area. And my children are weird too, depending on the play area and the attraction itself, they just might be disappointed too.
    Yes in an ideal world there'd be time for both on a school trip ....... but at my children's school there isn't.

    Yes staring at the play area and not being allowed in it would be very hard for some children - but then coming out of it again would be pretty impossible for some too. But remember the marshmallow experiment!
    Oh I've never been called worthy before!! I hope it was a compliment.
    I'd just tell your son never mind, he can play when he gets home, they went to see the boring old animals. [​IMG]
     
  8. Only 2 hours at the place? That seems rather short why is that?
    I try to arrive at trips for 10-10:30 and leave around 2. Which gives aroud 4 hours.
    That gives about 1.5 hours morning session, 1hr lunch and 1.5 hours in the afternoon.
    It is during the 1hr lunch that I normally let the children play - if there is an appropriate space or play area.
    When at school the children manage lunch, toilet and play in 45 minutes.
     
  9. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I think it's because the school is out in the sticks so it's much cheaper to hire a coach outside school-run hours - ie after the morning school run and before the afternoon school run. Then they choose places that are a long trip away, or do short half-day trips. I don't really know why, but it just seems to be the way they do it ... we didn't used to get trips at all so it's an improvement!!
     
  10. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    It may be because it was missed off a risk assessment or that the head wont let kids on adventure playgrounds. My children's head was a bit like that but as the teachers didnt agree with her and took a few like minded parents, we always went on it anyway.
     
  11. Haha. Like a good little teacher I said you were being worthy, not that you are worthy. You might find it complimentary, I could not possibly comment. [​IMG]ps you can call me pedantic if you like. I would be quite pleased!
     
  12. Perhaps some of you arent familiar with the EYFS where physical development and personal and social development is an important and equally weighted part of the curriculum.
    My son and I do lovely things together and he has a lovely little life but normal for him is playing in play areas and he couldnt understand why this wouldnt be allowed. As someone here correctly pointed out, he would be entitled to play on the play equipment in his school grounds at lunch and play time at school.
    Just my view - I still appreciate your comments and views.
    Thanks
     
  13. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Firstly, I agree with Mystery primarily. An educational trip should be for learning. Yes, play is a vital element of a 5 year old's learning but they'd spend much of their time at school doing this anyway; one day with no 'playtime' is hardly a tragedy. The focus of this trip would have been to spend time looking at and learning about the animals.
    I let children play on a trip if there's time. Most trips involve guides or staff from the venue doing tours or workshops and as such, any playtime needs to be built into lunchtimes, rather than the (usually quite tight) programme the venue have given us. As I teach upper KS2, eating our lunch quickly to have a run around afterwards is easy. This is far more difficult with YR kids, many of whom will spend an hour eating their lunch if not jollied along.
    Could there have been reasons of timing that explain why there was no playtime? Perhaps the trip was tightly constrained by logistics such as workshops and tours with only a short lunchtime? Or there was too much to get done in a short time? It's worth rememering that the staff present would have made certain decisions regarding the day and as such it's probably wiser to judge the professional judgement of an adult than a version of events recounted by a 5 year old.
     
  14. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    *trust
     
  15. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    But I would agree with Donjee that I am a miserable so and so!! [​IMG]
    However, if you tried a family trip out with my husband you would think I was generous in my approach to play areas! Like you, I like to get them over at the beginning of the trip (mostly because I can't stand the moaning otherwise). He tries, unsuccessfully, to avoid them altogether and moans like Victor Meldrew the whole time the children are enjoying themselves. Also, the places he would wish to visit with children would have no child interest in them altogether .... unless they wanted endless tours round battleships.
    I would get worried if I were you if you find that they are sellotaped to their chairs all day everyday in the reception classroom. Desirable as this is, it's a drain on the school budget.
     
  16. I dont really gree with the comment about trusting the account of a five year old. Its not about trust here, its about me listening to his perceived injustice. I am certain that his prestigious school had very good reasons for not allowing the children to play during their four and a bit hours at the animal park, but rightly or wrongly, I looked at this from the viewpoint of my 5 year old and actually when doing so, I felt exactly like he did!
    We are all individuals and will have our own stance on this. I don't object to anyone throwing in their 10 pence worth; thats what good discussions are made of.
     
  17. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I accept that many 5 year olds would prefer to play on the playground than look at animals, but don't you feel that considering this to be an 'injustice' is a little strong?
    We can't look at everything from the viewpoint of children. If I did that, my class, (who are a class of eager, hardworking, motivated children, incidentally) would opt to spend every day kicking a ball around or drawing pictures.
    It's only one day. If this was happening every day then I would be concerned, but if there were reasons why it couldn't happen on this day, it's not really that disastrous, is it?
    Perhaps if you feel strongly about it, it would be best to bring it up with the school?
     
  18. It's the one day that they could have played on this strange and interesting playground.
    If they were there for 4.5 hours why not let them play too?
    It's probably not an injustice - but to a 5 year old most things that they are told they can't do are an unjustice.
     
  19. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Which is why I suggested the OP take this up with the school if they feel strongly about it. There may be valid reasons for this. No-one on the forum is in a position to give much of an answer beyond vague speculation as no-one on the forum was present.
    Which is precisely why we can't view everything from a child's viewpoint.
     
  20. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    Just ask the school why. It may be that the equipment was put out of bounds by the owners or another reason beyond the schools control.
     

Share This Page