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Write dance - what age is it suitable for?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by cerifield, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Hi I am an Fe teacher looking for some help with my little one who is at a primary school that has really gone downhill recently. A lot of the Mums are really concerned so we have been taking more of an interest in what they are doing lately as the standards are much lower than other local schools.

    My little one is in year 2 and has just started a 'write dance' scheme where last week she was upset as she had to do scribbling on a piece of paper. This seems way to young for her considering she is a stage 9 reader and a nice little writer already. Just seeing what your opinions would be on this before I ask her teacher. Is this a suitable course for Year 2 to follow? Any help would be greatly appreciated as it is a lovely little school and I really don't want to have to move her unless I have to. X

    Ps she brought home a huge piece of paper with scribbles on if that helps
     
  2. Hi I am an Fe teacher looking for some help with my little one who is at a primary school that has really gone downhill recently. A lot of the Mums are really concerned so we have been taking more of an interest in what they are doing lately as the standards are much lower than other local schools.

    My little one is in year 2 and has just started a 'write dance' scheme where last week she was upset as she had to do scribbling on a piece of paper. This seems way to young for her considering she is a stage 9 reader and a nice little writer already. Just seeing what your opinions would be on this before I ask her teacher. Is this a suitable course for Year 2 to follow? Any help would be greatly appreciated as it is a lovely little school and I really don't want to have to move her unless I have to. X

    Ps she brought home a huge piece of paper with scribbles on if that helps
     
  3. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I really know nothing about it, but I think it's designed for up to age 8, maybe older for some children who need it. It's just done for a few minutes each day I think.
    Before getting too excited it's probably worth finding out how much time is spent on it. If it's minimal then I wouldn't get too bothered even if on the face of it the activities as presented to your child seem inappropriate.
    Maybe someone who knows more about it will come along soon.
    Apart from this particular activity which upset your daughter for some reason, is your own child progressing as you would hope, and enjoying school in general? If so, I wouldn't worry about the school having "gone downhill" whatever that means.
     
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    There are two "levels" Write Dance in the Early Years (nursery & reception) and Write Dance aimed at 4-8 years. Yes it is suitable for children in Y2 but I wouldn't consider it necessary for a "nice little writer"
    The programme was produced by Ragnhild Oussoren who worked as a consultant graphologist in the Netherlands and Sweden.
     
  5. Thanks very much for your response. Yes my daughter loves school but the problem is the standard's have really dropped. Nearly all of the parents are very concerned, especially the ones with older children in the school as they can see their younger ones are not progressing as much as the elder ones did. Many parents have withdrawn their children over the past few years and the Year 6 numeracy results were really poor. The school now has a new headmaster and the numbers have risen but this is only because he has been very proactive at getting the full amount of nursery students in.
    She didn't progress at all last year as she is a good girl who was just ignored in class I think and I stupidly didn't raise any concerns and just left the school to it as I know how awful it is to have conflict with parents. This year she is progressing (but only because I sneak in teaching at home) and has a fantastic teacher who unfortunately is not available to teach the class more than 3 days a week with her other responsibilities. I really feel sorry for her as she is having to get results out of a class whilst not being given the hours. The rest of the time they are left with teaching assistants and have supply teacher after supply teacher. She had 6 different teachers last week in a four day week.
    Basically the school doesn't have enough teachers so uses teaching assistants to cover this. The reason I am concerned about the 'write-dance' is because she is going to be doing it every Thursday afternoon for the next 6 weeks and is in a mixed group of infants including nursery children. It is being run by teaching assistants and obviously is pitched at the younger members of the group so I really think it is a case of the headmaster juggling care of the children rather than them doing suitable activities for their age. I just wanted some professional views really from primary school teachers as to whether this was a suitable activity for a seven year old.
     
  6. It's a suitable activity for a child who has handwriting problems.

    Otherwise it's not suitable.
     
  7. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    What's the reason for so much supply teaching? Is it happening in every year group?
    I think maybe Write Dance with the nursery class is symptomatic of all the other problems you are hinting at. Can you see a point higher up the school at which things will sort themselves out? Does the new head seem like he will be an active agent for improvement or not?
    It's a hard situation to be in. I am kind of in and out of it at my children's school, and like you I do little bits at home from time to time if I think it's necessary - but really not very much at all as children who are at school all day don't want to do any more, and shouldn't really have to do any more! I haven't jumped ship yet because other schools are full, and also there are many small schools round here which change direction, for better or worse, very quickly. On balance my school seems to be heading in the right direction now, but there's an issue of too many children now packed in at the bottom end of the school, which structurally looks hard to accommodate and teach adequately as they move on through the school, although of course temporarily it must have helped sort a problem on paper with numbers and budgets. So although I am continuing there for now I am aware that a year or two from now we might have to make a drastic move. But, as I can't see the "perfect" solution now, I'm just waiting to see what will happen rather than jumping ship now to something that also might not be quite right. Some people spend the primary years moving school and I don't think that can be good either.
    Does your child have siblings? If you only have one child it's easier to move if you ever do decide enough is enough. I have more than one and the thought of ending up with children at several schools is not a good one.
    Do the concerned parents have the time and skills to volunteer and help at the school in a way that could boost standards again?
    What do you put the decline in standards down to?
    Good luck.
     
  8. Thank you for such a detailed response. Makes me feel better knowing there are others in the same boat.
    I have two children - one of whom wont be starting reception till next year so that's why we have decided to give it our best shot till the end of the year and then move my little girl at the same time her brother starts school. Ideally though obviously we don't want her to move as it is her local school and has all the potential of being fabulous. A lot of the teachers are great and support staff fab, it is really just the inherited problems I think that are letting it down and the decline in standards is the foundation phase which again has all the potential of being great if there were full-time teachers and the right number of support staff in each class.
    Talking to neighbours who have children in secondary school I think this has been the case for a few years now as none of them had praise. Again I am the same as you and don't want to be educated my little one after school as I work full-time and she has a long enough day as it is bless her. I have a meeting with the headmaster about staffing but just wanted to be make sure I was being fair in issues I was raising really. Thanks for the luck!!!
     
  9. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    It does sound as though Wales does it different too. In years 1 and 2 here the class size legislation says that a class can have up to 30 children with one trained teacher. There are pressures to change this legislation to 33 I think at the moment.
    My DD in year 1 is quite lucky there are only 24 children in the class; but there is no teaching assistant. In some other schools there might be a T.A. too. I can't really see why there shouldn't be sufficient money in your school to fund a full-time qualified teacher for year 1, but maybe they have a shortage of children higher up the school and the earlier years are paying for it?
    Or maybe you have some staff off sick behind the scenes who are still costing the school money?
    It wouldn't be legal under the English KS1 class size legislation for a year 1 class to be taught by a TA, but I don't know what the law in Wales is. In KS2 here it seems to be getting more common for part of the day to be taken by a TA or HLTA, but the work is set and marked by a teacher so they are not completely doing it all, but they are on their own with the class.
    I'm not clear whether this is a breach of regs or not - it's a grey area I think. Others will come in and correct me I'm sure.
     

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