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Healthy eating, but skipping rope ban in the play ground.

(33 Posts)
gillybob Wed 15-Jul-15 07:52:11

AIBU to think that schools should make their mind up? My DGC's school are forever brainwashing the children about healthy lifestyles. My DGC are becoming obsessed (yes that is the right word) about food labels, with my 7 yr old (Gracie) reading the back of a packet of popcorn at my mums last night telling me it had too much carbohydrate and sugar for the overall weight and was therefore an amber food. She thought she had better not eat it! She then told off her younger brother for having a donut (my mum makes a traditional tea, for them when they visit) again telling him there was too much sugar, fat, carbohydrate in them.

After tea we were sitting around chatting and she announced that the new dinner nanny had confiscated her (much loved) skipping ropes from her at lunch time saying that they weren't approved and could be dangerous! She was very upset and asked how a skipping was dangerous. Apparently (I wasn't there but she is a very truthful child) the dinner nanny said she was a very cheeky girl and "she" would decide what was dangerous and what wasn't and went in to remove the offending skipping ropes.

I spoke with DiL last night and suggested she ring the school and ask their policy on healthy children and exercise. Would the school rather they all sat about at play time? Perhaps if they all just lay down it would make life so much easier. No danger there. My GC are sporty children. They love running, jumping, riding, gymnastics, football in fact any kind of sport or physical activity.

I am very annoyed at the school who seem to promoting healthy eating but disapproving healthy activities. Surely one goes with the other doesn't it?

vampirequeen Wed 15-Jul-15 08:18:58

Your DIL needs to contact the school to find out if this is really school policy or a badly trained lunchtime supervisor.

granjura Wed 15-Jul-15 08:45:28

Oh dear- how ridiculous. Yes, I'd phone the Head or better, go and see him or her- and follow up by writing to the Chair of Governors too. Of course a skipping rope can be dangerous if swung at others, etc- so supervision is a good idea- perhaps ask kids to skip in an area visible from supervising staff- but truly! I share your dismay sad doh!

shysal Wed 15-Jul-15 08:59:37

DGS5's primary school encouraged supervised skipping before school last summer, not sure if it has carried on. I enjoyed watching the team spirit and enjoyment when they were using the long ropes for several skippers. We can't wrap our kids in cotton wool, or they will never learn to see possible danger and act responsibly.

Teetime Wed 15-Jul-15 09:31:02

Not sure this dinner lady should be around children!

Anya Wed 15-Jul-15 09:34:17

Yes I agree with above posts.

Some Dinner Ladies (they're not called that anymore but I can't remember the new PC title) can be little Hitlers. I would certainly check with the school and also make it clear that if there is any come back from this particular woman you will be on her case!

Nelliemoser Wed 15-Jul-15 09:42:24

My daughter once defined my MIL as a "Cooking the dinner, dinner lady" and my mother as a "Telling you off dinner lady," Which probably says something about my daughter.

I think they should now be called "lunch time supervisors."

gillybob Wed 15-Jul-15 09:46:16

I believe they are called Dinner Nannies these days Anya well they are at my grandchildrens school anyway.

Yes VQ DiL says she is going to phone the school and ask their policy in the use of skipping ropes before she mentions the incident with the dinner supervisor.

Apparently I have just learned that the "new" dinner nannie used to be a teaching assistant at the school several years back but left when the new head joined the school. She has only just returned as a dinner supervisor.

I can't understand how they can promote healthy eating/lifestyle on one hand and then ban (if indeed they have banned) skipping on the other although it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.

FarNorth Wed 15-Jul-15 09:55:10

I hope the skipping ropes have been returned to your DGD? The school is not entitled to take property and keep it.

gillybob Wed 15-Jul-15 09:59:12

Well they hadn't been last night FarNorth. She was quite upset about it too.

annodomini Wed 15-Jul-15 10:52:29

I wonder how we all survived playtimes when there could be half a dozen skipping games (with the long rope) going on all at the same time in the playground - visible from the staffroom window, I grant you.

gillybob Wed 15-Jul-15 11:09:57

UPDATE on Skippygate.

DiL spoke to school who said there was no ban of skipping ropes, infact they encourage ALL physical activity. They said that they would speak to the dinner nannies (collectively) and remind them of this. They asked who the child was and DiL said she would rather not say but then reluctantly told the secretary Gracie's name. The secretary said "Oh, she is a lovely sweet little girl, now you have made ME very mad".

DiL said she didn't want anyone to get into any trouble but is happy that the dinner nannies are being put right !


gillybob Wed 15-Jul-15 11:12:00

Playground definitely not visible from my DGC's school staffroom. anno In fact I would suspect the (newly built) school has been designed to make them as far apart as possible !

Ana Wed 15-Jul-15 11:16:32

Good! And I hope your DGD gets her skipping ropes back, too! smile

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 15-Jul-15 11:17:27

I think anyone who has care of children at any time, should have proper training.

I also worry that our children are being made food neurotic.

gillybob Wed 15-Jul-15 11:24:12

Oh I agree with your there jings a whole other rant !

Since when was it appropriate for an extremely fit, skinny seven year old girl to examine the calories, fat,sugar,carbs etc. on food packets?

If this carries on my 2 DGD's will be anorexic by the time they are 12-13 !!

Trying to explain that they NEED some sugar to give them energy. Infact mine do so much physical activity they need more sugar, carbs than most. Having said that Gracie (the younger of the two)can eat 2 bowls of cereal, a croissant and a cup of tea (no sugar now) for breakfast and still ask for a banana for on the way to school. She's as skinny as a pin !

Tresco Wed 15-Jul-15 12:37:40

I am very glad to hear that there is no skipping rope ban, it would be ridiculous. I organised skipping training sessions for staff precisely to encourage skipping in the playground. On the subject of confiscating property, the Dept of Education guidance says
"Where a member of staff finds an item which is banned under the school rules they should take into account all relevant circumstances and use their professional judgement to decide whether to return it to its owner, retain it or dispose of it. "
This is the advice given following a search, but presumably could apply to any item banned under the school rules. Obviously it would be excessively heavy-handed to destroy a skipping rope, but I think people should be aware what powers a school has. This is the guidance regarding electronic devices found:
"Where the person conducting the search finds an electronic device they may examine any data or files on the device if they think there is a good reason to do so. Following an examination, if the person has decided to return the device to the owner, or to retain or dispose of it, they may erase any data or files, if they think there is a good reason to do so.
• The member of staff must have regard to the following guidance issued by the Secretary of State when determining what is a “good reason” for examining or erasing the contents of an electronic device:
• In determining a ‘good reason’ to examine or erase the data or files the staff member must reasonably suspect that the data or file on the device in question has been, or could be, used to cause harm, to disrupt teaching or break the school rules.
• If inappropriate material is found on the device it is up to the teacher to decide whether they should delete that material, retain it as evidence (of a criminal offence or a breach of school discipline) or whether the material is of such seriousness that it requires the involvement of the police. "

MiniMouse Wed 15-Jul-15 13:53:29

"If inappropriate material is found on the device it is up to the teacher to decide whether they should delete that material, retain it as evidence (of a criminal offence or a breach of school discipline) or whether the material is of such seriousness that it requires the involvement of the police."

I find it worrying that one person, ie the teacher, has the authority to delete what may be considered by others to be 'evidence'. After all, the person may not be aware that there could be history and any evidence would help convict whoever sent, or induced the child to send, inappropriate material.

Since when was it appropriate for an extremely fit, skinny seven year old girl to examine the calories, fat,sugar,carbs etc. on food packets?

Gillyb I'm with you on that! I have a GD like yours, plus she is already very aware of what she can and can't eat because of food intolerances. The last thing she needs is the school drumming it into her that she should count her calories etc. She is built like a pipecleaner! I'm all in favour of children being taught about healthy eating, but not to that extent.

Why is it assumed that, because a child may have a biscuit/cake etc in their lunchbox, that they eat unhealthily? My GD is so extremely active and athletic that she would need a biscuit or cake. Also, the school doesn't know what food is provided at home and that lunchtime cake/biscuit may well be the only 'banned' food that they have in a day. It would be more appropriate for a very active child to eat it at lunchtime to keep them going through the afternoon, rather than waiting until they got home after school.

gillybob Wed 15-Jul-15 14:19:41

It is a typical over the top reaction isn't it MiniMouse ?

It worries me that at 7 and 9 mine have started to look at calories/fat/sugar/carbohydrate on everything. yesterday they were telling their little brother off for having a tiny bit of sugar in a cup of milky tea. Why should they be worrying about this at their tender age?

Surely the schools should encourage physical activities for children instead of brain washing them about calories. Worrying that young girls will take it too far and mine do so much sport/exercise that they DO need extra calories.

Bellanonna Wed 15-Jul-15 14:58:54

I wonder if they're still allowed to do handstands in the playground?

gillybob Wed 15-Jul-15 15:17:25

Oh they most definitely are in my DGD's school Bellanonna . My eldest actually chooses her best knickers for handstand and cartwheel days ! shock

bikergran Wed 15-Jul-15 15:33:59

GS school..they cannot play ball games at play time, no footballs, no small balls and the children are told not to run around in a morning just before the bell goes!! no wonder GS comes home frustrated sometimes.

vampirequeen Wed 15-Jul-15 15:43:40

I used to the the Healthy Eating Coordinator when I was a teacher. I argued constantly that we should not be using the word 'obese' to the children and that healthy eating should taught in a way that did not link it to weight but to health. I also insisted that there were no bad foods. In fact I pointed out eating nothing but lettuce was just as unhealthy as eating nothing but sugar.

I hated the way children were made to feel guilty about what they ate and worried about how they looked. I was supported in this by some of the bodybuilder was incredibly fit (physically and to look at lol) but was technically obese due to his bmi...but others wouldn't budge and even used the fact that I'm a BBW to suggest I didn't take the health of the children seriouslyangry In fact the opposite was the truth ....I cared deeply about the children's physical and mental health. Being scared of foods doesn't help either.

Greyduster Wed 15-Jul-15 16:05:58

My goodness, biker, if my GS and his classmates were not allowed to play football during any break they would go into a decline! If they haven't got a ball to kick, they'll kick a pine cone around, or a ball of rolled up paper - anything they can find, in fact, that can serve to be kicked, except stones, which are strictly off limits.

Luckygirl Wed 15-Jul-15 16:51:34

Healthy eating as a general school topic is fine; but making children (especially girls) over-conscious of their weight and how they look is brewing up trouble. There has to be a sensible balance.

As to the skipping rope - I am glad that got sorted!

At a nearby school, the playground has lovely wooden benches all round so that the children can sit and chat if they want to. Suddenly the benches were put out of bounds because one child got a splinter in his bottom and the school was worried that they might be sued - so no benches till they have all been sanded down and sealed. A bit over the top I feel!

At our local primary, the children do a great deal of outdoor lessons and forest school and mostly they sit on upturned sections of tree trunk!