Gransnet forums


Advice on school problem

(55 Posts)
Apple10 Wed 03-Aug-16 10:44:52

I am feeling so annoyed about an incident at school which happened just prior to the school holidays and would like to know how other Grandparents would have felt. My Granddaughter, who is 7, burst into tears as soon as she saw me when she came out of the classroom. The class send their homework wallets in on a Monday. This had been done except my Granddaughter's writing book had been sent back Tuesday. My Granddaughter told the teacher that it had been handed in and when but she wasn't believed and so her name was put on the class board for all to see and that she would miss 'Golden time'. She is a quiet little girl and so felt very embarrassed by this. I did confront the teacher who found it within seconds and no apology to the child was forthcoming. Homework is always handed in on time but on this occasion, the writing book was a day late because it was her birthday weekend and her parents had been away from home. Am I being over sensitive about the issue? I feel cross that the teacher would not take my Granddaughter's word.

path20 Wed 03-Aug-16 10:59:30

As a retired primary school teacher I can understand your concerns. Was the teacher aware that she would be handing in her writing book late? Many teachers are parents themselves so do understand family commitments sometimes come first.
If this was your grandchild's first 'missed homework' I cannot understand why the teacher punished her. I would never have done that.
Don't get me wrong, I did do it but it was with the persistent offenders.

trisher Wed 03-Aug-16 11:10:28

Not sure about what is precisely the problem. If it is that your GD wasn't believed that would seem to be a problem, but are you absolutely certain that she told the teacher? Sometimes children will say they have done something when in fact they have said something whilst the teacher wasn't listening or was dealing with something else. You need to be absolutely clear about what was said. Or is it the discipline? If the process is that homework must come in on a Monday and failing to do this means you miss Golden Time and that is applied to all pupils that seems quite reasonable. You may say "It was only a day late" but then where do you draw the line? You may think your GD had a valid excuse for her work being late, but would it be fair to allow exceptions?
If the book was handed in correctly surely it should have been with the teacher or with the other's homework?

Riverwalk Wed 03-Aug-16 11:23:11

Putting a child's name on the blackboard for an error made by the parents is very mean, and humiliating for the poor girl.

ninathenana Wed 03-Aug-16 11:29:49

Sorry I find your post confusing
You say the book was handed back on Tuesday then you say the teacher found it when asked.
So who had the book confused

felice Wed 03-Aug-16 11:31:35

I am more shocked that a seven year old is getting homework, if the curriculem for a seven year old cannot be completed with school hours then surely that is a problem
I do not live in the UK, in the two european countries DD went to primary school in, homework started at secondary level.

Greyduster Wed 03-Aug-16 11:46:52

I think it would be more the fact that the child felt humiliated by being ”named and shamed" in such a way. I think that is appalling for a seven year old. My grandson's school also has a system where the child is marked down for incidences of bad behaviour and poor attitude, then, after so many black marks they miss out on the end of term treat, but they are not named and shamed and they do have chances to redeem themselves.

Nandalot Wed 03-Aug-16 11:54:30

I agree with Greyduster. Poor little mite. It is amazing how incidents like this can stay in a child's mind long after the event. It certainly seems excessive for a first time lapse.

trisher Wed 03-Aug-16 13:00:43

It is quite common to put a child's name on the board if they are missing something like Golden Time. It isn't meant as humiliation just as a reminder to both child and teacher that they will not be getting the privilege, much better in my opinion than leaving it till just before and suddenly announcing it when the child might have forgotten about the sanction.
felice 5 year olds get homework these days.
If the accepted rule is "no homework, no Golden Time" it must be applied in every case.

gillybob Wed 03-Aug-16 13:14:07

Teachers humiliating small children is nothing new. I remember when I was about seven the teacher got up in the hall and announced to the head that a boy in our class (he was called Colin) had been late for school again that morning. I remember to this day, poor Colin was from a huge family and no doubt bless him had to get himself up and to school on time. He was never very clean. The head teacher Mr Yeoman (was a horrible man who everyone was terrified of) then asked Colin to stand up in the hall and tell everyone why "he was so special he could be late for school" Colin wet himself, right there in the hall and was dragged out by the teacher. This sticks in my memory along with other nasty teacher/headteacher episodes.

gillybob Wed 03-Aug-16 13:15:41

Imagine in the workplace putting someones name on the whiteboard or notice board to humiliate them? Imagine in the staff room in huge letters MRS JANE SMITH DID NOT FINISH HER MARKING IN TIME AND THEREFORE HAS TO STAY BACK TONIGHT !!

gettingonabit Wed 03-Aug-16 13:17:59

I think as long as the rules are applied consistently then I don't think you've got anything to complain about. Whether or not the punishment is harsh is a bit of a side issue; school rules are sometimes harsh-that's life.

I don't believe in homework for Primary School children either. I don't believe it can be enforced, so it may be a good idea to get the policy clarified for future reference.

granjura Wed 03-Aug-16 14:02:52

What shame- but no disaster really. Lesson learnt.

I don't agree with homework for Year 1 and 2- but it seems, like uniforms- that it is the parents that insist and request it- as they see it as a sign of 'good' education.

But rules have to apply to all- and it is not the end of the day. If the writing book was not returned on the correct day with the rest in the wallet- no wonder it got waylaid. Did GD just put it on the desk without saying anything on the Tuesday- hoping it would not be noticed that it wasn't with the wallet on the Monday? Parents should perhaps have encouraged her to speak to the teacher on the Monday and explain the circumstances - much better to learn to communicate effectively in the long term.

As an ex (secondary) school teacher- I could write a loooooong list of ridiculous bordering on science fiction excuses kids give for not handing in homework - their imagination is boundless, lol. Onwards and forwards.

gillybob Wed 03-Aug-16 14:15:28

Funnily enough granjura I walked to my high school every day and we used to take a short cut over a building site (It would be barricaded these days). We jumped over foundations and it saved us around 10 minutes in walking time. I remember one day (it must have been a cookery day as I had my basket) and all my papers flew out across the building site landing in cement and pools of muddy cementy water. I retrieved what I could and handed my work in with a note saying "Sorry Miss but most of my homework is buried in cement". shock

Jalima Wed 03-Aug-16 14:32:19

I think it is very humiliating and am surprised that
It is quite common to put a child's name on the board if they are missing something like Golden Time.
(I have never heard of Golden Time).
I do think some teachers are very keen on humiliating children and can recall several episodes gillybob - why?
DGD did a lovely project, taking a lot of time and care over it but when we went to look at the work it was not on display with the others. We went with her teacher and found it in DGD's tray, another child had forgotten to hand in hers as well. However, the HT put them on display the next day with a 'well done' which was kind and encouraging - and a 'don't forget to hand it in next time!!'.

Jalima Wed 03-Aug-16 14:34:44

granjura I expect you know all the excuses under the sun - a book of them would be hilarious (including gillybob's)


f77ms Wed 03-Aug-16 14:47:20

I notice it is the X teachers who don`t condemn this horrible practice of humiliation , I was married to a Head teacher who really didn`t care for children at all , so this doesn`t surprise me . I do not believe that parents insist on homework either , school work should be done in school . Most parents are working and don`t want to spend precious family time hounding their children to do homework . If parents want to do educational activities with the children after school then it should be up to them . I would be very annoyed about a child being punished in this way . I knew one teacher (1970`s) who used to make naughty children wear a donkey head , thank god practices like that have stopped . What the heck is Golden time !

Lillie Wed 03-Aug-16 14:58:44

Try not to let the incident spoil your granddaughter's or your own summer holiday. I expect the end of school year was stressful all-round, particularly for the teacher, but I'm guessing the rule had been in place throughout the year and consistency had to be applied. Try talking positively about the forthcoming school year, I'm assuming she is moving into the Juniors which will be exciting and more challenging.

It is quite common to put a child's name on the board, in fact it is part of classroom management. I don't think it is done necessarily to humiliate the child, but more as a reminder to stop her privilege. I tried once writing the names on a piece of paper I kept on my desk (to avoid shaming the pupils), but invariably the paper got buried or lost, so that didn't work. As long as the "naughty" names or "black" marks are not mixed up with academic achievement awards, most children accept the odd ticking off for behaviour.

Golden time is when the pupil is allowed to choose a special activity that afternoon/week. You should find it included in the school's behavioural policy.

Luckygirl Wed 03-Aug-16 15:05:36

What a pain....
1.Homework is totally unnecessary and should be banned in primary school.
2. As gillybob has pointed out we do not go in for ritual humiliation of adults in the workplace, so how come this is justifiable with children?

ninathenana Wed 03-Aug-16 15:08:01

Golden time is a reward system in the primary school I worked in. Children earn the privilege of choosing their own activity for half an hour on a Friday afternoon.
No it's not an excuse for the teacher to do marking/planning as they still need direction and supervision smile

TriciaF Wed 03-Aug-16 15:16:17

With young children trying to earn a reward is a good idea.
But it should be won with points for doing good things, not lost for bad things or mistakes etc.
A system we used sometimes was to divide the class into groups, then award points for agreed things, not just high marks, but making an effort, being kind to others etc.
It meant a lot of extra work for the teacher though.
I think it was wrong of the teacher to put your DGD's name on the blackboard, Apple 10. Unkind and unpractical.

trisher Wed 03-Aug-16 15:28:02

If it is generally done as I said not just a reminder to the teacher but to the child as well it is neither unkind nor discriminatory. I notice it is the people who have never had to handle a class of 30 primary children who are harping on about it being humiliating and unkind. It may be that Golden Time can also be earned back one advantage of the board is a name can be rubbed off. Presumably the practice is commonly used by the class teacher and if the system agreed is no homework no Golden Time that is the system. Other systems may be preferable to some people but this class and this school have a perfect right to choose their own.

ninathenana Wed 03-Aug-16 17:22:24

I've just remembered when I was in primary school in the '60s the teacher would write your name on the board after you'd had your second warning any further problems and you got a mark next to your name, five marks and you stayed in at break.
Same principle really.

Jalima Wed 03-Aug-16 17:30:56

Sorry, but the teacher should be able to make a note of who is not allowed 'Golden Time' and remind the child of that at the appropriate time.
Writing the name on a board for all to see is unkind.
Depriving a child of this 'Golden Time' (who thought up that daft name?) for forgetting something is wrong.
It sounds as if Apple10's DGD's teacher 'forgot' the work had been handed in on the Tuesday instead of the Monday.
I hope teacher's name was written on the board too.

I notice it is the people who have never had to handle a class of 30 primary children who are harping on about it being humiliating and unkind
Harping on? Perhaps teachers who go in for ritual humiliation are in the wrong job.

Jalima Wed 03-Aug-16 17:33:12

We had order marks etc at senior school for misdemeanours (fair enough) but they weren't posted up on the board for all to see.