Picture the scene; you’ve just started a new job. Everything in your workplace is already running smoothly. There’s nothing broken that needs fixing, so how can you make your mark, stand out, make sure people know there’s a new broom in charge.
It seems that this is the first step.. the letter that arrived home today indicates that in future, years 2+ basically drop off and pick up in the playgrounds.
Now, I don’t know about other people, but I personally really like the current arrangements where we are allowed into the school to collect our kids. Yes it’s a bit cramped, but we get to see the school! We see the work on the walls, the teachers and staff, the classrooms and areas that our kids spend their day in, and basically, we feel a part of the school.
Many years ago, I used to drop off at a primary school over in Chorlton. Then and there it was drop off and collect in the playground, as per these new arrangements. I rarely saw inside the building, and never really felt as connected to the place as I do at St Joseph’s.
We will, of course, comply with this move, but I can’t help feel that we are losing something here; and I have a fear that we’re being pushed away, that perhaps we are not welcome in the school any longer. I hope this is not the case, but I still worry: What next?
Additional content 11:55pm :
The more we think about and discuss this, the worse it seems to be. At present, we can take the kids into school early, and the teachers will be in the classrooms from about 8.45am onwards to receive the kids. It’s up to the parents to deal with coats, hats etc., to say goodbye, and ensure their child goes into class happy. And there’s no particular rush.
The new arrangement sees the teacher collect all of her class at 8.55am from outside. Do the parents wait that extra few minutes, and perhaps now be late for work, or leave them with a friend and lose entirely the chance to see their children go into school?
Furthermore, the drop off particularly is often a chance to have a quick informal chat with the teacher: maybe the kid has been unhappy or unwell, or some other message need passing on. That opportunity will now be lost as there simply wouldn’t be time.
I know many children, particularly the older ones, like to go into school on their own. And that’s fine and good, and when the kid is ready to do that, then of course we let them. But to basically force that on everybody Y2+ immediately? I don’t think that’s a good idea.
In fact, we can’t see how the teachers will be happy with this either; it’s extra work for them, chivvying over two dozen kids into getting ready for class, sorting out coats, hats, gloves etc. And the reverse at the end of the day. All of them at the same time.. We foresee frayed tempers, raised voices, and many unhappy children.
And then there’s the simple logistics – reaching the Key Stage 1 playground from the official main entrance on Ryall Avenue means walking all the way around the building. Yes, opening the Mayflower Ave gates will probably be welcomed by some people, but it’s still going to be irritating that the places we are now supposed to wait are right by the gate that we’re not supposed to use! Plus there’s no shelter from the elements in the KS1 playground, and not enough for three classes worth of children and parents in the other.
And what happens with those who have two or more children? At present, they can be delivered in sequence, and are kept in class until collected. Under the new scheme, the kids could be expected to be delivered to different playgrounds at the same time, and will be brought out to them at the end of the day. I can’t see that working well.. It’s not as easy to control children waiting for their parents to arrive when outside as it is inside..
But that’s OK. because “The new system means that parents do not need to enter the building during these busy times of the day.” Worded as if that’s a positive thing. Sorry, I don’t feel that it is. We’re being pushed away and kept out.
Our daughter has already said that she is unhappy and doesn’t want to go to St Joseph’s any more. That would have been a totally unthinkable statement a month ago. Now, we’re wondering if we should take that seriously.