Saturday, November 6, 2010

Angry with the School!

My daughter is in grade 3 and has a really poor year (or two) of education. I blame this on various things:
  1. Her teacher is lazy and inept, gets spelling words wrong and has to check the dictionary, believes homework doesn't need to be graded, that they complete the work is all that matters, and gives no feedback on assignments, then blames the children for not giving us the information.
  2. Added to number 1, many topics have not been addressed that should be known by the end of grade 3, such as basic timestables, maths beyond addition, and various other grading markers which say my child is well below average, yet all reports leading up to these last 2 years indicate she is above average.
  3. There is no interaction between teacher and students or teacher and parents. Whenever we approach with issues to discuss we are brushed off, assured everything is fine, that the recommended course structure is being followed and the child's reports at the end of the year will indicate such. As involved parents we are made to feel like a nuisance.
  4. Her class has been combined with another class, so you have 50 students and 2 teachers in the one classroom, which has severly impacted on her enjoyment of school and her ability to learn. The level of noise and distraction has caused her to have headaches and to have trouble completing her work or reading. When this topic was discussed, we were informed that this is a better learning environment for children as the 2 teachers provide more structure and learning assistance. RUBBISH! I have looked in on the class in action and many times you see the teachers sitting together on their laptops while kids are running around the class and the noise level can be heard outside!
  5. Since the arrival of the new principal, the newsletter has reduced from 4 pages, to 1 double sided page. The school play has been cancelled. The mini assemblies that each section of the school (lower, middle, and upper) would have each week have been cancelled. The whole school assemblies which used to be every Friday, are now once a month. The school spirit has dissolved and morale is low. Also the school sports day got washed out, ands rather than rebook it, it was just cancelled. Very disappointing. To make things worse the principal does not see parents. Apparantly that is not her role, her role is to administrate the school. BULLSHIT!
  6. And finally, when my daughter completed the NAPLAN testing (a general aptitude test given to children in grades 3, 5, 7 & 9 to determine average levels of english comprehension, spelling and maths) the results came back that she is in the top 10 percentile for the state and the top 2% in her school, and yet her report said she wasn't up to the accepted standard???? WTF????
So in conclusion we are considering moving her to a school where the principal is active, school morale is high, children are encouraged to learn, and parents are given feedback on their child's progress and participation. A school where activites are held and children are awarded for good behaviour and hard work, where children are happy to attend.
It is so disappointing, I always swore I wouldn't movemy child from their school as I was moved as a child. But I didn't expect such a large deterioration of the school. Back when she started it was a popular school, highly regarded and talked of fondly. Now, kids are leaving on a regular basis. I know of a few that have left already, including my daughters best friend, and many enrolled in other schools for next year.
So we have looked into another school, with a fabulous reputation, a friendly principal and an above average academic standing in our state. We have an appointment next week and if all goes well, she may be moving next year. Scary and exciting and hopefully the right move on our part. It's hard being a parent, you hold their lives in your hands.


  1. Oh dear, that sounds really awful! I really hope you will find another school for your daughter, it sounds totaly impossible to stay where she is. But poor those kids that have parents that not care and have to stay.

    I agree with you, it's a hard decision to take, to move a child from one school to another - I had to change school several time as well, so I know how hard it is - but in this situation it can just be for good.

    I really hope everything will be fine for your daughter and in that way for the whole family! Looks forward to read about how it will turns out.

  2. You are in the Glen Waverley area? I've got two lots of friends there who have kids. Their kids go to Essex Heights Primary School. They seem pretty happy with it (except one lot of kids have to be driven there as the family lives in central GW).
    That teacher sounds craptastic, as does the principal. (I am pretty sure Essex Heights is not your daughter's school cos they have all sorts of activities 8-) I had a teacher once who couldn't fault my work but said I sat down the back and was disruptive. That was a lie because I couldn't sit down the back - I had to sit up the front to read the blackboard and I was a goody goody suck suck. He just didn't know who I was after teaching me for a year!