Before I start this post, I need to make it VERY clear that this post is a bit tongue in cheek, is based on my experience of only 2 schools (and therefore cannot be taken too seriously) and is entirely from my (a parents) perspective…
Mr NHM and I moved Miss NHM to a new school 5 days into the start of the September 2017 academic year.
I won’t go into the details on NHM, for obvious reasons, but we now refer to Miss NHM’s old school as “The Prison” and I will continue to refer to it as such, regardless of feedback from anyone. The way they treated my daughter and my family was despicable.
Needless to say, I’ve learnt a LOT about what a “good” infants school is like and what a “bad” infants school is like.
Several points below aren’t based on my actual experience, they are based on what I have seen and heard from other parents and children.
Good Infant schools vs. Bad Infant schools
A good infants school will have large, naturally lit classrooms.
A bad infants school will have tiny classrooms, the same size as my kitchen, which will be expected to seat 32 children in and will be very, very dark with barely any natural light. (Top tip, if visiting a new school for your child, ALWAYS go during day light hours so you can see what the natural light will be like for your child when they are imprisoned in the classroom for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week.)
A good school will allow children to play on the field.
A bad school will have a field that is entirely for show and sports day. Children will NOT be allowed to play on it, for their own safety (!!!).
A good school will give a 5 year old in YR1 two pieces of homework a week and will realise that family time is more important than more work outside of school.
A bad school will give over 6 pieces of homework to a 5 year old in YR1 and when your child doesn’t do all of this homework they are punished.
A good school will give a child the chance to get off the “thundercloud” and the child will not be permanently punished.
A bad school will put the child on the “thundercloud” for the rest of the week and the child will miss the most exciting part of the school week, “golden time” if they don’t do ALL of their homework.
A good school will not have the “thundercloud”, “sun” or “rainbow”.
A bad school will use the “thundercloud” to inflict intimidation and fear into small children.
A good school will give children the opportunity to move around during their “free” time.
A bad school will play films during “golden time”.
A good school will send messages to parents about things like nits and harvest festival collections.
A bad school will send weekly emails about the attendance levels for each class, messages that if you park in the wrong place you will be arrested and about how several children are wearing the wrong coloured coat to school.
A good school will have teachers who send the children in their class Christmas cards.
A bad school will not have teachers send the children in their class Christmas cards because the “personal touch” is not encouraged.
A good school will care more about the welfare of the children than children wearing EXACTLY the correct uniform, including the colour of socks and outdoor coat.
A bad school will NOT care about the welfare of the children and will only care that the children are wearing the CORRECT uniform and god forbid those who don’t have logo’d uniform.
A good school will have a variety of different classes including music and arts for all years.
A bad school will have only english, maths and science classes, with one class per term of “fun” stuff from YR2 onwards.
A good school will allow children to have their classes outside when the weather is over 28 degrees.
A bad school will force children to remain in a classroom that has no air conditioning when the weather is over 28 degrees, including no playtime or lunchtime play outside, because it is for their own safety as it’s too hot to be outside (!!!!!).
A good school will realise that children of infants school age require a rounded experience of life.
A bad school will only concentrate on attendance at school and will send you a “delightful” red letter each half term if your child’s attendance is below their requirements, regardless of whether your child has a serious medical condition which means they are more sick than “normal” children.
A good school will have extra classes after school like “forest school”, which are run by teachers and are free to attend.
A bad school will only have classes after school that cost an absolute arm and a leg for your child to attend.
A good school will have guitar lessons, Spanish lessons and rock steady lessons which will all take place during the school day.
A bad school will have NOTHING other than lessons for children to attend during the school day.
A good school will bend over backwards to ensure that your child is treated the same as other children in their class, regardless of their situation.
A bad school will single out a child if they have any extra requirements or special needs that don’t fit in with the schools vision of a “normal” child.
A good school will care greatly about a child’s emotional wellbeing.
A bad school won’t give a rat’s fig about a child’s emotional well being and will actually do everything they can to ensure that the child conforms to their expectations of what small children should be like, regardless of that child’s situation.
A good school won’t focus on the costs associated with supporting children with extra needs.
A bad school will ONLY focus on the costs associated with supporting children with extra needs.
A good school will have lovely receptionists that are also Mum’s who TOTALLY get it.
A bad school will have very grumpy receptionists who raise their eyebrows and grumble at you, for example, when you forget to bring paperwork back in on time and then proceed to make you feel like it’s you that’s back in infants school when you return said paperwork late.
A good school will have lots of pictures of happy smiley children on their website.
A bad school will have only have a picture of the head teacher on their website.
A good school will allow children to bring in anything they like for “Show and Tell”.
A bad school will ONLY allow your child to bring in something for “Show and Tell” that is related to the subject they are studying at that exact moment and if they try to bring in something else to show their classmates it will be confiscated.
What would you add to this list?
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