I would have expected a bit more common sense from school.

(33 Posts)
IslaValargeone Fri 13-Sep-13 11:57:13

DD had first Year 7 Science lesson this week at new school (all girls) where they had to weigh each other ffs? Naturally it has prompted various 'OMG' reactions amongst the girls as they compare themselves. I'm really quite pissed off.

Holliewantstobehot Sun 15-Sep-13 22:24:57

I went to boarding school and we were weighed annually - by the senior boys. I was really tall and maybe half a stone overweight but felt horrifically fat. Started dieting at twelve and have been yo yoing ever since. I would go mental if my child was weighed in front of her class.

OnlyOwl Sun 15-Sep-13 22:16:19

Oh, didn't see the second page of messages - thanks alpinemeadow as well, even if you have just confirmed for me that one of the (well, I thought so anyway!) best lessons is going to have to be scrapped!

OnlyOwl Sun 15-Sep-13 22:14:01

Thanks, Takvar and AChickenCalledKorma - message received and understood, I shall put my thinking cap on for a replacement practical smile

We don't do variation until after Christmas, so perhaps I could get them to plant some sort of fast growing plant now and then in four months time get all the plants back in to be lined up in height order instead. Could add in some measurements of leaf size, and graphing practice, maybe. Or maybe we could set up an experiment to investigate effect of fertiliser or something and then use the plants as a quick demo - that would tie in nicely to environmental variation too. Hmmmmm...

minidipper Sun 15-Sep-13 19:32:24

Any child who is fat at that age is so because he family have not introduced her to sensible eating habits. She is still too young to have the power to refuse to, say, empty her plate or have seconds of granny's cake. But not too young to feel hugely demoralised and exposed in front of new peers.

I was at school with a large girl who was told she could have a lead role in the school play but she needed to lose weight. She lost weight, played the lead, was brilliant, continued to lose weight, ended up failing all her A levels because she was too weak to write properly and last time I saw her, her hair was falling out. On balance I'd have preferred her to stay overweight. At that age a single remark from an influential teacher or more popular girl can trigger an eating disorder.

It's a gross lesson. Complain.

bumpybecky Sun 15-Sep-13 18:28:43

they did this to my dd1 in year 10 PSR last year when they were studying eating disorders! I'm still hmm at the wisdom of weighing anyone when looking at eating disorders. dd1 is 5'6" and about 6.5 stone - she's very skinny but eats tonnes and definitely no eating disorder!

Turniphead1 Sun 15-Sep-13 15:47:02

I am not a complaining parent - but I would definitely contact the school about this. Mind-boggling that someone in this day and age would think that was OK angry

MisguidedAngel Sun 15-Sep-13 15:41:36

When I was 11 back in the bad old days, we had to measure each other for a blouse in sewing class. However much I stuck my chest out I couldn't make it more than 29". We then had to go up to the teacher with our sizes, whereupon she said very loudly "Oh, 29 inches Angel - not started developing yet then?" You cannot overestimate the self-consciousness of this age group. You should definitely have a word with the school.

alpinemeadow Sun 15-Sep-13 15:03:27

yes Only owl, I think unfortunately preteens/early teens is the time for self-consciousness about height (by the time you're late teens it's pretty much irrelevant). And as the chicken who's called korma says, you won't necessarily know if they're embarrassed because they'll hide it. However nicely you do it - and it does sound as though you do it nicely!

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 15-Sep-13 14:54:50

OnlyOwl - DD1 is the shortest child in Year 7 and is quite self-conscious about it. She would definitely feel a bit singled out and I don't think you'd necessarily notice, because she's good at playing along and having a laugh at her own expense, even if it's bothering her inside. It's part of her defence mechanism, to deflect the teasing which she endured earlier in primary school.

Their Year 6 teacher did a similar lesson with shoe size and DD1 friend was the only person in the whole year group who was still in child sizes (size 13). He was pretty annoyed as well.

Mind you, neither of the above is as bad as using weight with a bunch of girls. That's just asking for grief.

Oceansurf Sat 14-Sep-13 19:54:41

They're still doing that lesson?!

We had that in 1985. I remember feeling huge. Seriously. Best thing. I was 8 stone 4. Same height as I am now. Really wish I was 8 stone 4 now! (just all the other girls were 6 and 7 stone something)

mrspaddy Sat 14-Sep-13 19:51:36

Could you send a letter but not disclose yourself or via email if you want s response?

I am a teacher and old not agree to this either... Boys or girls for that matter.

Takver Sat 14-Sep-13 19:47:57

I think it could be hard for those at extreme ends of the spectrum, OnlyOwl. I can think of a couple of children in particular dd knows (boys who are very, very much shorter than the average) who might find it difficult.

OnlyOwl Sat 14-Sep-13 18:53:18

Oh, I feel terrible now! I am a Biology teacher and I would never ask any of the kids to weigh themselves, of course - that's just ridiculous. But I have used height to illustrate continuous variation for Y7 - I get them all to line up in height order, then ask them to decide where "tall" begins.

I then introduce genetic and environmental variation - pick the tallest one and stand them back to back with me. I am usually only a little bit taller so discuss how I could stop them growing taller than me i.e, stop feeding them!

I've done it several times and always had a very good response from the class, with everyone (genuinely) seeming to enjoy it... but now I am worrying that this has caused untold hurt. Do people really think this should be avoided even if done sensitively?

Shasmii Fri 13-Sep-13 22:34:31

Ha. Remember being weighed in front of the whole class. Teacher announced that she'd have to take all the weights off because I was so skinny. I was a bolshy kid, so announced that she only had a problem with it because she herself was fat .... and ugly. Had to write an essay about the importance of manners grin

grumpyskater Fri 13-Sep-13 21:15:04

Ooh petal! Same, 1973, bar charts, I was 4 and a half stone and 4 and a half feet tall, and at the bottom of both charts.... Sorry, hijack, we ALL got weighed but I don't remember how I felt about it.. Tho the numbers are emblazoned on my mind 40 years later.

I was the runt of the class, yes, lousy thing to do

petal2008 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:34:51

I remember having to do this when I started high school in 1973! I was mortified as I was a bit overweight. I can still remember it now although not what scientific reason we it for.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 13-Sep-13 20:21:47

I was the fat kid. I had no difficulty whatsoever in realising how fat I was thanks very much tywysogesgymraeg angry This would have been my worst nightmare, particularly at the beginning of a new school year, when I'm trying my best to make friends.

Please complain.

englishteacher78 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:16:52

I would complain. I went to an all girls' school myself and this would have been awful. There's plenty of pre-existing data out there I don't see why it was necessary.

titchy Fri 13-Sep-13 12:52:11

Entire agree with others - complain in the strongest terms.

You don't have to say your dd was upset about it, but point out that many girls have issues of self esteem about their weight and being compared to their peers could well be a trigger for eating disorders. Do they want that on their conscience?

LeoandBoosmum Fri 13-Sep-13 12:44:41

I wouldn't care less about being labelled as 'one of those parents'. Honestly, it is just not a great idea to have young, impressionable kids (especially in a new environment/ situation) get weighed in front of each other! Sounds like a good way to mark kids out for bullying or instigate issues around food. The teacher must be an idiot!

jennycoast Fri 13-Sep-13 12:40:04

I don't think it precious or unreasonable, because I don't think it's just your own daughter you are concerned about.

friday16 Fri 13-Sep-13 12:36:09

Sounds like a good way to get the fat kids to realise how fat they are tbh!!

Yeah, because fortunately no girl, especially no teenage girl, ever had an eating disorder triggered by concern (justified or otherwise) about her weight. FFS.

mummytime Fri 13-Sep-13 12:11:43

I have taught a lesson where I needed someone (or a few pupils) weigh themselves. I asked for volunteers only, and if we'd needed a few weights would have put them in groups. I was teaching forces. I was also at a mixed school and on the whole the boys were prepared to be weighed.
It would have been even worse in an all girls school.

In your DDs case I would probably contact the head of year, just to point out the sensitivity of the subject.

MrsPeeWee Fri 13-Sep-13 12:10:58

What kind of teacher would actually sit down and write that type of lesson out? Definitely complain and urge others to do the same. angry

gazzalw Fri 13-Sep-13 12:09:48

Actually I was talking with a friend about a similar issue yesterday. DS (12) is small for his age (although not overly so). At the end of last term in biology they did their weight and height to map onto graphs. DS was fifth smallest and third lightest. He says he hasn't got an issue about being small but had been going on about it ever since. I too commented that it was a grossly insensitive thing to do. It spells out in black and white to them exactly how far ahead/behind the pack they are in terms of adolescence etc....

I think it's even worse for the girls to have this type of information pointed out to them....

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