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Overheard in the staffroom

The TES online forums are a hotbed of debate. Here is just a taste of what users are saying this week. Join the discussion at: www.tes.co.ukstaffroom

IF YOU HAD A SCHOOL ELEPHANT

Thling: ...which was left free to wander round the playing fields and grounds, you would surely find any number of opportunities to involve it in your lessons, wouldn't you? Yet many schools have an abundance of trees, which are much more interesting from an educational point of view than elephants. Yet they are generally ignored as a teaching resource. It's odd.

SCHOOL TRIPS IN TERM TIME

Daffodils: What's your school policy on purely fun trips going on during term-time? A member of staff wants to take 13-year-olds out for a term-time week in February to Poland skiing as the snow is better then!

Aldo601: I run a trip every year to Holland for three football teams to play against Dutch opposition. This trip takes place during October holidays. There's no way the school would allow any trip to take place during term time.

Existentialtyke: I would want double pay for going in holiday time.

THREE-YEAR-OLDS WHO CAN READ

CarnationLily: My friend's daughter is three years and eight months old.

Today, I discovered she can read many words (by sounding out) like strong, number, lie, beach, think, torch, night and so on. What will she do when she goes to school?

Lilyofthefield: She'll have to toil through the tick-box reading scheme.

Salli9: Probably she'll be held back. Your friend needs to be on the case.

This happened to my son. I had to go to the head. She did a reading test.

He was four years above his reading age. He was moved on.

Citygirl7279: My son was reading at two-and-a-half. When he went to school, it was a nightmare because the teacher wanted him to work through the rigid system she had always used. So he and I made a secret deal: he read the boring stuff at school, and then we had fun reading his choice of books at home.

These comments are the personal opinions of individual contributors

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