Great Schools Optimise Lunchtime Play: Do You?

Primary headteacher Carol Baron shows how her school has brought play and independence to lunchtime, improving children’s wellbeing, behaviour and enjoyment of school along the way.

As a headteacher for over 18 years, I am more than familiar with the challenges of lunchtime. For many schools, the lunch break brings with it some behaviour issues, complaints from pupils along the lines of, ‘He said…She said…’ and lots of lining up—lining up to leave the classroom, lining up to go into the dining hall, lining up to leave the dining hall and lining up to go back into the classroom. To manage this—and in response to the fact that Ofsted often focuses on lunchtime behaviour—some schools have started to cut the lunch break, shaving off 15 minutes or so in the hope of addressing some of these issues. At St Peter’s, however, we have found a better solution.

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