Many thanks to everyone who was able to attend the recent Parent Partnership meeting at which we discussed the proposed changes to lunchtimes.
There were lots of very constructive discussions as to why the changes were being proposed and looking at concerns that have been raised during the consultation period.
Below is a summary of the recurring themes that have become apparent during this process:
Children need down time. If lunchtime is reduced, how will this be maintained?
The extra 15 minutes curriculum time will be used for quiet activities such as, encouraging reading for pleasure, and emotional literacy/mental health support activities e.g growth mindset, circle time and pastoral support.
Reducing lunchtime will reduce physical activity time for some children?
Split lunchtime makes it easier to timetable PE and the extra 15 minutes of curriculum time makes it easier to protect allocated PE time. Implementation of the daily mile will encourage activity across the school. More space on the playground will allow us to improve provision e.g playground markings and more structured game activities supervised by Midday Supervisory Assistants. The reintroduction of an afternoon break where necessary will give children more activity time and morning break will be extended.
Will systems be improved to reduce current lost time e.g queuing in the canteen?
Sandwiches will be separated out for younger children to give extra space in the canteen, sandwiches will be eaten in classrooms for years R - 3. Provision of an extra Midday Supervisory Assistant in the canteen will help to support those who take longer to eat their lunch. The canteen will be much empty when Years 4-6 start their lunch break.
Some children can’t eat fast enough and won’t have enough time, they may feel under pressure to eat more quickly.
Extra capacity gives the opportunity to treat children individually and give more time if they need it.
Would there be a trial period for the new arrangements?
If the proposed changes were implemented then there would be a review put in place and changes would be monitored and adjusted to mitigate any negative impact on the children.
Would there be any financial impact?
There is no extra cost of teacher staffing as they are salaried, not paid by the hour. There would be a small increase in MSA funding as we extend some contracts to gain extra capacity from 1.00-1.30. (This would be at the end of lunchtime so would not ease the current problems as the biggest congestion is from 12.30 – 1.00).
Would there be noise impact on children learning when others are out to play?
This is currently proactively managed. Having more space on the playground would allow children to play away from the building.
Older children would have to wait a long time through the morning before eating. How could this be addressed?
We would look at extending free fruit to Y3 pupils and reintroduce a fruit token scheme for older pupils.
Could we support children with time management by installing some external clocks?
Could we provide more playground resources?
Yes, especially for quieter games such as draughts, bowling etc as we would have more capacity to supervise their use.
Could we improve the environment in the canteen by encouraging the children to take more responsibility?
Yes, we have introduced a behaviour matrix which gives the expectations for behaviour in all year groups and there would also be more supervision to reinforce this with children.
The consultation period runs until 5th July and feedback and comments are welcome to be submitted up until and including that date.