Little Common Primary School
For many years at Little Common Primary School, packed lunch eaters had eaten their lunch in the classroom. This was causing a number of problems including:
- Midday Supervisors struggling to monitor 20 classrooms.
- Teachers not being able to access their classrooms at lunchtime.
- School meal eaters not being able to sit next to their friends if they chose to eat a packed lunch.
- Poor school meal uptake.
Consultations were conducted with Midday Supervisors, kitchen staff, teachers, pupils, parents and governors to discuss their views and opinions on lunchtime. Based on these consultations the following action plan was agreed and implemented in June 2012.
- All packed lunch eaters now eat in the dining room with school meal eaters so they can eat with their friends.
- Children sit in friendship groups as part of four staggered set sittings so everyone knows who they are sitting with, at what time and for how long.
- The in-house catering team have made provision for two cash tills to support any increase in school meal uptake.
- Each year group comes into the hall at different times to ensure that children never have to queue for more than 5 minutes to get their school dinner.
- Concentration – Children’s readiness to learn in afternoon lessons has significantly improved in response to a teacher survey about the lunchtime changes.
- 75% reduction in lunchtime incidents – Allegations about bullying at lunchtime reduced from 8 in 2011/2012 to 2 in 2012/2013.
- Supporting Special Educational Needs – Children with Special Educational Needs now feel a lot more safe and secure because of the new lunchtime routines – i.e. they know who they are sitting with, at what time and for how long.
- Pupil endorsement – Friendship groups are very popular because the children were involved and felt listened to.
- Midday Supervisors motivation and training – Midday Supervisors are much more aware and more secure in their understanding of their role and responsibilities. As a result, over 30% of MDSAs have volunteered to undertake more playground leader training.
- Senior Leadership Team (SLT) involvement – SLT now spend a lot less time managing minor lunchtime incidents. “This is primarily due to Midday Supervisors creating new playground zones,” said Lorraine Clarke, Deputy Head. “The Midday Supervisors were responsible for the provision of new resources and now lead and facilitate games which has helped to create a positive playground ethos.”
- Staff recruitment and retention – Midday Supervisors retention rates have improved. Prior to the changes being introduced SLT were interviewing on a monthly basis for Midday Supervisors. Since September 2012 only one interview has been required.
- School meal uptake – School meal uptake has increased by 20% from June 2012 to June 2013.
Feeling inspired by our lunchtime changes at Little Common Primary? Now it’s your turn.
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