Pebsham Primary Academy

The issues

Pebsham Primary Academy

Lunchtime provision – The school’s dining room was noisy and congested and not conducive to socialising or eating. Long queues and the constant ebb and flow of children coming into and out of the hall had created a food on the go culture.

Lunchtime behaviour – School Leaders were spending management time in the afternoon resolving lunchtime incidents.

Lost learning minutes – Children weren’t ready to learn in afternoon lessons and often talked about unresolved lunchtime incidents.

Midday Supervisor engagement – The focus was on rule enforcement rather than promoting and rewarding good behaviour.

The solution

Midday Supervisor training

Behaviour policy – Identify what the ‘Pebsham 5’ school rules look like at lunchtime so both children and Midday Supervisors are clear about behaviour expectations.

Lunchtime rewards – Introduction of positive rewards for excellent behaviour to make sure Midday Supervisors catch children when they are good. This includes certificates, best table of the week and wristbands for exemplary behaviour.

Deescalating lunchtime incidents – Focus on what we want children to start doing rather than stop doing and agree or partially agree with them wherever possible to improve engagement.

Dine and Shine

Dine and Shine

The launch of a new restaurant style lunchtime called Dine and Shine – a name which was chosen by the children. Detailed below is a summary of how Dine and Shine works.

  1. Introduction of three 20 minute set sittings giving almost all children the opportunity to stay in the hall during the next sitting, or sittings if they need more time to eat.
  2. Children sit in friendship groups so everyone knows who they are sitting with.
  3. Named tables – e.g. carrot and lettuce – are located in the same place every day so children know where they are sitting.
  4. All children to sit down when they arrive in the dining hall to avoid long queues with the exception of a small group of tables organised on a rota basis who are asked to queue up immediately.
  5. Agree a minimum length of time to eat before leaving the dining room to support slow eaters.

The outcomes

Lunchtime behaviour

Behaviour has improved across the lunch hour through the work with Recipe for Change and the introduction of the ‘Dine and Shine Restaurant’ approach. The main improvement is the decrease in the number of incidents in the playground. School leaders are now able to spend time with pupils, praising good behaviour, supporting play and interacting socially throughout the lunch hour rather than dealing solely with behaviour. The school leadership team has also noted a significant decrease in the number of behaviour incidents needing further investigation in the afternoon, following much calmer lunchtimes.

Lunchtime incidents

The number of lunchtime incidents has dramatically reduced since the work with Recipe for Change. Previously, children had eaten quickly and spent the majority of the lunch hour outside – resulting in a high number of lunchtime incidents, following the changes the number of incidents decreased.

The graph shows a clear reduction in lunchtime behaviour incidents in the playground. In Term 1 the majority of the playground incidents were during lunchtime, and the clear downward trend is as a direct result of the changes to the lunchtime arrangements which were introduced at the beginning of Term 2. The low level of dining hall incidents has been maintained. (The increase in Term 3 is due to one incident with a number of pupils giving feedback – therefore recorded for all pupils involved)

The blue bar includes incidents that did not have a location recorded or multiple locations.

Readiness to learn in afternoon lessons

Teachers have noticed a substantial improvement in the time taken to begin afternoon lessons. Children enter the classrooms calmly and ready to learn.

Dining room environment

The Dine and Shine Restaurant is a calm, social place to eat. All 3 sittings run smoothly and purposefully. Children all have adequate time to eat and socialise, reluctant and slower eaters are catered for and are not rushed. The children are clear about the procedures and there have been noticeable improvements in the quality of conversation, behaviour and social skills. Children interact with their peers and with children from other classes during their time in the Hall. The mixed age tables has improved cross-phase relationships and this continues as the children move into the playground.

Midday Supervisor engagement

Through the dramatic improvement in behaviour, noise levels and organisation, the staff are now able to interact with the children, promoting manners and social skills. Staff have time to support children with lunch choices and discussions about food and healthy choices. Children’s good behaviour is noticeable and is easily rewarded.

Headteacher feedback

Using Recipe for Change has resulted in a noted improvement to pupil behaviour and to afternoon learning, across the school. The impact was rapid and effective; children socialise with their peers and have time to play and interact. Staff have been empowered to make the changes and to look at ways forward; they have time to interact with pupils and to discuss food choices and healthy lifestyles. Play has improved, alongside the changes in the Hall, and the pupils have been able to be an integral part of the changes, creating the name and designing the logo for ‘Dine and Shine’, which interlinks with our school logo – Pebsham Primary Academy – Where Every Child Shines!

Inclusion Leader feedback

Thank you for doing this and helping us see the wood for the trees. You worked brilliantly with the team and I feel you have moved the group forward and raised enthusiasm and expectations – brilliant!

Midday Supervisor training feedback

What aspect of the training was most useful to you?

Whole day out to consider all aspects of lunchtime can be improved with an experienced leader who was able to direct the discussion to ideas and solutions that are tried and tested.

The changes that will hopefully be in place to make things better for the children.

All meeting together and having the time to discuss the pitfalls of what is and/or should be happening at lunchtime.

Discussion and hearing about other schools’ solutions.

Sharing concerns and ideas about playtime.

Developing action plan for change at lunchtime.

Learning new strategies verbally to deal with different situations.

The change to the dinner hall. Like the idea of having our own special restaurant with 3 sittings.

What aspect of the training was least useful?

Shame we didn’t have time to go through games but this was right because there were important areas still to discuss.

Positive feedback about the changes that will be happening in the hall.

N/A or no comments from 6 Supervisors.

NB. The “no difference” response – which was from the Inclusion Leader who attended the training – put a note beside the response to say “No reflection on training. Good to reflect on strategies and be reminded.”

Do you have any other comments?

Enjoyed contributing and listening to others feedback. A course which has an aim and something constructive to work towards in the near future.

I think this will make things run along smoother at lunchtimes especially in the hall. Our own special restaurant to be named by the children.

Paul was very friendly and approachable.

To be followed up that changes are made and continued.

Looking forward to the launch.

Very useful day. I think things will run more smoothly and be more pleasant for the children.

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