We have been busy  trialling positive new ways to experience mealtimes that take account of the needs of all the children.  Every child from Year 2 to Year 6 had a chance to feedback what they thought about loudness vs quietness, good manners, time to chat and time to be reflective and quiet, amongst a range of other aspects to lunch.  Mrs Dunne met with the 15 Change Champions from each class and they shared each class’s feedback.  The following changes and improvements are the results of this pupil consultation: 

  • Children would like to talk but say it must be with quiet, ‘indoor voices’ so that ALL children enjoy their lunchtime
  • Most children like the quiet, calming music and asked for it to stay.  To make it fair, we will play the music on 3 days and play none on 2 days
  • Children think it’s sensible to line up quietly before entering the hall
  • Children think quiet ‘indoor voices’ should be used, when lining up for meals
  • Children think the ‘emoji’ pictures on the screen (see right) help to remind everyone to keep the chat at a calm, polite level so these will be used each lunchtime
  • If the noise level gets too loud, all agree that one minute’s mindful silence will help the calm atmosphere return
  • Children can ‘save’ up to two seats at the table, for friends who are lining up
  • Classes who demonstrate calm, respectful behaviour during mealtimes over the week, will be awarded a ‘golden playtime’ (an extra break on a Friday afternoon or one agreed with the teacher)

 We think that the children have been amazing during this whole process; ready to trial new ideas and think about others.  EVERY class recognised the value of balancing the desire to talk with consideration of others who had found it all too noisy and overwhelming.  We now have lunchtimes which include everything the children wanted whilst being thoughtful and inclusive for all.