JAMES BUTTERWORTH, HEAD OF SCHOOL, ST IVES SCHOOL, UK
In every school up and down the country at around 12 o’clock, students will go to lunch. It is a time for students to eat, let off steam, play and develop key social, emotional and cognitive skills, all of which are even more crucial in a society ravaged by COVID isolations and lockdowns (Baines and Blatchford, 2011). However, it can also be a time of the day where bullying and behaviour problems are most likely to occur and, when not structured correctly, can impact on learning for the rest of the day. Lunchtime planning needs even more careful consideration, as we try to address the growing concerns about children’s mental health and personal and social development that have arisen due to the impact of COVID, but how often are school leaders looking at this time as an opportunity for curriculum development?
At St Ives School, Cornwall, we identified lunchtimes as an opportunity for providing meaningful time during the day