We go into schools every day... and we're often asked the same questions: How to make lunchtimes calmer?
How to reduce noise in the dining hall?
How many midday supervisors to run lunchtime?
How to organise/ how to zone a school playground?
How to reduce incidents at lunchtime? WELL... Here's how to make lunchtimes better… with SEVEN TOP TIPS!
1. Get rid of queues. ❌🚶♂️
The easiest way to do this is to sit pupils at ALLOCATED SEATS in the dining space, where they have to come in and sit together on established tables - NEVER SEPARATE packed lunches vs school meals. Doing so removes noise, long queues, and needless movement.
2. Have SET TIMINGS in the dining space ⏰🍴
(i.e your sitting runs from 12-12.20). 'FAST eaters' wait until the rest of their ‘sitting’ has finished. Why? Because this takes the pressure off the playground AND encourages a ‘social dining space’.
3. Have a LEAD 👵📣
In the dining space who is a confident coordinator- your dining space is the most important aspect of your lunchtime. Having someone who can control it and coordinate the running of it will save hours of your time.
4. Have LESS STAFF 🗑👨🏫
Trust us. You could have 100 lunch staff and you’ll be asked to get more; having fewer colleagues ZONED in correct areas (see image) will ensure there are no staff ‘floating’ and certainly none stood in the same place
5. Bring first aid outside into a ‘wellbeing zone’ 👩⚕️✅
This has reduced first aid incidents in 87% of the schools we’ve worked in. How? Most pupils will make ‘excuses’ to go inside to your ‘hospital’ as it’s a novelty. Having it outside means that pupils can come and sit and be dealt with on the spot and, often, can just be told to sit and have a chat as opposed to filling in reams of pointless paperwork, that schools have recently been challenged to avoid!
6. Stop banning football ⚽️
Kids love football. If you’ve followed the above steps, your playground should be less busy, your lunchtime should be calmer, there will be fewer incidents and there will be room for football. So allow it!
7. Just let us sort it all out for you ✅
With one visit we'll conduct a comprehensive audit and review of your lunchtime, make a plan for you based on what you have available and what we believe you can do to make lunchtimes better! You'll get a comprehensive report with actions, resources & everything you need tailored around your school
DON'T FORGET, for pupils who do take a packed lunches to school, we have created a straightforward Packed Lunch Guidance (LINKED BELOW) which, when followed, will ensure children will be obtaining all of the nutrition they need throughout the day!