Barrowford Primary School ‘flexi time’ in Times Educational Supplement

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a PENDLE primary school’s move to a flexible play and lunch break has been featured in the Times Educational Supplement.

Barrowford School made the change on the eve of an Ofsted inspection earlier this year and staff and pupils now decide among themselves when to take break and lunchtime.

In the article, headteacher Rachel Tomlinson explained that the idea came from a staff meeting some time ago when they were discussing how best to manage the time before and after breaks.

“Like most schools, we’d find we were either stopping children in mid-flow or just filling in time before lunch,” she said. “Our school is growing in numbers and a lot of children’s behaviour at dinner time had deteriorated quite significantly - it was difficult to manage behaviour to the level it was managed at all other times of the day.

“We were expecting an inspection and that was one of the issues, then someone said, ‘Do we need a dinner time?’ So we arranged with the school kitchen to have lunch available between 11-30am and 1-30pm and staff can decide if they want their class to go early or wait until 1pm.

“Teachers live life by the clock and the bell - unless you stop and think about it, it makes sense to continue. But in the real world, nobody else does that,” Ms Tomlinson said. “Other adults find it ridiculous that you can only go to the toilet at 10.20am.”