At Offham we recognise that lunchtime is a really important part of our children's day, this is why in 2017 we worked alongside Paul Aagaard, a consultant from recipe for change, to come up with a plan to make lunchtimes calm, safe, healthy and happy.
Following the advice and training we received, the team at Offham worked hard to reorganise the way lunchtime worked. We started in the lunch hall. In a move to make our lunchtimes an eating experience we changed to a restaurant style seating plan with children sitting in small friendship groupings. Each table has a table name - tables in sitting 1 have fruit names and sitting 2 have vegetable names. Packed lunch children wait for the school dinner children on their table to collect their lunch so that everyone can begin eating together. This promotes positive eating interactions and good table manners. A staggered rota for collecting lunch means that there are no long queues and children have bread and salad nibbles provided on their tables while they wait.
We worked with the school council and well-being council to decide on a collection of positive lunchtime behaviours, which everyone is expected to display. The midday meals supervisors use a huge reward chart and positively praise tables showing care, consideration and respect at lunchtimes by allocating points each day. On Thursday evening we tot up the points and the highest scoring table wins our much coveted golden table transformation for Friday's lunchtime.
We believe that the 'playing' and 'letting off steam' part of lunchtime is equally as important as eating together. Therefore at Offham, over the past two years, we have worked exceptionally hard to make sure playtimes are as fun as they can be. Our lunchtime games rota looks like this:
Round and round
Every day we use our 'Grotto' hut on the hill as a base from which to run calm activities. The Grotto timetable is as follows:
Every day we run a different sports club, anyone can get involved. There is always something fun to play together as a team, including; tennis, hockey, lacrosse, football, tag rugby and netball. The following timetables are put in place to allow the opportunity for inclusion and equality. No form of booking required, this is a turn up and play format.
Children also love our amazing bank play area! This is always ready to play with a lunchtime and offers lots of climbing and agility challenges... as well as a super fast slide! We love it!!!