School ticked off over shortened break times

Swindon Advertiser: Parents are annoyed that break times at Isambard School have been cut by 15 minutes. Pictured are Amanda Wilkins, James, Wendy Smart and Angelos Parents are annoyed that break times at Isambard School have been cut by 15 minutes. Pictured are Amanda Wilkins, James, Wendy Smart and Angelos

PARENTS have reacted with shock and anger to plans to shorten lunch breaks by 15 minutes at Isambard School.

The pupils were told about the change on Monday while the parents were all sent a letter the following day.

Not only are parents concerned about the time their children will have to eat lunch but also the reasons being given for the move.

The school told parents the change – from a one-hour break to 45 minutes – was to enhance learning, but the parents claim children were told it was a punishment for poor behaviour.

Isambard has denied this and says the reduction in break time is being brought in as a trial, allowing them to extend the last lesson of the day, with the break still being longer than in other schools.

Amanda Wilkins, 36, of Redhouse, whose 12-year-old son Angelos attends Isambard, said: “All the kids have been told it is punishment for playing games outside, which to me would seem a good thing.

“All the parents have been told it is that it’s to enhance the classroom experience. I think the school needs to clarify exactly what it is. They don’t have a great reputation for serving meals quickly anyway, with some children having to wait 15 minutes at a time.

“How are they meant to eat, socialise and have the run out they need in that time?”

Wendy Smart, 37, whose sons James and Charlie go to the school, said: “There is a lot of outrage among the parents because we are being told different things.

“Children need time to eat their food, chat with friends and run around.

“Adults get an hour break so I do not see why the children should not as well.”

The school have said no consultation was carried out because it is a trial process.

Headteacher Rachael Mattey said: “Isambard Community School’s top priorities are the education and wellbeing of our students. This change to the lunch break is being trialed to assess whether the extra 15 minutes that this would enable us to add onto the last lesson of the day will improve students’ learning and levels of engagement across the afternoon. There will be no change to the start or end times of the day.

“We understand parents’ concerns that this reduces the time students have to eat, socialise and take part in extra-curricular activities, which are all important aspects of the school day.

“However we have looked at this in detail and believe that lunches can be served in this time and that enrichment activities can continue as normal.

“The length of our lunch break will also be brought closer in line with other schools across Swindon, in fact still ensuring our pupils enjoy one of the longest breaks in the borough.

“This is, however, a trial for the coming term.

“Only if we see that the changes are beneficial to our students will this become a permanent amendment to the timetable.”

Comments (12)

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1:57pm Thu 13 Feb 14

wiltshiregal says...

45 mins is ample time for lunch. other secondary schools manage!
45 mins is ample time for lunch. other secondary schools manage! wiltshiregal

4:59pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Cnlacl says...

Think it needs to be clarified as my son was told it was due to a certain game being played which is why the lunch hour is being cut yet my email said it to enhance learning ?????
Think it needs to be clarified as my son was told it was due to a certain game being played which is why the lunch hour is being cut yet my email said it to enhance learning ????? Cnlacl

5:48pm Thu 13 Feb 14

King Doink says...

They should count themselves lucky to get that!!
At my son's school they only get 35 mins!!
They should count themselves lucky to get that!! At my son's school they only get 35 mins!! King Doink

6:52pm Thu 13 Feb 14

MrAngry says...

What's a lunch break?
What's a lunch break? MrAngry

8:06pm Thu 13 Feb 14

melly6020 says...

Maybe they should think about starting school 15 minutes later .. might give the teachers sufficient time to park in the car park and not block the whole of Isambard Way !!! Or is that just laziness !?
Maybe they should think about starting school 15 minutes later .. might give the teachers sufficient time to park in the car park and not block the whole of Isambard Way !!! Or is that just laziness !? melly6020

9:15pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Sundial says...

Cnlacl wrote:
Think it needs to be clarified as my son was told it was due to a certain game being played which is why the lunch hour is being cut yet my email said it to enhance learning ?????
I doubt a school would change its day due to a ball game being played that staff did not like. Sounds like kids being kids and exaggerating. Think about it. If the game was the issue how would shortening the lunch have anything to do with it as they would play the game in 45 minutes rather than an hour???? If the game was the issue staff would just ban it...job done...shortening lunch would be far more hassle if that truly was the issue.
[quote][p][bold]Cnlacl[/bold] wrote: Think it needs to be clarified as my son was told it was due to a certain game being played which is why the lunch hour is being cut yet my email said it to enhance learning ?????[/p][/quote]I doubt a school would change its day due to a ball game being played that staff did not like. Sounds like kids being kids and exaggerating. Think about it. If the game was the issue how would shortening the lunch have anything to do with it as they would play the game in 45 minutes rather than an hour???? If the game was the issue staff would just ban it...job done...shortening lunch would be far more hassle if that truly was the issue. Sundial

6:51am Fri 14 Feb 14

GalaxyMan says...

Wait till you start work kiddies, my boss says you aren't committed to your job if you take a lunch break! He really is a *expletive deleted*.
Wait till you start work kiddies, my boss says you aren't committed to your job if you take a lunch break! He really is a *expletive deleted*. GalaxyMan

7:55am Fri 14 Feb 14

speaker2 says...

Bloody hell,....so your Kids are having 15 mins taken away from their lunch break....WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD
Sometime you parents have nothing better to do then moan, Blah blah blah, and as for you kids, in the real world do you really think that you will get a 1hr lunch break, erm No, you might be lucky to get 30 mins, So stop acting like Brats
Bloody hell,....so your Kids are having 15 mins taken away from their lunch break....WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD Sometime you parents have nothing better to do then moan, Blah blah blah, and as for you kids, in the real world do you really think that you will get a 1hr lunch break, erm No, you might be lucky to get 30 mins, So stop acting like Brats speaker2

4:04pm Fri 14 Feb 14

aimeetweddle says...

I attend this school I am in year 8 we had a assembly before break by the time we come out its 5 minuets till the end of break ,every week, which means some don't eat but also in assembly we got told it was because of manhunt but I don't find what the problem is about the game we play outside they also tell us to get fresh air as well as them saying it once took me 30 minuets to get my lunch
I attend this school I am in year 8 we had a assembly before break by the time we come out its 5 minuets till the end of break ,every week, which means some don't eat but also in assembly we got told it was because of manhunt but I don't find what the problem is about the game we play outside they also tell us to get fresh air as well as them saying it once took me 30 minuets to get my lunch aimeetweddle

5:57pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Olly- says...

speaker2 wrote:
Bloody hell,....so your Kids are having 15 mins taken away from their lunch break....WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD
Sometime you parents have nothing better to do then moan, Blah blah blah, and as for you kids, in the real world do you really think that you will get a 1hr lunch break, erm No, you might be lucky to get 30 mins, So stop acting like Brats
Not strictly true, I get 60 mins for lunch, but I do work 0800-1730
[quote][p][bold]speaker2[/bold] wrote: Bloody hell,....so your Kids are having 15 mins taken away from their lunch break....WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD Sometime you parents have nothing better to do then moan, Blah blah blah, and as for you kids, in the real world do you really think that you will get a 1hr lunch break, erm No, you might be lucky to get 30 mins, So stop acting like Brats[/p][/quote]Not strictly true, I get 60 mins for lunch, but I do work 0800-1730 Olly-

3:49pm Sat 15 Feb 14

kaspont says...

And this is news because?????

60 minutes is a luxury for lunch, come on SA, there has to be more going on in the Swindon area that is worthy of news than a hand full of parents bleating that their little cherubs can't snack in 45 minutes.

After all children go to school to learn, NOT eat!!!
And this is news because????? 60 minutes is a luxury for lunch, come on SA, there has to be more going on in the Swindon area that is worthy of news than a hand full of parents bleating that their little cherubs can't snack in 45 minutes. After all children go to school to learn, NOT eat!!! kaspont

7:24pm Sat 15 Feb 14

dgsrsmlly says...

aimeetweddle wrote:
I attend this school I am in year 8 we had a assembly before break by the time we come out its 5 minuets till the end of break ,every week, which means some don't eat but also in assembly we got told it was because of manhunt but I don't find what the problem is about the game we play outside they also tell us to get fresh air as well as them saying it once took me 30 minuets to get my lunch
I think you need more than an extra 15 minutes a day to correct your terrible grammar and punctuation.
[quote][p][bold]aimeetweddle[/bold] wrote: I attend this school I am in year 8 we had a assembly before break by the time we come out its 5 minuets till the end of break ,every week, which means some don't eat but also in assembly we got told it was because of manhunt but I don't find what the problem is about the game we play outside they also tell us to get fresh air as well as them saying it once took me 30 minuets to get my lunch[/p][/quote]I think you need more than an extra 15 minutes a day to correct your terrible grammar and punctuation. dgsrsmlly

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