Skip to content ↓

Happy Lunchtimes

We had an awesome day when Steve Harris visited school to help staff and pupils improve the lunchtime experience.  He ‘taught’ us all about the Happy Lunchtime system which we have now introduced in school.   

The School Council worked with Steve to help set our goals for lunchtimes, these are:           

Everybody is enjoying the new system, pupils say they enjoy trying the different activities in the Play Zone and staff have noticed pupils having a go at new games and enjoying learning new skills. Pupils are enjoying playing new games with their friends and making new friends with older and younger pupils.


 Happy Lunchtime and Lunchtime Behaviour System 

Following our Happy Lunchtime training we have introduced a new reward system at lunchtimes. There are four elements of success for the lunchtime team to follow… quiet, listen, clear instruction and smile.  

Step 1. Unintentional and unwanted behaviour – used when somebody ‘gets carried away’.  This involves speaking quietly to pupils. Reminding them that their behaviour is unwanted and making it explicit what is not acceptable/ acceptable without ‘telling them off’. The pupil apologies for their behaviour and then continues happily with their lunchtime.  

Lunchtime team will: Speak quietly. Listen if a child wants to explain. Be crystal clear about expectations. Leave pupil with a smile to carry on with their lovely lunchtime. 

Step 2. Intentional behaviour  

This is used when expectations / or school rules have been made clear, but the pupil decides not to follow them.  It is deliberate misbehaviour. The pupil will have 2 minutes reflection/ thinking time to accept that they were wrong, show respect and take responsibility for their chosen behaviour.  

If the pupil refuses to co-operate, they will be given 1 minute to change their mind to show the lunchtime adult respect, and then they can take their 2-minute reflection time. If they do not change their mind or become argumentative then the time will be extended to 5 minutes.  

Lunchtime team will: Speak quietly and explain what was unacceptable and the pupil will have a 2-minute time-out (or extended to 5 minutes) accompanied by the lunchtime adult to quietly reflect on their behaviour. After they have reflected and taken responsibility for their inappropriate behaviour then the pupil will be greeted by a smile and they can continue with their positive, happy lunchtime. 

Step 3. Red Line Behaviour  

Bullying, racism, violence, swearing or outright defiance (e.g. refusing 5 minutes reflection and not taking responsibility for their actions). A member of the SLT will be informed and will come and speak with the pupil. Once the incident has been resolved, the pupil will be taken back to the lunchtime adult to apologise for their behaviour and will then carry out their 2-minute reflection time alongside the lunchtime adult. Afterwards, a big smile will show that all is resolved and the pupil can continue with their happy lunchtime.  


Lunchtime team can award poms poms freely for positive behaviour during lunchtime.  Pom poms will be collected in five sweet jars (one per class). Class teachers will look at the pom pom jars with their pupils to reinforce the positive play that has just taken place during that lunchtime.  The winning class will be announced during a Friday celebration assembly and will be awarded ‘The Golden Lunchbox’. Inside there will be a reward for all the class to share and celebrate. 

Certificate – each lunchtime adult will nominate a pupil for a special mention in the celebration assembly.  Certificates will include pupil name, staff name and reason for the award.  

The Table of AWESOMENESS -  Once every half-term the lunchtime team will nominate pupils to eat their lunch on ‘The Table of Awesomeness’ alongside one of the lunchtime adults. The table will be decorated and will contain special food treats.  

How will lunchtime run? 

The Zone – an area of playground will be known as ‘The Zone’. Each day a different activity will take place, drawn from a wide range of activities designed to appeal to differing ‘styles’ of play. The Zone will be supervised by a member of the lunchtime team who will determine each day’s activity.  The adult will ensure the rules are known and respected. The Zone is designed to be inclusive – a place where everybody is welcome to come and play.  

 Rules for the Zone 

  • Use the equipment in the zone – it can’t be taken out of the zone 

  • Everyone can join in (Children should reply ‘Of course you can’ when asked by another child if they can join in) 

Inside The Dining Hall 

Staff and pupils want to ensure that the hall is a quiet and pleasant area to eat dinner.   Staff will use an orange card to indicate that the volume is too loud/ turn it down and a red card if this doesn’t happen.  Pupils will be set a challenge to have 6 consecutive days without a red card.  Further challenges will be then set e.g. 10 days will be awarded with music in the hall. 

Wet Playtimes

We will have KS1 and EYFS in one zone and KS2 in a different zone. Within the zones there will be a choice of 3 areas, an active, a cinema and a quiet area. Pupils will have to decide which area they would like to go in at the start of their playtime and remain for the duration of wet playtime. 

Lunchtime staff will meet with the Mrs Shelley once every half-term to review the system.