The independent London newspaper

Why I feel sorry for pupils told: ‘No changeover chat’

28 September, 2018

City of London Academy Highbury Hill: ‘Surely the point is to teach children to to talk quietly not to shout’

• I COULDN’T help feeling sorry for pupils at City of London Academy Highbury Hill in light of the new rules strictly forbidding them from talking at lesson changeover times, (School chat ban for kids in corridors at Archway academy, September 14).

I am a former pupil of Mount Carmel, which was on the same school site, and I remember a fairly pleasant sound echoing around the thick walls of the old building at changeover times. It didn’t disturb me at all.

I’m a parent now and, while I understand the need for discipline, surely the point is to teach children to behave appropriately – to talk quietly not to shout?

I don’t think that snap reactions like this so early in the term set a good example of tolerance or patience. Schools can be intimidating places. I remember being so nervous when I started at school that my pen would shake.

We had plenty of discipline at Mount Carmel, but also I remember kindness from teachers such as headteacher Ms Eisen, who liked to teach year 7 pupils so she could get to know them.

Furthermore, reflection is a key part of learning, and not to allow pupils to talk about the lessons they have just experienced would reduce their capacity to commit new information to memory.

Also, it’s not an easy school site to navigate, so what are pupils supposed to do if they get lost?



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