- News & Events
- East London school claims it has eliminated bullying
East London school claims it has eliminated bullying
Rather than kicking a football around or jumping skipping ropes in the playground unsupervised, students practice sonnets by classic poets Shelley and Tennyson or quiz each other on capital cities
An east London school claims it has almost completely eliminated bullying by banning games such as football at lunch and break times.
Instead of “unstructured play” students at Hackney New School take part in supervised quizzes, poetry recitals or extracurricular activities when not in lessons. These include chess, orchestra, and choir clubs.
Headteacher Charlotte Whelan said there have been just five incidents of bullying reported in the last year, including cyberbullying during the lockdown, and there have been no permeant exclusions.
Rather than kicking a football around or jumping skipping ropes in the playground unsupervised, students practice sonnets by classic poets Shelley and Tennyson or quiz each other on capital cities.
Pupils have memorised poems Ozymandias and Charge of Light Brigade off by heart and recite them as they line up for lessons or when they are eating lunch, Ms Whelan said.
She added: “It’s long been my belief that we could be doing more for pupils while they on their breaks, so often you see them aimlessly wondering the playground. We want every second at school to count.
“We began by introducing the poetry recitals during break and lunch and the students really responded well. It evolved from there.
“Just yesterday a group of year 9 students beat me in a name the capital cities quiz, this would have been unthinkable two years ago.”
Ms. Whelan stressed students do still take exercise during break times and during PE lessons, but sports is “more structured”.
“They get exercise and play sport at break time but in a more structured way with teachers there to make sure behavior remains impeccable,” she said.