To not want my child to have to eat outside in November?

(161 Posts)
Verycold Fri 30-Nov-12 22:32:57

Found out today that at my ds's junior school the children have repeatedly been made to eat their packed lunch outside, even after half term. They have a system where they only eat in classrooms if it's wet, otherwise they supposedly all eat in the hall and get called in bit by bit when there is room - or so we thought until it we found out otherwise today! Would this bother you? Not very comfortable to eat outside in the cold surely?

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Sat 01-Dec-12 09:21:43

I don't sign up to the 'if the children are asked to do something, the teachers should be doing it to'. I don't get that train of thought at all.

However I still wouldn't want DS to be outside eating his lunch.
It's bloody freezing.

Hulababy Sat 01-Dec-12 09:24:19

At our school the teachers have nothing to do with lunch time. Not their decisions and they are not "on duty" so in many ways it is irrelevant. The children are supervised by other staff though who, when the children eat outside, are also sat or stood outside with them.

Our hall is not large enough for all the children. If the children are not outside they are in a classroom to eat. Not ideal but old Victorian buildings can't really be modified to allow all to fit in a school hall.

I was pretty shocked to see children still sat outside eating lunch last week, but tbh the children don't seem to think anything of it.

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Sat 01-Dec-12 09:27:22

Same as my DS's school Hula - teachers don't have any lunchtime duty unless they are doing clubs.
Could the school not do 'sittings', that's what lots of schools do?

diddl Sat 01-Dec-12 09:29:07

"There aren't many staff, they're adults who don't make a mess with food / need supervision and they probably want a break from our little darlings during their lunch break. "

Hardly the fault of the kids though, is it?

Hulababy Sat 01-Dec-12 09:29:54

They already do for school dinners. Hall is also our main hall - so also used for assemblies, PE, singing, music, etc. so needs to cleaned and ready for use straight after lunch too. Hence use of classrooms for packed lunches, if not outside.

diddl Sat 01-Dec-12 09:34:13

I guess this is why here in Germany, school ends in time for kids to go home for lunch!

TeddyBare Sat 01-Dec-12 10:26:11

Diddl - I didn't say it was the dc's fault. Clearly the problem is with whoever decides the funding and has left a school without enough room to have everyone indoors eating lunch at the same time.
But if you want intelligent, professional, capable adults to spend their time looking after hoards of other people's children for not much money then you have to accept that you can't also expect to treat them like children. Of course if what you're aiming for is for the teaching profession to be full of people who didn't actually choose it but are stuck with it for the time being then treating teachers like dc is a step in the right direction. Part of the reason I chose to home school is because our local school has such a high staff turn over and the teachers seem so unhappy and dissatisfied. I don't think that's good for education but some parent's seem to want to encourage it.

shinyrobot Sat 01-Dec-12 10:26:46

At our local primary it is optional for children who have a packed lunch. They can eat outside as soon as the lunch bell goes or they can wait until it is their class's turn to go into the dining hall. There is a covered area ouside with seating so they can eat outside in light rain too, should they choose to. My DD always eats outside, my DS prefers to eat inside. DD says there are usually staff members eating outside too.

Children having a school lunch eat inside only.

My main concern would be that they had somewhere to be when they eat - are there tables and chairs outside, as there are in the dining hall?

Enigmosaurus Sat 01-Dec-12 10:41:54

At our school the children are called in class by class. Those eating packed lunches go in with those having dinners. Everyone gets to eat inside. I certainly wouldn't want to eat outside at the moment and I wouldn't be at all happy if my children were being made to.

It's not about whether the staff are supervising. It's about chucking children outside because they're children so have to lump it. The staff could choose to go outside and eat their lunch under a tree if they wished but I bet they don't.

But if it such a good idea to eat outside then the teachers would want to do it too. Perhpas not alongside the children. But I daresay the teachers would say that it is too cold and not very to eat outside in the winter. The same should apply to the children.

diddl Sat 01-Dec-12 11:28:26

"Clearly the problem is with whoever decides the funding and has left a school without enough room to have everyone indoors eating lunch at the same time."

Obviously-but it´s the children who "suffer"- for want of a better word- by having to eat outside whether they want to or not.

I don´t see why that´s acceptable just because they are primary school children.

redpanda13 Sat 01-Dec-12 11:50:20

My only worry about that would be DD would probably not eat her lunch. She loves being outdoors and is one of those children who strips off in all weathers.Once she is in that playground she is running about all over the place. I send her to school lunches as I found that she was regularly not eating her snack at playtime or packed lunches and that was supervised indoors! She just wanted out to play as quickly as possible. I doubt she is eating all her school lunches but I now dont see the evidence.

diddl Sat 01-Dec-12 12:02:28

I don´t object to kids eating outside even when it´s cold, btw.

It´s them having to as that´s where the supervision is/the dining hall isn´t big enough or sittings not organised well enough.

What would happen if more kids decided to have school lunch-would a way be found them of getting them all through the dining hall??

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sat 01-Dec-12 12:23:24

I think as long as they are wrapped up and then go off and play, I can't see the problem.

edam Sat 01-Dec-12 12:27:29

If it's cold enough to wear gloves, it's too cold to eat outside, given you need the use of your hands and you can't actually eat a sandwich while wearing gloves. If it's too cold for the staff to eat outside, it's too cold for the children. It has been really freezing recently and I certainly wouldn't eat outside.

Suspect this is about the school's convenience rather than about giving the children fresh air.

ivykaty44 Sat 01-Dec-12 12:40:11

Sounds much better than sitting in a stuff hall eating with lots of coughs and colds going around.

Far better to be outside in fresh air that isn't all stuffy and cold ridden.

The children play outside so why not eat outside and enjoy a dry day and cough and cold free atmosphere.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 01-Dec-12 12:47:51

A lot of primary schools I think struggle with this issue at the moment due to a lack of primary school places in many areas. LAs are coping by creating temporary classroom and encouraging schools to increase class size without actually doing anything to improve the infrastructure.

Viviennemary Sat 01-Dec-12 12:49:46

That is disgraceful. It's cruel.

seeker Sat 01-Dec-12 13:06:07

Oh, ffs!

ilovetermtime Sat 01-Dec-12 13:43:48

I see nothing wrong with children eating outside if it's dry. They don't feel the cold in the same way as us oldies, and anyway, I always had to eat outside when I was a child and it never did me any harm <wink>.

ilovetermtime Sat 01-Dec-12 13:44:43

I've got photos of my two in the sea in their pants in November as proof too!

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 01-Dec-12 14:34:27

How many of those complaining make their children go outside to play
or make them go to church on the weekend or do other activities that they do not want to do.

squeakytoy Sat 01-Dec-12 14:38:48

I cant see any problem with it. I was in town this morning and it was bitter cold, but there were people sat on benches eating things that they had bought from the various bakeries and sandwich shops.. I am assuming the children are allowed to wear their coats, so dont see how it does them any harm.

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