Best Practice

Therapeutic schools: Rethinking lunch and break times

Continuing her regular series, expert Shahana Knight advises schools on supporting the emotional and mental health of children and staff, offering easy-to-implement and cost-effective activities. Here she focuses on rethinking lunch times and your outdoor spaces

Dinner time and break time can often be overlooked in a busy school environment, where staff have a few precious moments to grab a cup of tea before the kids come back in.

However this is often the most difficult time of day for those children struggling with adverse life experiences and childhood trauma. It is important to remember that these children already have high levels of stress hormones. They are also more likely to feel threatened and will be working from an instinctive part of their brain, focused on survival, rather than the rational regulated parts of the brain that we might expect.

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