School bans hand-raising

School bans hand-raising
School bans hand-raising. School bans children from putting up their hands in class - and tells pupils to do a 'Fonz' thumbs up instead

* Parent: 'I thought it was a joke at first. It's daft. I can't see the logic in it'
* Headteacher: 'It is to stop the pupils waving arms about, which can be distracting. It has calmed the pupils down'

Generations of children have raised their hands in class to answer a teacher’s question.

But not, perhaps, for much longer if the example of one junior school is anything to go by.

Instead the 324 pupils, aged from seven to 11, at Burlington Junior School in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, have been asked to use a thumbs-up sign, with their arms lowered. The signal has, apparently, been adopted to promote a ‘calmer and inclusive’ atmosphere in the classroom.

Traditionalists may disagree, but the head teacher insists the change is popular with pupils and shows a ‘dynamic and innovative’ approach to teaching.

The thumbs up – with its echoes of Happy Days character the Fonz – was introduced at the start of term following a brainstorming session with staff. hand raising schools,  Burlington Junior School in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, school children The fonz, just daft  pupils, hand raising ban calmer classrooms,

Now all the children have been told to extend their thumbs while cupping their hand – and not raise their arms in class.

The system is also being ‘phased in’ among the infants.

One parent, driving instructor David Campleman, 44, said he is ‘bemused’ by the idea. ‘I thought it was a joke at first. It’s daft, I can’t see the logic in it,’ he added.

‘It’s not benefiting their education. They could focus on other things. Kids are used to putting their hands up, being told to do something different just confuses them. I think they should go back to the old way of putting your hand up in class.’

However, head teacher Cheryle Adams said the move helps ‘engage with the children in a positive way’.

She said there were issues of concern with the arm-raising system.

‘Some children are always keen to raise their hand and others are more reticent,’ she explained. ‘Hands up can sometimes be more of a distraction for young children.

‘It can put them off because they have to put their ideas forward in a forceful way. You normally get half a dozen who will regularly put up their hand and another half a dozen who will never put their hand up.

‘You also get arms in front of faces and that sort of thing.

‘With the thumbs up, more and more children are ready to do that because it’s not a very overt thing. There’s nothing wrong at all with putting your arm in the air – this is just another approach to promote a calmer, more inclusive atmosphere.

‘Teaching is an ever-evolving profession and we need to engage children in lots of dynamic ways.’

Another innovation at the school has teachers selecting a pupil to answer a question by writing each child’s name on a ‘lolly stick’ and picking one at random from a box.