Give Them A Break

People say your schooldays are the best days of your life. My best times at school were 10.45, 12.30 and 2pm because these were breaktimes.
But a recent ongoing survey states that breaktimes for children have actually decreased over the past 23 years because of an overloaded school curriculum being taught and the quality of those break times has diminished because pupils no longer get the social stimulation or healthy physical activity they need to enjoy later life.
The study argues that break times are being spent in relative isolation as many children now prefer to interact with their phones than speak to an actual person. The other downside is that it’s hard to engage in any physical playground activity whilst watching cats playing pianos on YouTube, so children become less fit and can succumb to later health problems.
My school breaktimes were the total opposite and started by a handbell and a mass chaotic scramble for the exit doors. By the time you’d kicked and punched your way through your classmates to get to the playground, you had already burnt off 1,500 calories.
You were also forced to talk to other children as it was the only way you could swap football stickers because miming footballers names took forever.
Breaktimes were ended in a mad Pavlovian manner where a handbell was rung for everyone to stand still, followed by a second bell for pupils to walk and assemble in straight, orderly class lines and in ascending height order.
The headmaster would judge which class queue was the best behaved and elect them to go into lessons accordingly.
And because we were so competitive or stupid, at no point did we think to start a conga so as we’d be the last class to go indoors and have shorter lessons.
If these recent findings are true, it’s scary to think we could soon be living in a society of sad, isolated, inactive couch potatoes who only interact with others through a keyboard. Oh wait. That’s me now.


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