Jogo Behaviour Support Blog



Lunchtime Supervisor Training
By Rachael Taylor

Jogo Behaviour Support provide a wide range of training services to schools, one course which I really enjoy running is especially designed for Lunchtime Supervisors.  Training can be adapted to meet individual needs, but I have found that the one-day course is particularly effective. Often Lunchtime staff spend very little time together and this can sometimes lead to tension developing within the team. Lunchtime Supervisors can feel marginalised and lack the self-confidence needed to make constructive changes. This course enables the team to talk openly about their experiences as well as reflecting on their day-to-day interactions with pupils.

Lunchtimes can be particularly challenging for pupils with Special Educational Needs and some Lunchtime Supervisors have received very little training in this area. I have found that once staff develop a better understanding of pupils’ individual needs they are more likely to deal with difficult situations in a calm assertive manner. Pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties frequently struggle to self-regulate and interact positively with their peers during unstructured periods. These are key skills that need to be taught and practised in a safe and supportive environment. This course sets out to highlight the opportunities that lunchtimes can provide to develop better social skills.

Self-regulation is a key skill that all pupils need to develop in order to manage their ‘big’ feelings and consider the needs of others. Lunchtime Supervisors can play a pivotal role in supporting pupils as they start to develop a better awareness of their early warning signs and take steps to self-regulate. As role models within the school environment it is imperative that this behaviour is modelled and reinforced by all adults at all times. Lunchtimes also provide a great opportunity to promote the development of play skills which in turn have a beneficial impact on pupils’ ability to self-regulate and co-operate with others.

We have found that this training can motivate and empower staff, one lady told me “I didn’t know that I was allowed to go to the celebration assembly…. I thought it was just for parents”. Lunchtime Supervisors play a vital role in schools, but this can sometimes go unnoticed due to a whole range of factors. As both my Grandma and Mother-in Law were ‘dinner ladies’ for many years I love having this opportunity to remind Lunchtime Supervisors just how important they really are!


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