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School Dinners

Positive Playtimes

Positive Playtimes is a scheme run by the children of St Mary Magdalen’s Primary School at lunchtimes with the back up of the mid-day supervisors.  It involves different zones which are run by our ‘Lunch Squad’ members. Each zone has different equipment for children to play with.

Lunch Squad team members were ‘employed’ at the start of the scheme. All children are invited to join Lunch Squad and nobody is turned down. It is open to children from years 1 – 6. New members can join at any time. They work on a 4-weekly rota and the members change zones each time they are on duty. They work in a team of 2 or 3 on each zone, helping other children to play, making sure that nobody is acting inappropriately and helping to tidy up at the end. They have special uniform to wear and come to ‘Lunch Squad’ meetings to discuss lunchtimes, sort out any problems or put forward suggestions.

The children have completely taken ownership of their lunchtime play. They more or less run it by themselves and get great enjoyment out of it. It helps them develop their emotional, behavioural and social skills.


“It makes playtimes fair and lunch squad members are calm and organised.”

“It’s fun, it’s fair, it’s generous.”

“Before it was boring because there weren’t many games but now you can do lots of different games.”

“I like yellow zone, I like to play the games.”

“I like the bottom playground because you can dress up and have fun.”

“It’s changed because people have been playing more kindly and it’s a lot better than it was. I like the tokens because they make the whole school happy.”

“I joined because I wanted to do something useful.”

“I want to help others and its fun.”


All children have the chance to earn tokens at lunchtime for playing nicely and these are collected weekly from each class.   Winners are rewarded on Friday in assembly. Lunch Squad members are also rewarded each half-term with a certificate and a small prize in the last Friday assembly.

We also had the chance to share our practice with two other Primary Schools. We led a training session with the MDSA’s at the schools. They have visited our school to observe lunchtimes and are in the process of setting up their own lunchtime scheme. 

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