Helen Amass

Why pupil friendships should be encouraged

Friendships can be seen as the scourge of classrooms - but research shows that having friends is a key part of learning

Making friends is an important part of the learning process, research shows

Last period on a Friday is a black hole on your timetable. Not because it’s the last lesson of the week, but because it’s your lesson with 9B, who see school as a chance to hang out with friends rather than learn.

Friendships, of course, are nice to have, but as you explain to 9B frequently, the classroom is not the place for them. Pupils already have plenty of opportunities to develop their social skills outside of school, where parents can take responsibility for doling out relationship advice and settling disputes. In lessons, friendships don’t – or rather shouldn’t – matter.

But how ...

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