Friday Hero

4th March 2005 at 00:00
The "table of the week", where six pupils have lunch with the headteacher as a reward for good behaviour, is the brainchild of senior midday supervisor June White.

The best table in the dining room of Gordonbrock primary school, is decked out with Sunday best cutlery, posh plates, a tablecloth, flowers and has waiter service.

June's schemes to encourage good behaviour and foster friendships have made "a profound impact" on playtime at the 550 pupil school in Brockley, south east London, according to deputy head Naheeda Maharasingam, who nominated June for our flowers, chocolates and champagne.

"I have been the deputy head for four years and have been overwhelmed by her commitment," says Naheeda. "There has been a direct reduction in fighting and poor behaviour at lunchtime because of the things she has implemented."

June has worked at the school for more than 20 years. Among her many innovations are a playground friends scheme, for which she recruits and trains volunteer pupils, and a quiet room for children who don't like the rough and tumble of the playground. In addition, she holds half termly "circle time" for the 10 staff that work with her, and has bought play equipment and games to keep the children entertained.

June also works as a learning support assistant with Year 6 and "she is fantastic at that too", says Naheeda. "She tells the children she is learning at the same time as them and for them to see an adult learning with them is an incredibly powerful message.

"She is incredibly fair, listening to children's ideas and managing both girls and boys skilfully. She is always open to new ideas and all the children love and respect her. She's an amazing woman."

Is there an unsung hero in your school? Tell Sarah Bayliss, TESFriday editor, about him or her at the address opposite. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks Spencer

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