Huff and puff time proves a real breeze

11th June 2004 at 01:00
A burst of activity, known as huff and puff time, has been introduced at a Leicestershire primary before, after and sometimes even during lesson time to allow pupils to let off steam.

Teachers at Fernvale school in Thurnby, can take the children out to an exercise area where they can play with hula hoops, ride bicycles or play games.

"We are finding that 'huff and puff' really works well," said Helen Elliot, headteacher. "We wanted a way of brightening up lessons and focusing the children's minds by doing something different. Being stuck inside all day listening to someone talk is not always much fun, and staff find this type of break is sharpening pupils' concentration.

"They can take their classes out for 10 minutes either before the start of a lesson, or during it, if they see the need. But it is not a case of the children madly running around the playground - it is structured activity."

There is a cycle track, an adventure trail and a choice of football, cricket or basketball. Since huff and puff was introduced, staff have found that arguments between pupils are fewer and accidents in school have decreased.

Mrs Elliot said: "There is not so much time left for anti-social behaviour and the activities make them learn how to share and take turns, as well as improving health and concentration."

"It's great," said one seven-year-old "It gets my heart pumping." active

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