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Toilet Breaks

(10 Posts)
kaztigers Tue 14-Jun-11 16:22:30

Bit of a sensitive one this one...I have a new class of students aged between 4 and 6 years. When one of them needs the loo, they decide they all do, and this is very disruptive. Our class is 90 minutes long with a break halfway through. How can I nip this in the bud without causing problems for those that genuinely need to pay a visit?

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Jun-11 18:23:25

At secondary to weed out the timewasters we say if they need the loo, they will have to stay back at lunch for 5 minutes to make up the time. They usually change their mind. Have no idea if that would be appropriate with 4 year olds!

gordongrumblebum Tue 14-Jun-11 19:24:45

Put down a firm rule that they have to go before school, at break, at lunch and in afternoon break. You will be left with the timewasters, who you will be able to identify anyway because of their lack of concentration in the classroom.

You will then be able to tell the children who genuinely want to go... they will be jiggling anyway! (But always remind them that they should have gone at break (lunch, etc) Give them 30 seconds to get there and back!

When children ask to go, ask them if they can wait x minutes until the end of the lesson. Most will (as most who want to go just want a little rest from working.)

If you have loads of children wanting to go, then you are doing something wrong. They are not engaged. Change your lesson or give the whole class a run round or do a little shaking exercise.

Don't encourage water suckling in lessons. Children are quite able to go an hour - an hour and a half without water (which is the most a primary aged child has to endure).

kaztigers Tue 14-Jun-11 21:07:30

That's great, thank you. I probably should have mentioned, it's actually a performing arts school, so they're jiggling about anyway...and the loos are quite futuristic, which I think is only adding to the appeal! My biggest worry was how long young children can go without genuinely needing to pay a visit, but this has helped to settle my mind that the mid-session break should be ample.

Thanks again - I will let you know jow I get on!

freerangeeggs Tue 14-Jun-11 21:19:13

I always say "ask me a again in five minutes, I just want to tell you about x first".

The ones who don't really need to go almost invariably forget to ask again.

I'm secondary though smile Maybe the wee ones can't hold it in as well!

LetsEscape Tue 14-Jun-11 21:34:23

Have a band (like a sports sash) so only one or two children can go at a time. I used to have one for boys and one for girls. They have to wait for the others to get back before they go. This stops a party taking place in the loo. At 4 to 6 years , many can't hold for long especially boys so not letting them go can be a problem.

SandStorm Tue 14-Jun-11 21:38:44

I don't let friends go together. I use the "wait till Freddy gets back, then you can go" method. That often weeds out the ones who really need to go and those who just want a chat and a play with their chums.

manicinsomniac Wed 15-Jun-11 00:04:43

I also have a one at a time policy and always ask them if they can wait X minutes till the end (though, if they say no, I let them go!)

Also, off topic but a Performing Arts school that takes infants - fantastic! I had no idea such places existed. Are there many around?

mummytime Wed 15-Jun-11 06:28:22

Do a one at a time policy. (And I'd put preference for the very little ones, otherwise you might have accidents.)
Actually I would start each lesson making sure they had all been before we start. 90 minutes is also a very very long time for 4 year olds to concentrate, so I would assume you have lots of time when it is less disruptive to let them go in dribs and drabs. Also make sure that when they come back they return without making a big fuss and disruption, make it part of the challenge for them.

I did know one teacher who had an opne go to the toilet policy, the classroom had an in/out board and you moved your name as you went to the oilet, and then moved it back as you returned. So the teacher always could tell at a glance who was supposed to be in the classroom and who was out, this worked well for her.

kaztigers Wed 15-Jun-11 09:29:00

You've all been incredibly helpful, thank you so much - I am definitely going to adopt the one at a time policy (at the moment it's in pairs which I expect only adds to the fun!) and I'll try the distracting them by telling them we'll just finish this dance/song etc then ask me again.

Manicinsommniac - I don't know which region you're in but I'm in Leicester where I know of at least three. The academy I run is one of 28 so there may be one near you - I'm new to Mumsnet so don't know if I'm supposed to mention names? Obviously I'm biased(!) but I have worked with infants in performing arts for 4 years and it's a brilliant opportunity to help develop their confidence and social skills.

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