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What is golden time?

(25 Posts)
sirfredfredgeorge Fri 27-May-16 13:13:42

Lots of posts talk about "golden time", and it being taken away etc. I get the idea of it being a reward / punishment system where by you can lose it from bad behaviour. I get that the pupil chooses what they're doing during it. But how does that actually work, what activities are they choosing from? And how does it differ to the semi-directed choosing that is the majority of EYFS for the schools who have it then.

DD's school doesn't do it, so I'm just trying to understand the posts on here and the sort of level of punishment/reward it might be.

SavoyCabbage Fri 27-May-16 13:24:37

It's free time. Choosing what they want to play with. So if they love drawing then they get draw. Without being directed what they might like to draw. If they like looking at books, they can look at the books.

Usually they would get to choose what to get out which may be things that they see and play with during the week and some schools will have things that they only get out in golden time.

SpidersFromMars Fri 27-May-16 14:10:21

I think it's an older primary thing, rather than EYFS.

BackforGood Fri 27-May-16 14:30:30

Varies from school to school, but isn't generally something that would happen if the children are following the EYFS, it's generally something used with older Primary children, who sadly have no opportunities to "just paint" or whatever they like to do at school anymore.

ChoudeBruxelles Fri 27-May-16 14:31:42

Time to do what they want. Ds earns it during the week so the class gets up to 30 mins on a Friday afternoon.

BananaDaiquiri Fri 27-May-16 15:10:22

At DD's school they have it from year 1 to year 6 (so not EYFS). They all get it as standard in year 1 , but it can be lost (or part of it lost) for poor behaviour. There are a set of "golden rules" they are supposed to follow such as "We are kind", "We listen" etc etc. On Friday they get their golden time and can put their name down for what they want to do. There are arty activities, sporty activities, cooking, gardening etc.

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 27-May-16 20:50:17

Thanks - so the reception years who do it, presumably have less free choosing during the rest of the time.

Not sure how much cooking / gardening etc. you'll get it 30 minutes, but it does sound a bit more interesting than just drawing or reading which never sounded like much of a reward.

SavoyCabbage Fri 27-May-16 21:23:21

Part of it is that different dc will want to do different things. You'd like to do cooking or gardening but other people wouldn't.

Dungandbother Fri 27-May-16 23:25:45

Our school have an hour on Friday afternoon.
They share classroom and games mixing up the years. They go outside to forest school. They have class shows and performances.

It's a discipline thing. Children can lose golden time through the week in minute blocks (age appropriate). At our school if lost you go to the hall. They sit in absolute silence with the head.

To my inexpert eye (parent not teacher) the same children lose it week in week out. Doesn't seem to do them any good. But I think it does reward those who do and can behave in a positive manner.

LittleNelle Sat 28-May-16 00:03:40

In my school EYFS doesn't do it. Other years have 45 minutes and choose from activities e.g. zumba, yoga, parachute games, football, colouring, computer games, lego, junk modelling.

StickTheDMWhereTheSunDontShine Sat 28-May-16 00:10:41

Local school works it so kids (Y1-6) can earn golden tickets, which give them first dibs on which organised activity they want to do for golden time. Other kids choose from what's left. There are options like lego and computers for kids who don't want to be organised into a line dance, or whatever.

It takes some pretty severe bad behaviour to lose any golden time.

Saffy1981 Sun 29-May-16 13:16:33

My daughter's in Reception and they have 30 mins golden time on Friday afternoon, they get out certain things that are only used for golden time like specific golden time toys, fun learning resources, games etc and set out activities that they only get to do during golden time, like putting on a puppet show or making / crafting something like a butterfly or plane mobile to take home and hang on their bedroom ceiling. They get to choose what they want to do and it's seen as a "treat", if they want to use the usual class resources they can, if they want to take turns on the computer or sit and read books or write or draw they can, it's up to each child. Dd sys she usually goes for the toys or activity.

I think they start it in Reception at our school because they say it's a reward system they've found works so well they use it from the start. They get a warning for behaviour or doing something and if they carry on they get a final warning and their name goes on the last warning board, if they still carry on doing whatever it is they then lose a minute of golden time. Apparently the most anyone's ever lost is 3 minutes over the course of one week and even losing one minute was enough to upset dd so much she cried in class, all the way home, most of the evening and even woke up in the night having had a bad dream about losing golden time! On the Friday she was so upset again and dreading it, then so relieved to get that 1 lost minute over with and be able to join in with all the others that she hasn't lost any more golden time since then, and believe me she is no angel so not something that comes naturally to her, so it's a system that works!

Emochild Sun 29-May-16 16:46:15

Golden time is pointless

I've known children lose the entire session by Tuesday -so where is the incentive to behave for the rest of the week?

Also in the summer golden time seems to involve sending the whole school out onto the field

What if you don't want to go on the field?

Stupid system

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 30-May-16 14:08:10

I suspect the schools that start it in eyfs probably just have a badly thought out whole school policy that they've applied to reception.

As a disciple policy it isn't very effective for many children. Usually the ones that you'd want to benefit from it.

NotCitrus Mon 30-May-16 16:28:03

Ds's school did do it from Reception, with the idea that it was a chance for all children to wind down after working well all week. There was the chance for kids to lose some of it but more usually from playtime, and the teacher made clear that the time lost would be an absolute maximum of three minutes and generally less given that they'd miss the scrum to pick up their coats and get out the door!

Like most discipline measures I think it could be used effectively or harshly or become ineffective, depending on the skill of the teacher to apply it appropriately.

sirfredfredgeorge Mon 30-May-16 17:19:00

I can't imagine DD would give two hoots about losing some time choosing something - most days she's only ever "told off" for having her hands in her pockets as she wanders around the classroom during "choosing time".

Thanks again for everyone's insight.

Saffy1981 Wed 01-Jun-16 13:18:29

Can I just ask what other systems are used in other schools for young children? I genuinely have no idea as DD is our only and I have nothing to compare it to.

I got flamed once when I posted asking for some advice when DD was getting into trouble at school, bearing in mind she is in Reception and was 4 at the time, she wasn't / isn't like most of the girls in her class who are either very mature or very clever, or just quiet, she is high energy and would rather be outside on the climbing frame with the boys and the 2 other girls like her, when the others girls choose to sit inside at break carrying on with their writing or doing colouring. What type of system works for these kids? Ones who aren't always listening or compliant, the high energy ones? I'm genuinely very interested, please don't now flame me for having The Disruptive Child (she's a lot better now anyway) who's ruining education for everyone else because of my slack parenting as I was told before 😦

mrsvilliers Wed 01-Jun-16 14:09:58

DS in reception has golden time for over two hours on Friday afternoon. I feel it's quite a structured timetable Tues-Thurs with Friday being more relaxed so just assumed it was wind down time. DS has never mentioned it being used as a disciplinary tool although they do get toys removed if they start messing. Saffy DS''s class has a zone board - they start the day off being on one colour then can move up and down dependent on the work they've done and / or their behaviour.

drspouse Thu 02-Jun-16 10:53:34

Saffy I also have a high energy child and am concerned about this type of system. The school we are on the waiting list for seems to use some kind of traffic light system in the older years (they don't seem to have a "system" as such for younger children) but they did say they they don't use a one-size-fits-all approach.

mrz Thu 02-Jun-16 11:42:05
What is found in many schools isn't really "Golden Time" schools just use the label for their own systems.

drspouse Thu 02-Jun-16 11:49:36

Although I know my DS is quite young (he is 4 and only starting Reception in September) I don't have any particular confidence that he'll be able to think ahead from the start of the week's behaviour to Golden Time on Friday, even in a year or two's time.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 02-Jun-16 11:59:16

Most reception children will have a similar issue drspouse. It also drags out an incident of misbehaviour over a period of time rather than moving on from it.

drspouse Thu 02-Jun-16 12:38:43

That's a very good point Rafals, I know it's best for my DS if we sort out the bad behaviour and move on, however much I am continuing to fume, it makes him much easier to deal with if we then say "well done for XX" after he has stopped doing whatever it was (pretty much the definition of positive reinforcement).

How rubbish is it to have the bad behaviour then revisited when you've been trying all week to be good?

samlovesdilys Fri 03-Jun-16 07:28:43

I really like the idea that the quiet, well behaved children are rewarded...but I have two boys who regularly lose their golden time due to silly behaviour through the week, and as the 'punishment' is to sit and read, or to 'help' the classroom teacher prepare for the following week (both tasks they are v happy to do and in no way a punishment) they are really not bothered...

Saffy1981 Sun 05-Jun-16 14:42:04

I agree it drags out whatever they have done potentially all week if something happens on a Mon or Tues, and all that did with my dd was make her lose her confidence and cause her anxiety til she'd finally received her punishment on the Friday! Yes our school has golden rules as well as the golden time and I can see how it all fits together as a reward / sanction system, things like be kind, helpful, listen and be quiet - that's the one my bouncy chatterbox finds hard and gets told off for!

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