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Does your school have an alternative system to Golden Time?

(84 Posts)
OdinsLoveChild Sun 09-Oct-16 10:55:12

I hate Golden Time, it's just been introduced to our school along by the new head (I wish they would think up their own ways of running a school instead of just carrying over something from their previous schools) .

The head has removed afternoon breaks for years 5/6 and replaced it with this Golden Time where the year 5/6 students can earn an afternoon break of 30 minutes on a Friday instead (none of this doing painting/baking/sports activity stuff) . Not exactly something to inspire the children and not exactly a reward if its chucking it down with rain and their stuck inside, it's more of a reminder of whats been taken away from them hmm.

I have spoken with the head (he asked me what I thought so far, I didnt go in 'guns blazing' complaining about it or anything) about 'golden time' and explained why I think its not really suitable but he is adamant he wont change it unless someone can suggest a better system (he wants recognised school/education websites and online documents to refer to) . He believes there is no better behaviour/discipline system and its been used in all the schools he has ever taught in.

What works in your school that isn't Golden Time?

Lilaclily Sun 09-Oct-16 10:59:15

My dcs school have golden time

They love It!

They also have the jar read system so that when the jar is full the whole class gets to choose something as a reward , one term it was a bisco which apparently was a disco with biscuits

Much better than the raffle ticket they won for good work / behaviour which were pulled out of a hat every Friday afternoon but then the same kids can get pulled out of the hat as it's random , and you can't not put a kid who has already won the raffle back in cos then they'd say well I'll not bother for the rest of the year then hmm

Mistoffelees Sun 09-Oct-16 11:04:51

Once the new curriculum came in golden time was abolished in our school because that extra time was needed for learning. There is also evidence that golden time doesnt work for some children, for example those with SEN, as on a Monday earning or losing golden time is too abstract a concept, they need something immediate. We have house points for good behaviour and ks2 are using the class dojo system for learning behaviour, not sure what rewards they get as part of that but apparently it's been very well received by the children.

OdinsLoveChild Sun 09-Oct-16 11:12:02

Ive read on lots of blogs/pages that there's evidence Golden Time doesn't work but I cant actually find that evidence written down. Does anyone know where it is?

atomicpanda Sun 09-Oct-16 11:14:41

IME the children most likely to lose out on golden time are the children with SEN/SN who struggle to concentrate and complete their work.

TheTyrannyOfMAGENTA Sun 09-Oct-16 11:19:27

Our school just scrapped golden time for ks2 and replaced it with buddy reading, so they pair up y3/y5 and y4/y6 and read together. Far from promoting reading as fun the kids hate it!

AnotherVeryQuickQuestion Sun 09-Oct-16 11:40:15

My dc lives for golden time.

Mistoffelees Sun 09-Oct-16 11:49:13

You may not find written evidence unfortunately, most evidence will come from teachers and other professionals who have seen first hand children for whom it doesn't work.

Caipira Sun 09-Oct-16 12:19:57

My kids' school doesn't have any reward system. They are just expected to behave and work. They have breaks because they need them, they have fun days because they're children, they can bring toys on Friday and play games. They are not expected to earn that though all the children are included.
We're not in the UK so school is still just school, all aspects of rewards is a foreign concept. Their reward is their own success rather than having to please adults to get handout treats. One of my sons has SEN. He has improved since he stopped being singled out or pressured into conforming in order to be included.
My children's school in the UK had golden time, I didn't have an opinion one way or another. My children were neither motivated or unmotivated by it. Children with behavioural problems could earn rewards for good behaviour like trips to the supermarket, baking or going into the playground. My son often used to say that in order to get good things first you had to be naughty. He had a point.

mrz Sun 09-Oct-16 13:02:57

We don't have golden time we have lessons

NoNutsPlease Sun 09-Oct-16 13:09:11

I think it works well in my school, but they have the whole of Friday afternoon. 30 mins seems a bit pointless and is hardly something to motivate the children!

NotCitrus Sun 09-Oct-16 14:03:31

Ds's school has what they call golden time but it's just time to choose what you want to do for 20 min on a Friday, doesn't seem to be linked to behaviour. Seems harmless enough. They have a card-changing system which seems to work OK with different requirements for different children.

HopeClearwater Sun 09-Oct-16 14:06:43

Waste of time. If used for reward then in some schools you end up with a significant number of resentful children who haven't 'earned' it by Friday and for whom some other activity needs to be found.

paxillin Sun 09-Oct-16 15:31:42

Ours have lessons and breaks at that age. They used to have golden time in reception and year 1.

bettycat81 Sun 09-Oct-16 17:45:14

Ours has several rewards and awards including golden time. IMO it undermines the school to run such schemes. Do they not trust children to produce good work or behave in the right way unless their is the incentive of a reward? Should the reward not be the knowledge they gain in the classroom?

The only reward scheme I actually think is effective is the reading scheme whereby if the child reads at home they get points at a set number of points they earn a book.... so their reward for reading is another book to read... however if they took the reward away I think that the motivation to read would be lost.... so it hasn't really worked. Instead of a motivation they need to be inspired to read... to want to read...

TeacherBob Sun 09-Oct-16 21:55:59

My class (not a whole school approach) have 'special writing time'. It is basically golden time (they can choose anything) but they all decide to choose from my boxes of superhero/princess/scrap paper writing frames, special reading books and special pens (gel,glitter.candy,superhero etc), and clip boards, they can write anywhere, inside or out.

I love that they see writing as a reward and choose to do it.

We earn minutes by getting marbles in a jar for finding diagraphs in words etc, depending on our phonics targets.

I should add this is especially effective for boys writing.

Ditsy4 Sun 09-Oct-16 22:01:25

I like the sound of that Bobsmile

TeacherBob Sun 09-Oct-16 22:10:16

Thanks Ditsy

It gives me such a buzz seeing the children choose to write, especially the boys. And because it is linked to targets, everyone joins in. We succeed as a team together.

The boxes I use are here...
Big one for 'My own books that are so special I will share them with you' (20 books for £20 from the works)
Medium one fits a4 paper perfectly
Small one for pens

The children love it. If you believe special writing time is amazing, so will they smile

HopeClearwater Sun 09-Oct-16 22:46:04

Nice one, TeacherBob, but they're digraphs, not diagraphs...

HopeClearwater Sun 09-Oct-16 22:49:31

Brilliantly argued bettycat. We should stop these constant extrinsic reward systems.

TeacherBob Mon 10-Oct-16 06:04:15


mrz Mon 10-Oct-16 06:06:39

Sorry I'm not clear is it special writing time or golden time? What do children do if they don't want to write?

TeacherBob Mon 10-Oct-16 06:15:19

It is effectively golden time. The children know they can choose anything they want (year 1 class that runs in the same was as a FS class does) and I tell them every single time they can choose anything they want.

But I call it special writing time, and always show them the new writing paper in the box. And when we get visitors into the room, we always as a class show them the marble jar and tell them the sounds we are searching for.

Idefix Mon 10-Oct-16 06:19:38

My ds would have hated 'special writing time' it would for him just add a layer of torture regarding how hard he found it to write. Ds was diagnosed with moderate dyslexia and dyspraxia at arround 8yrs.

In his mid-teens he went through a phase of writing for pleasure in the form of a futuristic story that he type. Is typing an option for children with specific learning needs Bob? It not that he was without creativity it is just that writing was/is physically painful and difficult for him especially after a full week of school

I can't believe all children love it, might be too polite to say so...

mrz Mon 10-Oct-16 06:21:23

Thanks. So effectively writing is an option for golden time but they could go to play dough or Lego?

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