Children not allowed water during lessons

(35 Posts)
Movement05 Thu 10-Sep-20 20:11:14

DS went into Year 2 on Thursday of last week. This evening, it came out that his class are not allowed access to their water bottles during lesson times or when the teacher is talking. The parent of another child has confirmed that this is the case.

DS doesn't seem to have suffered much because of this, but said that he was thirsty on one occasion, and he thinks other children have been thirsty from time to time too.

I get that children shouldn't get up when the teacher is talking, but don't understand why it would now be considered acceptable not to allow children access to water during a lesson. I believed the thinking was that school children were allowed to get a drink at any time. Obviously I wouldn't want lessons to be unduly disrupted by too many kids getting up for water during the lesson but surely there is a way for the teacher to manage this.

I get that children might 'try it on' with continuously getting up for water particularly during the first few days with a new teacher. But we're coming to the end of week 2 now, and that seems to be the class rule.

Can educators in primary schools enlighten me as to what current practice is? Has your school's policy with regard to access to water bottles changed during lock down? And do children have a fundamental right to water during lessons, or is it just considered good practice?

OP’s posts: |
kiwibee Thu 10-Sep-20 20:14:33

Most primary lessons are about 30-45 minutes long or 60 minutes if it’s a bigger task, so not a huge amount of time to go without drinking.

Noisy trips to the sink during the lesson input are not okay!

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Thu 10-Sep-20 20:19:44

We have them on their desks, drives me mad. Constant spillages, sucking on them through entire lessons then obviously needing the loo lots. I didn’t have water at my desk throughout childhood and cannot remember it ever being an issue. We have plenty of gaps between lessons for a drink, but my school run with constant access.

plixy Thu 10-Sep-20 20:19:55

I was not allowed to drink in class during my entire time at school. I never suffered. Considering how long lessons are it seems unnecessary distraction.

DramaLlama12 Thu 10-Sep-20 20:25:07

As above
I was never allowed water during lessons or frequent toilet breaks , if we didn't go break /lunchtime then it was every unusual to be allowed to go during class time
We managed without dying of thirst or wetting ourselves
VERY hot days we were allowed water , labelled , on the ledge with the odd sip
To be fair , if school started at 8.45, break was 10.15 , then lunch at 12pm for one hour with a 15 minute afternoon break , it's not too bad

dinosaurtin Thu 10-Sep-20 20:28:28

I work in a job where I don’t have constant access to a drink. Maybe it’s just a life lesson that we don’t need a drink next to us at all times.

NannyR Thu 10-Sep-20 20:30:51

I'm another one who never had access to water during lessons - we had water fountains in the playground to use at lunch and playtime and I don't recall feeling ill or unable to concentrate.
As an aside, I was born in the seventies, primary school in the eighties and I didn't own a specific water bottle as a child - I went on a school residential and on the packing list was a plastic bottle, it was suggested we got a bottle that had powdered milk in it (five pints brand???) and washed it out. When did carrying made-for-purpose water bottles become a "thing"?


fluffiphlox Thu 10-Sep-20 20:33:13

I’m ancient but managed to survive childhood and adolescence without drinking or going to the loo in lessons. I’m assuming schools still have playtime and a lunch break.

minipie Thu 10-Sep-20 20:33:34

What everyone else said. Other than really hot days (27 degrees+) I don’t see any need for children to have constant access to water. The young ones should be reminded to have a drink at break and at lunch.

RingtheBells Thu 10-Sep-20 20:34:30

Are children really glugging water during lessons nowadays, when did this become a thing.

CrunchyNutNC Thu 10-Sep-20 20:35:40

Why must they drink constantly OP??

CrunchyNutNC Thu 10-Sep-20 20:36:40

Is this a reverse??

ChiaraRimini Thu 10-Sep-20 20:36:55

Ours (YR5) now have water bottles on their desks so they don't have to get up for a drink during class seems much more sensible.

Notonthestairs Thu 10-Sep-20 20:38:31

I'm nearly 50 and definitely didn't have access to water during lessons.
But I notice that if I have small regular amounts of water whilst studying /working my concentration levels are more consistent.

DD in primary has water on her desk. No idea about DS in secondary (I ask very boring questions apparently!)

SavoyCabbage Thu 10-Sep-20 20:38:44

It's either water or actual learning. Achieving both is impossible. grin

If they have their water on the tables they are always falling over or off the table. The books get wet. There are no paper towels. Someone gets a wet skirt. Then the bottle needs to be refilled. They can't get the lid off. Lucy thinks she can get it off. She gets up to help. Then Max thinks that it looks more interesting over there with the bottle gang than it is in his seat. So he drinks half a bottle of water so that he can go and refill his bottle.

Whynotnowbaby Thu 10-Sep-20 20:41:30

I teach primary abroad so it may be a little different but for what it’s worth... Our children each bring a water bottle which lives on a shelf outside the main classroom next to their snack (must be fruit or veg). They can have a drink before or after break times and during lesson transitions (roughly once an hour). They can request to have a drink in between but rarely do. Previously we used to let them have them on desks but they were constantly fiddling with them and they were a huge distraction. As pp said they were never a thing in my 80s/90s school life and everyone was fine. Why are children suddenly considered to be in need of constant irrigation? I also do not expect to drink constantly throughout my teaching time and manage just fine.

RingtheBells Thu 10-Sep-20 20:44:38

When I was at school we got a small bottle of warm milk at our morning break, it was horrible, I don’t think water bottles were invented then.

LunaLoveFood Thu 10-Sep-20 20:45:10

The covid restrictions mean children can't walk around the classroom to get their water bottle.
Having bottles on the desks can be a pain with fiddling and spillages.
Also it's not that long between breaks and it shouldn't be a problem to wait.

Tootletum Thu 10-Sep-20 20:49:10

No idea. Don't really care. I grew up in Brisbane, where a hot day was 44 degrees and naughty kids got caned (yes, really). We had water fountains outside the class room, I'm pretty sure we were not allowed water during lessons.

JulesCobb Thu 10-Sep-20 20:49:18

I dot think i had a drink of water until i was 23.

pineapplepalmtree Thu 10-Sep-20 20:51:19

I dont think we were ever allowed a drink during lessons and don't remember it ever being an issue

Soontobe60 Thu 10-Sep-20 20:51:26

Today on our Y1 class we had 3 water bottle spillages. Children drop bottles, cant get the tops undone, suck on empty bottles like its a dummy, its a bloody nightmare!
There are many times during the day they can drink if they want. Start of day, after 1st lesson before break, during break, straight after break, before lunch, during lunch straight after lunch, before afternoon break, during and straight after. Home time. 11 opportunities. They do not need them on the tables in lesson time.

ComeOnBabyPopMyBubble Thu 10-Sep-20 21:06:40

* Obviously I wouldn't want lessons to be unduly disrupted by too many kids getting up for water during the lesson but surely there is a way for the teacher to manage this.*

Yes. No drinking outside of allocated drinking times.

KS1 have 3 breaks in 6 hours.

KS2 have 2 breaks.

There will be plenty of times for children to drink even outside breaks, during free/chill time,after finishing their work etc.

No one has died of thirst so far.

Guess what follows drinking whenever they want? Numerous toilet sessions as well.

MoreCookiesPlease Thu 10-Sep-20 21:11:12

What a pointless issue to get your knickers in twist about. I'm sure your DS will be just fine without a bottle of water constantly within his reach. hmm

Hollywhiskey Thu 10-Sep-20 21:27:22

Going against the grain (and ex secondary teacher so admittedly I know nothing about primary, my own kids are in nursery) - I like to have water constantly available for me to drink so I don't see why kids are different.
When I was teaching the kids were allowed water in their bottles. They couldn't get up to refill it in lesson time or go to the toilet in lesson time (medical reasons excepted). Any messing about with their drinks was dealt with in the same way as messing about with their pencil case, say.
At nursery my child has her bottle constantly out on the table and she can get it whenever she wants. I find if it's not available she forgets to drink and it has digestive consequences.
Of course you won't die without a drink for an hour or two but even slight dehydration causes reduced concentration and brain power. And if you're thinking about wanting a drink you're not thinking about maths or whatever.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in