Primary school children are being asked to sit in silence and listen to classical music during their lunch break – but the decision has come under fire from parents.
As the youngsters tuck into their food they have been banned from talking loudly and encouraged to appreciate the works of Beethoven and Mozart.
Teachers at Lee Chapel Primary, in Basildon, Essex, think the new scheme will help children appreciate more genres of music in later life and boost learning.
While listening to the classical music, the children at Lee Chapel School in Basildon, Essex, are only allowed to speak softly to the pupil beside them
However parents, say their children have been arriving home upset – claiming they are punished if they chat to friends.
One mum said pupils who break the rules are forced to stand behind their chair or against the wall as punishment.
She said: ‘All the parents are completely at their wits end at the moment and this new lunch time arrangement seems to be the final straw for a lot of parents.
‘People are getting ready to pull their child from the school because of all the ridiculous rules, myself and my husband included.’
Susan Jackson, headteacher at the Ofsted-rated outstanding school, in The Knares, Essex has strongly refuted the claims and said the scheme will benefit youngsters
But headteacher, Sue Jackson, strongly refuted the claims and said the scheme will benefit youngsters.
She said: ‘Studies have shown that playing classical music to children boosts their concentration and self-discipline and improves their general listening and social skills.
‘Children exposed to the works of Beethoven and Mozart, for example, are more likely to appreciate a wider range of music in later years.
‘Children are encouraged to listen to the music and talk quietly to the child next to them and not calling out across the table.
‘All the children did this successfully on Monday and enjoyed the music, as did the staff who ate with the children.
‘A child in Year Six was given three minutes ‘time out’ for disregarding the reasonable request of a member of staff which is in-line with the school’s behaviour policy, but he was not reprimanded for talking.’
The school has been praised by Ofsted for its ‘outstanding teaching and learning result in excellent progress and achievement by pupils’.
It has previously received an overall ‘outstanding’ rating from the schools inspectorate.