East London school claims it has eliminated bullying by banning unsupervised sports and play at break times

Instead of “unstructured play” college students at Hackney New School participate in supervised quizzes, poetry recitals or extracurricular actions when not in classes. These embody chess, orchestra and choir golf equipment.

Headteacher Charlotte Whelan mentioned there have been simply 5 incidents of bullying reported within the final yr, together with cyberbullying throughout lockdown, and there have been no permeant exclusions. 

Rather than kicking a soccer round or leaping skipping ropes within the playground unsupervised, college students practise sonnets by traditional poets Shelley and Tennyson or quiz one another on capital cities.


Pupils have memorised poems Ozymandias and Charge of Light Brigade off by coronary heart and recite them as they line up for classes or when they’re consuming lunch, Ms Whelan mentioned.

She added: “It’s lengthy been my perception that we could possibly be doing extra for pupils whereas they on their breaks, so usually you see them aimlessly questioning the playground. We need each second at school to rely.

“We started by introducing the poetry recitals throughout break and lunch and the scholars actually responded properly. It advanced from there.

“Just yesterday a gaggle of yr 9 college students beat me in a reputation the capital cities quiz, this may have been unthinkable two years in the past.”

Headteacher Charlotte Whelan

/ Hackney New School

Ms Whelan burdened college students do nonetheless take train throughout break times and throughout PE classes, however sports is “extra structured”.

“They get train and play sport at break time however in a extra structured method with lecturers there to verify behaviour stays impeccable,” she mentioned.

“The school has been fully reworked and the scholars are actually thriving. A school with out bullying seems like a utopia however it is achievable, we’ve got performed it.”


The school is a part of the Community Schools Trust which additionally runs The Cumberland School in Newham, the place college students received £1million of scholarships to prime price paying colleges this yr. 

The prestigious schools programme is because of be rolled out at Hackney New School subsequent yr. 

Mrs Whelan added: “We are working alongside distinctive leaders who’re creating life altering alternatives for college kids at this school and others.”

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