Since February 2017, Stambridge have trialled and implemented being a part-shoeless school.
This was based on rigorous academic research by professor Stephen Heppel around the impact shoeless learning has on noise levels, behaviour and learning.
The research shows clearly that:
* children can focus for longer on learning as they feel more comfortable
* disruptive behaviour is often reduced
* behaviour is also significantly gentler whilst children circulate
* noise is reduced
* children are much more willing to read and engage with their books, iPads, laptops,
* carpets are much cleaner and more hygienic for pupils to sit on
* cleaner floors and less furniture creates more space for collaboration, presentation, role play
outdoor shoes are less damaged as they suffer less wear and tear
The practice is one that is Scandinavian and has proven to offer high results there too. This fits in well with our forest school ethos as well as the nurture we strive to foster in the school.
At Stambridge, we carried out a trial for 12 weeks and following positive feedback, decided to become a part-shoeless school.
What do the pupils wear to school on their feet?
Pupils come to school as normal in their plain black school shoes. They then remove them as they come into the 'shoeless zones' of the building and store their outdoor shoes on a rack. They then put on their slipper socks (provided by the school) over their normal socks (children all wear socks as normal to school).
What about break and lunch time?
At these times the children put on their outdoor shoes as normal (which are stored in the reception area).
Where can I read more about the research?
Shoeless learning spaces research
Who does this apply to?
Everyone who comes into the school past the reception area including staff, pupils and visitors. Staff and visitors can wear soft soled slippers (no rubber or hard soles) and visitors can be provided with socks to wear over their socks or tights.
What do our staff and pupils think?
“Out of all the schools I know, we are the only ones who are shoeless and I like that because it makes us special and when we used to wear shoes and I sat on the carpet cross-legged, my shoes dug into my knees.” Year 3 pupil
“It can be a hassle but it is worth it because it makes you feel calm. It is more comfortable when it is hot and the school is a lot cleaner.” – Year 6 pupil
“I love it as it is more comfortable, more relaxing and the vibe around the school has benefitted.” – Staff member