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Guidelines for Children, Staff and Parent/Carers

Although not actively encouraged (except in certain circumstances) children at Middle

Street Primary School are allowed to bring into school a small toy.

Our rationale for allowing personal toys in school is as follows:

∙ Some children need a transitional object that helps them cope with coming to school.
  This is often a cuddly toy that ‘smells’ of home or is a reminder of home and can help
  keep a child calm or soothe the child if they are easily distressed.

∙ Some children struggle with the high level of social interaction required within a school setting  
  and find having a favourite toy or game from home helps them make friends and interact with    
  others through their toy or game. These toys are often hand held electronic games or action
  figures or dressing up dolls.

∙ Hand held electronic games such as Nintendo DS are allowed in school and children are expected
  to hand the game in to the school office for safe keeping. The use of this type of toy is monitored
  by staff. Children are allowed to play with their hand held electronic toy during playtimes only
  and Golden Time if the class teacher has given permission.

∙ Bringing a toy from home helps children develop certain skills such as taking responsibility for
  personal items, sharing, making decisions about the safe keeping of the toy and respecting others

∙ Allowing toys in school supports Middle Street’s stance on avoiding the use of unnecessary,
  pointless rules and its positive child-centred ethos.

As a guideline, any toy brought into school should be small enough to fit into the child’s class drawer.

There are quiet areas in the playground and in school for children to access at Playtimes to read or play with their toy.

Toys from home can only be played with during Playtimes or Golden Time. However there are sometimes exceptions to this rule depending on the needs of the child.

Staff informally monitor the types of toys brought into school and their use. If it becomes clear that any toy is causing a problem or is inappropriate for school, that toy will no longer be permitted in school.

Collectable cards and figures are not freely allowed in school. The reason for this is based on past experience and due to the children’s distress when the items are swapped and then requested back and the time involved for the adults concerned (including parents/carers) in sorting out the issues. This type of toy can only be brought into school for Golden Time on a Friday when their use can be monitored. However the teacher reserves the right to ban any collectable toys or any other toy if they are causing long term difficulties amongst the children.

Children are discouraged from bringing into school toys that are precious or valuable.

Children are asked, if they do bring in such toys to hand them into the office for safe keeping. Children are responsible for ensuring their toys are stored safely. Children should not hang bags containing toys on their pegs. The school does not have the resources to be responsible for the safe keeping of any toys if they have not been handed into the office.

Children are allowed to bring mobile phones into school but all phones should be handed into the office for safe keeping. Children are not permitted to text or use their phone to telephone at anytime during the school day. Any necessary phone calls during the day should be done via the school office.

It is the parent/carers responsibility to make the final decision as to whether they wish their child to bring a toy or game into school. The staff at Middle Street will support their decision.

This is an important life learning point for children accepting family rules and decisions without fuss or disagreement. They also have to learn to understand and accept that what's fair in one family maybe completely different to what’s considered fair in another.

September 2008