While most schools have a strict uniform policy, one is letting its pupils wear slippers for their lessons. Findern Primary School in Derby decided to adopt a more relaxed approach after hearing about a decade-long study which found pupils who learned without their shoes on were better behaved and were more likely to get better grades.
Parent Sarah Robinson, 38, has been sending her five year old daughter Emelia into school with slippers to change into once she arrives. She said she loved the idea because children were so much more relaxed in the classroom. She added that she and her daughter had to get to school a little earlier to get her changed into slippers, but Emelia loved wearing them to class. Sarah said she believed it helped both with learning and the health of little ones’ feet.
Meanwhile, another parent Manjit Tomlin, 38, who also has a five year old daughter, India, at the school said she believed that the children were able to focus better on their school work because they felt more comfortable. She said she was looking forward to seeing if other schools decided to take up the idea too.
Calmer and quieter
The move came after research carried out by Bournemouth University which discovered that children who did not have shoes on in the classroom were calmer and quieter. In some cases, wearing slippers rather than shoes also reduced incidences of bullying. And, wearing slippers had positive impacts on learning. Youngsters got to school earlier, left later, and were likely to read more.
The researchers visited schools in Australia and New Zealand to look at examples of best practice, as well as examining how well pupils did at a school in west London. Wearing slippers is also popular in colder countries in Scandinavia where children usually wear snow boots, so change into their slippers before going to class.