Supporting young children’s friendships: the facilitating role of the lunchtime welfare supervisor

CARTER, Caron (2022). Supporting young children’s friendships: the facilitating role of the lunchtime welfare supervisor. Pastoral Care in Education: An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

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Friendship is of paramount importance to children’s holistic well-being and development. Friendship often runs smoothly, but when it runs into difficulties this can be unsettling and time consuming, particularly after the lunchtime break. This article makes an original contribution by placing the lunchtime period under scrutiny and specifically the role of lunchtime welfare supervisors in supporting children’s friendships. I adopt a case study approach, of year two provision (six- and seven-year-olds), involving five lunch time welfare supervisors and a Headteacher. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, field notes and visual images. Findings provide new insights into specific strategies in the ‘Friendship Toolkit’ employed by Lunchtime Welfare Supervisors [LWS] to support children’s friendships, including calming down techniques, the use of a ‘put it right area’, playground leaders and post lunchtime briefing meetings. By way of conclusion, I argue that while lunchtime welfare supervisors have been somewhat overlooked in the literature, their role is significant for promoting and developing opportunities for ‘children’s friendship agency’ and, when required, bespoke friendship support. LWS are therefore pivotal to children’s holistic well-being, learning and development and how children experience school life. Consequently, the role of the LWS in supporting children’s friendships has implications for practice through the application of the ‘friendship toolkit’ of strategies and providing opportunities for ‘children’s friendship agency’.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1301 Education Systems; 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy; 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2022 09:15
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2022 12:00

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