The practice of pupils” raising their hands when they want to answer a question was described as an “age old practice” by the school, which will now force pupils to adopt a new ways of engaging with class discussions.
The Samworth Church Academy in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, claimed the traditional system was outdated and the same children answered questions.
Ironically, the school’s logo shows two figures with their hands in the air – despite pupils being banned from doing the same.
In a letter to parents, principal Barry Found wrote: “We have taken the decision at the academy to dispense with the age old “hands up to answer a question” practice.
“We find that the same hands are going up and as such the teaching does not challenge and support the learning of all.”
The letter continued: “From Monday November 28, hands will only be raised in the academy to establish silence for listening (the students are very used to this practice and are brilliant at it.)
“We will use a variety of other techniques to ensure that every student is challenged and developed in class through our questioning and that every student has opportunities to contribute and participate.”
The decision has proved very controversial and has been widely criticised by a host of parents, as well as the National Union of Teachers (NUT).
In an online post, parent Lucinda King wrote: “My son told me about this last week and he is disappointed about it as he fears being chosen randomly if he doesn”t know the answer but equally won”t get the opportunity to raise his hand when he does know the answer.
“I guess it”s different for each child depending on their confidence levels.”
Nicola Smith supported Ms King, who stated: “Surely a teacher can ask other children to answer without the need to “ban” putting up of hands? Some kids don”t want to be put on the spot, and it”s ok to be quiet or shy.
“It”s going to be awful for kids who are naturally anxious if they spend all their classes scared they will be picked, and if they don”t know the answer they might be ridiculed by other kids.
“Stupid idea, typical Samworth.”
Meanwhile, NUT spokesperson Jane Crich condemned Mr Found’s new rules. She claimed it should be the teacher’s choice whether or not they want to adopt the rule.
She said: “Any professional teacher should be trusted to teach a particular topic in a particular style according to the class they have.
“Teachers are never backwards in discussing new educational techniques but banning one from the classroom is strange.
Ms Crich added: “I don”t know if there was a discussion before the decision was made but it shows a lack of respect to the teachers at the school.”