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Should Watford Grammar School for Girls wear slippers to perform better at school? Should Watford Grammar School for Girls wear slippers to perform better at school?

In a recent news report, we were intrigued that children in Findern primary school in Derby are being encouraged to wear slippers to school because research has said that this relaxed approach to footwear improves academic results.  If wearing slippers to school helps you engage better in class and attain better grades, like in Scandinavia and New Zealand, why shouldn’t Watford Grammar School for Girls do it? We conducted a small survey to gauge teacher and student views.  Mr Burns, a teacher from the science department didn't like the idea: “People are used to wearing uniform.  You go into an exam for example in uniform and you are in that school learning mode and you are just used to it, it is a routine. When you are doing work in formal uniform and enter an exam in your uniform you do better."  Teachers aren’t the only ones who aren’t keen on the idea of wearing slippers to school. One pupil, named Sophie, said we don’t need slippers to be smart. “When children grow up they won’t be able to wear slippers in the workplace so why should we teach them to wear them now?” questions Mae. “People could get bullied over the kind of slippers they wear,” said another pupil. Others would only like to wear slippers to school if they were also allowed to wear pyjamas and if it was a one time occasion. However, there are also people who like this idea and there are also benefits. Another teacher said that  it could help pupils learn better as it is comfortable so pupils will be more relaxed. This can result in better achievements as they are stress free. Wearing slippers leads to more than just academic progress. For example the level of noise is reduced and the furniture lasts longer. Also, it means lower cleaning costs and improved hygiene. Moreover, this means no teachers complaining about the ‘wrong type’ of shoes. Overall it saves money for both the school and its pupils. An inspired teacher introduced Findern primary school students to this Bournemouth University-based research (a decade-long study).  One of its findings was that wearing comfortable footwear increased the likelihood of children reading, arriving early and leaving later.  It said that wearing slippers gives the children a familiar, homely feeling, which calms them. Feeling shoe-free may work for Findern, but we found that at Watford Grammar School for Girls, the majority thought that formal uniform is the best route, although wearing slippers might benefit other schools in the Watford area.

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