Dear Class China...

... thank you for your very well presented letter outlining your desire to eat outside during days of pleasant weather at school lunchtimes, along with the benefits that this will bring.

I found your 'arguments' to be very compelling and persuasive - afterall, only winemakers should experience the feeling of grapes being stuck between toes! As a man with a science background, I appreciated the sound scientific reasoning behind the importance of fresh air and children functioning better in the afternoons (it was also useful to have numbers to back up your points).

However, further to the points you have put before me, I do have some questions of my own and I was wondering whether you would persuade me so as to put my mind at rest and allow me to consider your request more closely. Here are my questions for you:

1. How many children were involved in your survey?
You claimed that 100% would prefer to eat outside but that could be one child, of course! Please persuade me that this survey is a valuable piece of evidence.

2. What about the mess that was in the hall now appearing outside?
Can you persuade me that dropping grapes and food packagaing outside won't be a problem? What is the solution to this?

3. What if the weather changes suddenly? How will we ensure that everyone can then eat their food safely and comfortably in the dry?

Class China, I have been impressed by your initial suggestions and persuasive arguments but hope that you would respond to these 3 points here, in your blog through the comments, in order for me to take your request more seriously and put plans in place for fine weather dining outside to take place at Blue Coat in the near future.

I look forward to your responses.

Yours sincerely,


Mr Ryan


P.S. This is real - convince me and the power of your voice will make it happen!


Comments that people have made about this blog post

Comment 1 Comment by Archie D on 21 Sep 12 at 1:06pm | Quote this comment
Dear Mr Ryan,

Thank you for your kind response, we have decided to think about your third point. A solution may be to check the BBC weather forecast at 11:30am. Now that the BBC weather is EXSTREMELY accurate we can be certain whether the weather will be sunny or grim.
Comment 2 Comment by George T on 21 Sep 12 at 1:23pm | Quote this comment
Dear Mr Ryan,

We are writing to you because we are going to answer one of your questions in the Class China blog.

We are going to respond to question
3. We can always look at the weather forecast, because the weather on the BBC is particularly accurate.

Secondly if it is a tough decision in the weather forecast we could always decide as the day goes on.

Your Sincerely,

Dillon E and George T
Comment 3 Comment by Rufus S on 21 Sep 12 at 1:30pm | Quote this comment
Dear Mr Ryan

We like your points, but we’re going to tell you about the mess outside.

Firstly, why not get more bins so kids will be responsible by putting there rubbish in the bin.
But if you don’t get bins then we don’t know what to do.

But now we have a solution! The year sixes could pick up the rubbish with the litter pickers from three years ago! This could be for the monitors! It will be helpful and it could even be used for the field!

Finally if we can’t afford any of this then the kids could just pick up the rubbish and put it in their lunch boxes!

To summarise, please let us have lunch outside when its sunny.

From Rufus and Ralph.
Comment 4 Comment by Ellie K on 21 Sep 12 at 1:32pm | Quote this comment
Dear Mr Ryan,

Thank you for your encouraging response. I am responding to question
Number 3.

• We could watch the weather on the
T.V. or computer because the weather today is very accurate.
• We could put the tables under the shelter.
• Finally if it looks cloudy and looks like it will rain then we could eat inside.

I hope these answers will answer your question.

Yours sincely, Ellie.K
Comment 5 Comment by Joseph M on 21 Sep 12 at 1:34pm | Quote this comment
Dear Mr Ryan

Thank you for your reply. We will respond to your 3rd point. We will check the weather forecast every single week day to ensure that the children will stay warm and dry.

Yours sincerely

Joe Mc, Felix S and Harris B
Comment 6 Comment by Matthew C on 21 Sep 12 at 1:36pm | Quote this comment
We want to prove to you that your second point has a simple solution/s.

Firstly you could place more bins and add litter picking to the monitor jobs. As well as turning the school green (not blue) by putting compost bins in the playground. These bio-bins will help us learn about the importance of the environment.

The foundation stage can learn from our example and follow it!

This is why you should let us eat outside.
Comment 7 Comment by Peggy Sue P on 21 Sep 12 at 1:36pm | Quote this comment
Dear Mr Ryan,

Thank you for the points about our letter, they were very useful. We are going to give you a reason why dropping litter wouldn’t be a problem.

Our reasons to answer this are:

• We could get recycling bins to deal with
plastic and other wrappers.
• Year 5/6 litter monitors could go round when they are having their lunch to make sure people aren’t dropping litter on the ground.
• Have more than 1 bin in each play ground because than it would be less smelly and more pleasant to use and there would be more bins and less rubbish on the ground.

Thanks, hope these reasons will answer one of your questions.

Yours sincerely, Nelly and Peggy-Sue.
Comment 8 Comment by Callum P on 21 Sep 12 at 1:37pm | Quote this comment
Dear Mr Ryan,

Thank you for your reply we have chosen to respond one of your questions, about mess appearing outside.

Firstly I think we need NEW bins because the old ones need to be replaced as they are slowly rotting away.
Secondly bins help the environment to stay healthy, clean and fresh for animals, people, trees and plants.

Thirdly we need bins because people may drop LITTER everyway on the playgrounds.

I hope you like the response to one of your points .

Yours sincerely Callum and Emily
Comment 9 Comment by Hannah D on 21 Sep 12 at 1:37pm | Quote this comment
Dear Mr Ryan,

Thank you for your prompt response we have decided to give further information on question number 1. In our first survey we asked 22 people and no one said no. Furthermore, we decided to do another survey on every child that was in school that afternoon apart from receptions. In total we surveyed 173 people 92% said they would like to eat outside and only 8% of children said they would prefer if it stayed the same. We think that that these figures show that eating out side would be a popular and well liked change.

By Hannah and Iris
Comment 10 Comment by Lucy D on 21 Sep 12 at 1:41pm | Quote this comment
Dear Mr Ryan,
Thank you for your response. We (Eliza and Lucy) are answering your 1st question. We asked 22 people and they all said yes. But we have done a further survey with 173 people and 92% agreed, and only 8% didn’t.

We think that the figures have shown that eating outside is a wide range of population
Comment 11 Comment by Poppy F on 21 Sep 12 at 1:42pm | Quote this comment
Dear Mr Ryan,

Thank you for your brilliant tips we are going to reply to point number two.

In our opinion we think we should get brand new recycling bins, so people can put their waste in the different bins.
This will help to make our school greener.
Comment 12 Comment by Abigail H on 21 Sep 12 at 1:42pm | Quote this comment
Dear Mr Ryan,

Thank you, for your great response and points you have made. We have gone around the school to do a survey to see if children wanted to eat their packed lunch outside. We surveyed 173 students. 8% said no and 92% said yes. We look forward to hearing your response soon.

Yours sincerely

Abigail and Adele
Comment 13 Comment by Mr Ryan on 21 Sep 12 at 7:07pm | Quote this comment
Dear Class China,

Many thanks for your thoughtful and gracious responses!

May I say that the language that you have used to communicate with me is excellent - you've considered your audience carefully (me!) and have not used informal language or written as if you were talking to a friend on the playground! Clearly, you have learnt lots from the teaching of Mr Brooks and Mrs Galvin over the past 3 weeks.

I'd like to respond to the authors in order. Here we go:

Excellent idea. BBC Weather is generally reliable and I take your point on board.

Dillon & George:
Again, a good idea but we'd need to decide on a time where we make the decision to stay in or out. What time would you suggest?

Rufus & Ralph:
I like the idea of giving children responsibility for litter picking... but this still won't necessarily prevent children from dropping litter. What could we do to try to encourage all children to pick up their litter and spilt foods? More bins could be expensive and are they as important as new learning resources in school? Hmmmm....

Intelligent suggestions! How would the tables under the shelters work? Would they all fit? Who would clean the tables so that children can learn on them again in class in the afternoon?

Joe, Felix and Harris:
Deal! That would save me a job!

Ah, a green school idea - I like it! How would children know what to put in the bio-bins and what not to put in there? This sounds like a lot of teaching and the teachers are already so busy. Persuade me with a solution to this please!

Nelly and Peggy-Sue:
That's what I like: a number of solutions to a problem! The recycling bins could be something for the school council to look into (currently we only recycle cardboard and paper). Money isn't easy to come by in school at the moment as our budget is being cut. How could you persuade me that buying new bins is more important than, say, new books?

Callum and Emily:
You have made some persuasive reasons for the school buying some more bins. However, how do we make sure that all children use them? Any ideas?

Hannah and Iris:
A very professional response. I am convinced by your persuasive argument. Your survey shows strong evidence of how positive children feel about dining outside. Well done!

Eliza and Lucy:
I'm relieved that your figures match up with Hannah and Iris's! If they hadn't then I would suspect that someone wasn't accurate. Thank you for clarifying my first point, girls!

Thank you. Which types of materials would you suggest we recycle? Why?

Abigail and Adele:
Thanks girls. May I ask for a small sample of the reasons of the 92% who felt positively about eating outside? What types of things did they say?

I must say that so far I am very encouraged by your responses and you are doing a good job of persuading me.

If you answer a few of the questions I have asked here then I will be even more satisfied that this is a good thing for Blue Coat to do.

Best wishes,

Mr Ryan
Comment 14 Comment by abbie on 24 Sep 12 at 3:11pm | Quote this comment
i miss you bluecoat
Comment 15 Comment by Poppy F on 26 Sep 12 at 8:15pm | Quote this comment
I think we should recycle plastic and paper .I suggest we should have bins for these materials because
first of all i think we should recycle plastic because its better than putting it in land fill sites. Secondly i think we should recycle paper because it stops us chopping down more trees.

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