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Thursday, 28 February, 2002, 12:17 GMT
School cans fizzy drinks
fizzy drinks
Pupils are being encouraged to avoid fizzy drinks
A school has thrown out its fizzy drinks machines in favour of water fountains.

The water-only policy is helping pupils to concentrate and is improving their academic performance, say staff at the Charles Burrell School in Thetford, Norfolk.

Drinking water gradually throughout the day means the brain is rehydrated and that boosts the capacity to learn

Claire Barker
Water fountains have been installed in the canteen and boys' and girls' toilets, the main school corridor now has a mineral water vending machine and the sixth form block and staff room have water coolers.

Claire Barker, the school's literacy and learning co-ordinator, said the 700-pupil school made the decision after studying research which showed water helped children's brains to function better.

getting water
Even staff are getting into the water habit
"Drinking water gradually throughout the day means the brain is rehydrated and that boosts the capacity to learn.

"Obviously we can't stop parents from putting fizzy drinks in packed lunches, but there are no fizzy drinks machines in school now - and we used to have three," said Miss Barker.

And, with a water cooler in the staff room, it is not just the pupils who are taking the water message to heart.

"It's good to educate staff to get off the coffee and drink more water," said Miss Barker.

Water bottles

Some primary school children in Southampton are being given their own water bottles to keep on their desks.

pupils with water bottle
Pupils can sip away in class
Teachers at Mason Moor Primary in Millbrook said they had already noticed an improvement in pupils' concentration.

Head teacher Sue Nicholson said: "Children are beginning to appear quieter and calmer and much better able to concentrate - skills which we hope will have a marked effect on improving their education attainment."

The school brought in the water bottles for all the school's 300 pupils with a grant from the Outer Shirley regeneration budget.

See also:

28 Sep 00 | Education
School bans sweets to calm pupils
25 Sep 01 | England
Water aids thirst for knowledge
27 Apr 00 | Education
Water improves school test results
06 Oct 99 | Medical notes
Food additives
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