A primary school in Sydney has banned clapping out of respect for children who are “sensitive to noise”.
Instead, the school is asking its pupils to “silent cheer”, “pull excited faces” and “punch the air” to show their appreciation.
Elanora Heights Public School announced the new “silent cheer” policy in its latest school newsletter.
“If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” the newsletter reads.
“Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot.”
“The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.”
“When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed.”
“Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.”
In the school’s previous newsletter, parents were informed about a new “friendship seat” being used in the school.
The concept exists to encourage “a friendly, caring and inclusive school environment” by alerting students if their friends are lonely during their break.
“By sitting on the seat, the student is alerting others that they may be lonely. Students are then encouraged to include the student in their play,” the school explained.
The news comes the same day as it was reported that teachers at prominent Sydney school Cheltenham Girls High have been told to address students using only gender-neutral terms.
The school, which retains the word “Girls” in its title, has allegedly decided to stop referring to students as “girls”, “ladies” and “women”, in a bid to create a safe environment for any transsexual and transgender students who are apparently uncomfortable with labels.