Sydney school disputes 'clapping ban'

Sydney school disputes 'clapping ban'

A Sydney school which was reported to have banned clapping has gone on the defensive, saying their students have not been completely forbidden from using the display of appreciation.

In a statement released on Thursday, Elanora Heights Public School said it had only asked students to refrain from clapping and cheering at assemblies held once every few weeks "to minimise discomfort to a teacher with a hearing disability that causes acute sensitivity to loud noise".

"At other school occasions involving all students in the school, such as sporting events, artistic performances, smaller gatherings of students and staff, there are no restrictions on students clapping or cheering," the school said on its website.

A newsletter sent to the school community on July 18 outlined the "silent cheers" which had been instituted in assemblies.

"The students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot," it said.

"Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children's energy and reduce fidgeting."

It's not the first restriction an Australian school has put on behaviours many would deem to be an ordinary part of life.

Hugging was banned at a primary school in Victoria in 2012, with children told to find other ways to show affection.

Kiwis weren't immune from that one either - several schools in Auckland and Wellington ditched cuddles following a hugging fad.

In the past, Australian schools have also cracked down on handstands, cartwheels and leather sports balls.