A FOUR-MONTH ban on fizzy drinks at a Liverpool school has boosted concentration levels and improved academic performance.
Runnymede St Edwards Junior School, West Derby, introduced a no fizzy drinks policy for the summer term.
Teachers discovered that pupils were quieter and calmer, concentrated better and were less lethargic in the afternoons.
Children were provided with water coolers and were provided with water bottles which they were allowed to sip from throughout the day.
Headteacher Sally Carter said: "Re-search has shown that drinking water throughout the day means the brain is constantly rehydrated and this boosts the capacity to learn.
"Staff certainly noticed an improvement in pupils' concentration and I'm this has had a marked effect on the academic results. water-only initiative received widespread support from parents too.
"The obvious benefits were a in the intake of additives and cost implications of not having to supply shop-bought drinks."
Many of the staff at the school have taken part in the scheme by giving up coffee for water in the staff room.
The water coolers and water bottles were provided by AquAid, a commercial organisation which donates money to charity Christian Aid and its Third World water programme.
The findings back up a recent study by the Water in School is Cool Campaign which is calling for improvements in pupils' access to drinking water.
It found cognitive performance in healthy young adults decreases by 10pc when they are thirsty.
A spokesman for the campaign said: "Symptoms of mild dehydration can be difficult for teachers to spot.
"In class some children may become irritable, tired and less able to concentrate.
"By the time they get home from school, many children are complaining of tiredness or headaches and some may be too lethargic to do anything but slump in front of the television.
"Although we may think of this behaviour as normal, it is now known that it may, at least in part, be due to the effects of dehydration."
Children are recommended to drink at least six to eight glasses of water per day with at least three to four of these drunk while at school.
Additional water should be drunk during warm weather and during exercise.
Runnymede St Edwards was founded in 1852 as a Catholic institute by Liverpool priest Father James Nugent.
It is the choir school to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool.