Thank you for your feedback so far on our school day consultation.
We have had over 350 responses to date; over two thirds of which have said that they strongly agree or broadly agree with the proposals that we have put forward.
There has also been some really useful feedback and comments that are helping to shape our thinking going forwards. The frequently asked questions below capture the majority of the issues that have been put forward at this stage, and also highlight how the proposal is evolving in response.
Does the additional five days holiday have to be added to the summer holidays?
In short, no. Following feedback from parents/carers, we are looking at the possibility of adding days to other holidays.
It is important to note, however, that we can’t increase the half term break at May to two weeks. While we appreciate that would mirror the holiday pattern at primary schools, the GCSE and A Level examination timetable only allows for a one-week holiday in this period. It is impossible for us to have exams in a school holiday.
Will students study an extra GCSE?
The number of GCSEs that our students will take will remain the same. It is important to note, however, that the GCSEs themselves are continually evolving and students are increasingly expected to have a greater depth of understanding in each subject.
The new timetable is, therefore, important as it will allow students additional time to explore their subjects to help them discover their interests and talents, and they will be able to spend more time on them. This will put them in a stronger position should they choose them at GCSE, as their starting point will be that much further on.
Will moving to six lessons a day mean that students will get more homework/PP&R?
We will be working with Subject Leaders to ensure that the amount of homework/PP&R students get remains manageable and mirrors the amount of work they get at the moment.
Will there still be clubs and activities after school? Will there be after school clubs on a Wednesday/Friday?
The amount and quality of after school clubs will remain. These will follow a similar schedule to the current programme, meaning that there will be clubs on every day of the week, although, as is the case now, there will be fewer on a Friday.
Will moving to six lessons a day be detrimental to children with additional needs?
This is something that we have considered at length, and we do not believe that this will be detrimental to children with additional needs.
The timetable offers greater opportunity for us to deliver intervention work, without asking students to miss lessons. Essentially, the extra lesson gives us greater flexibility to meet their needs.
However, every child is different and if any parents/carers have any specific concerns then we would encourage them to come to a one to one session or contact our SENCO so we can explore them in more depth.
Will the number of INSET days change?
No, they will stay the same.
Can PE lessons run successfully with an extra five minutes taken off them?
We have been working closely with the PE Department, and we do not believe that these changes will be detrimental to students’ learning and enjoyment in this subject.
It should also be noted that the proposal allows more opportunity for us to put double lessons on, particularly for subjects like Food Technology.
The final one to one sessions are on Thursday 23rd January. We would be delighted to welcome parents/carers to come and meet us to discuss any of this further. Should you wish to attend a one to one meeting please contact Mrs Alexandra Robertson via email to [email protected]
To read the letter about the school day changing please click here.