Timetable change for Suffolk school

A FELIXSTOWE school is to make radical changes to pupils' timetables to improve the quality of time in the classroom and create a calmer environment.Orwell High is planning to move to a three-lesson day – with each lesson lasting 100 minutes.

A FELIXSTOWE school is to make radical changes to pupils' timetables to improve the quality of time in the classroom and create a calmer environment.

Orwell High is planning to move to a three-lesson day - with each lesson lasting 100 minutes.

Headteacher David Forrest said the timetable, which is already in use at other schools, will have a number of benefits, including co-ordinating the timetable with Deben High, with which it operates a joint sixth form.

The governors and management team plan to bring in the changes from September.


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"This decision has been made following extensive consultation with staff and students at our school, and after studying the experiences of a number of other schools," said Mr Forrest.

"Each lesson will last 100 minutes, although modern languages and maths may teach shorter lessons and there will be no change to the start and finish times of the school day."

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"Other schools that have tried it report that it is particularly beneficial for weaker students."

Fewer changeover times will mean students in the corridors less often, creating a calmer school environment, and time spent settling down at the start and packing away at the end of lessons will be reduced.

Not having so many lessons per subject will help improve timetabling and mean younger students will be more settled and have to get used to fewer different teachers, and there will be more time to do practical work.

Mr Forrest said the time saved in students moving between lessons would mean that either the breaktime or lunchtime can be increased by ten minutes, or break and lunch could be lengthened by five minutes each.

"The management team favour increasing breaktime by ten minutes, because students and staff will need a reasonable break after a long first lesson," he said.

"There is also concern about behavioural difficulties that a longer lunchtime might generate."

Parents have been invited to give their views on how the extra time should be used and also to attend a meeting at the school on February 12 to discuss the changes in detail and ask questions.

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