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Length of School Holidays

(42 Posts)
gazzalw Tue 02-Jul-13 06:23:34

DS was asking why one of his friends, who is at a prep school, has much longer holidays than he has. Not sure I know why historically this is the case. Can anyone help? When we started to think about it, it seems ridiculous that the LEAs make such a huge issue of missed schooling, when those children educated in the private sector are already weeks down in terms of hours/days/weeks put in per year....

gazzalw Tue 02-Jul-13 10:01:30

Thanks for enlightening me - you can tell I did n't go to a private school. All of your answers make perfect sense....

sweetkitty Tue 02-Jul-13 10:19:33

The 2 hours of PE time a week for primary school children is a joke IMO.

Parents who can afford to pay for extra curricular activities are the lucky ones.

I know my idea of extending the day would never work due to cost hmm I even think parents could pay according to means for the extra hours.

Chopchopbusybusy Tue 02-Jul-13 13:31:48

Claraschu, it really isn't a myth that children need to catch up if they miss lessons. Especially maths. It takes up extra time for teachers and pupils. Not easily done in a class of 30.

Marmitelover55 Tue 02-Jul-13 20:08:26

My DD1's state secondary school also has a longer day (8.20-3.45) and shorter terms - I think they are breaking up on the 10th of July rather than 24th July, when the other state schools break up. They have 6 * 50 minute lessons a day, a 20 minute break in the morning and an hour for lunch. There seem to be a multitude of extra curricular activities that they are encouraged to participate in. It is an academy, so maybe that is why they can teach for less days per annum?

Talkinpeace Tue 02-Jul-13 21:57:27

I do not want my kids in school till 5pm
when they were little they were in bed by 7 and that was after dancing and tennis and supper and bath and play time

they will be doing the standard number of days
check the length of holidays etc

Marmitelover55 Wed 03-Jul-13 18:42:36

Ah I think it is 195 days or 1265 hours (or so I have just read else where on the web) - they are doing longer days, so can also have logner holidays I suppose.

Anthracite Wed 03-Jul-13 18:42:39

In school till 5 (or later) is brilliant. They get all their prep done (so no nagging at home), and most of their extra-curricular activities happen at school. No mom-taxi. What's not to like?

Anthracite Wed 03-Jul-13 18:44:21

I think also, Marmite, that a 40 minute lesson in an independent school is probably 35 minutes of productive teaching/learning, compared with maybe 25 minutes in a typical state school.

Talkinpeace Wed 03-Jul-13 19:01:50

but Gove wants SHORTER summer holidays ....

claraschu Thu 04-Jul-13 09:32:15

I can only speak from my own experience of taking my 3 kids out of state primary school for extended periods. They never had anything to catch up on, but I do really enjoy doing lots of different things with them, including maths. I actually felt that they needed this time away from school to keep them interested in learning, but I believe in "Never let your schooling interfere with your education".

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 04-Jul-13 13:03:50

Well good for you claraschu.
On the advice of DDs teachers I never got involved in the teaching of maths. Happy to help with homework of course but left the teaching and teaching methods up to the professionals. Didn't do DD any harm as she is a very competent mathematician. Can't say she ever lost interest in learning at school, so didn't have the need to give her speshul (sic) treatment.

happygardening Thu 04-Jul-13 16:54:38

"No such law for private schools - though I think there's a good practice thingie that means there is a de facto minimum length (anyone? About 165?).'
My DS (independent boarding) is only there about 31 weeks of the year no "lessons" after lunch Tues, Thurs, Sat extra curricular activities instead although until late on the other three day we get less leave out weekends that many but the term is shorter. We frequently have to pick them up at the end of term at weird times e.g. 9.10 am we were told this is to ensure they do the minimum legal hours at school.

englishteacher78 Fri 05-Jul-13 07:29:12

Not all private schools do have longer days (although it seems to me the better ones do). As I said the two local privates have same length day as us but finish earlier for summer and start later in September.

wordfactory Fri 05-Jul-13 08:30:56

I think historically, private schools had very long summers because many of the DC boraded and had long journeys back to their parents (often to India etc).

Or the boys would be needed back on their country estates to oversee the harvests etc.

In the same way that historically state schools closed in the summer so the DC could help with said harvest.

Although I sometimes groan when I see the length of the summer vac on the callendar, I must admit that when it comes around I'm always glad. Both my DC are alwaysshattered around now. So much goes in in these last couple of weeks.

I am shattered just spectating!

Pyrrah Fri 05-Jul-13 10:27:10

The prep I was at had an 8.30 - 5.50 school day, plus school on Saturday mornings and matches on Saturday afternoons. We did have half-terms and 2 exeat weekends when there was no Saturday school.

There was assembly (with 2 hymns, bible reading, prayers and all the usual notices etc) daily and sport or activities for 2 hours every afternoon. Classes were small - 12-15 max - and the school had a reputation for being extremely academic so most of the children were happy working at a fast pace.

My state grammar school had boarders and our day was 8.30-4.10. We also had school on Saturdays and matches in the afternoon. Despite being a state school the holidays were the same as the private schools.

Pyrrah Fri 05-Jul-13 10:34:21

Most boarding schools have children from overseas so they need good long holidays so they can have a decent amount of time at home. I grew up overseas and the place I lived only had one flight a week, most children only flew out for the summer holidays and needed nearly 2 weeks just to get there and back.

Most preps also seem to do exams every term (or at least 2/3) - which is why I'm still a bit mystified by the stress over Sats. If preps can have a shorter term and do exams in every subject at the end of every term, then what is the issue?

TwasBrillig Fri 05-Jul-13 12:10:49

There's a difference between external Sats that in many cases are pointless, and will be used by the gov to judge teachers, schools etc and internal tests which are actually for the students benefit. Completely different kettle of fish.

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