Do your dc (junior age) have a playtime in the afternoon? If not, do you think this affects them at all in terms of tiredness, concentration etc?
I would also be really interested in hearing the opinions of teachers too as to whether 2 hours 20 mins is too long for children to go without a break even if it means they finish school 10 minutes earlier which is what my dd's school is propsing to do from Sept.
At the dcs old school ds1 never used to get a break after the lunchtime one and I think he was quite miserable when he came out of school. Now they are at a new school and the teachers tend to make them play outside at every available opportunity. Both dcs have colour in their cheeks and enjoy school but ds1 was particularly impressed when one day he got 4 breaks! I do think that a bit of fresh air helps to stimulate them and makes the afternoon more bearable etc.
Hula, could you tell me the start and finish times of your prep. Ours is currently 8.45am - 3.40pm with afternoon break. They are changing to a 3.30pm finish but no break. Pre prep finish at 3.20pm and will still get a break.
The reason that some schools opt not to have a KS2 afternoon play is that KS2 is required to do a greater number of hours than either foundation or KS1. Some schools shorten the KS2 lunchtime, and keep the afternoon play, but others opt to cut the afternoon play as a way of making up the additional time.
This avoids the issue of having different finish times at the end of the day which means that parents have to hang around if they have children in different key stages.
KS2 starts at 8.55, 15 min morning break. Lunch is 12.30 - 1.15, no afternoon break - finish at 3.00pm.
Island of sodor - that sounds like an excessively long day for primary. Is this state or private? I'm sure that our school hours fulfil the statutory requirement, and it looks like you're working for an hour per day more!