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Change to timing of school day - anyone experienced this?

(95 Posts)
ibbydibby Wed 23-Apr-14 22:20:15

School switched to academy status in autumn term, following notice of special measures earlier in year. Sent out letter during Easter hols informing us that from Sep 2014, will finish at 5pm 3 days a week, with slightly earlier finish other 2 days.

Has anyone experienced this? ie school/academy done this? Am just a bit freaked by prospect of longer day, tired DS (will be year 8), impact on family life (will mean we eat later etc).

Extra time at school is to accomodate homework and sports/hobbies.

whatadrama Sun 04-May-14 15:42:58

I think i'll have to shut up moaning about our Primary school which is increasing the day by 20 mins from September, your school is far more extreme!

Nocomet Sun 04-May-14 15:54:18

By their teens many DCs do their hobbies at a level that isn't the same as a school lunch time.

DD does gymnastics and trampolining at a sports centre with foam pits, full sized springed floor, tumble track etc. Facilities and coaching skills school couldn't begin to match.

Likewise the standard her friends run and swim at.

Solopower1 Sun 04-May-14 15:55:18

5madthings, yes - I do feel sorry for the teachers having to do this, and agree that they should get staff in to run them.

But it's great, and you are very lucky, that they are prepared to do it. If these sessions were not compulsory, especially the homework ones, maybe they would not be seen as 'cool' by the kids and no-one would go. Or children that were made to go would be stigmatised.

As I said, I think you and your kids are very lucky that you like/want/are able to spend time with them, and they already go to clubs. However, if they are watching TV, playing computer games or on facebook, you're not really spending time with them are you? And what about the other children at the school? Isn't it better for everyone if everyone has similar opportunities to do homework? Plus maybe other families can't afford the time or money, or don't have the transport for their children to join other clubs.

Surely most parents are grateful for these 'enrichment' activities, even if your children are lucky enough not to need them?

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 16:13:20

I agree they may be beneficial for some students but actually many studies show they are not, they don't improve outcomes and you just have tired and miserable children who suffer long-term.

And yes as no-comet says the level of these clubs is not appropriate for many children.

Yes we have a problem in this country with some children under achieving and families that don't support them (my partner works with some if them as he work in children's services) but a longer school day is not the answer to their problems!

And why should my children have to miss out on spending time with their own parent who does care?!! Them spending time with their dad, me and their siblings is far more beneficial to them than what's likely to be a badly run after school club by teachers who don't want to be there.

And there are many many parents at the school who aren't happy with these changes, particularly ad the school serves a rural area and many children will now have to walk home or bike home in the dark or rely on not great public transport. Or parents who pick up from the local primary at the regular finishing tome and then the high school having to make an extra journey in rush hour traffic. Also some high school pupils then go and pick up siblings and look after them til a parent comes home, they will now struggle to get childcare for the younger child, or may not even be able to afford it.

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 16:18:32

If I am watching tv then I am not spending time with them? I take it you never watch tv then? Fgs. And actually my teen doesn't use Fb as he doesn't like it, he is more into programming etc and my 11 yr old doesn't have Fb as he isn't old enough. They may spend some time gaming with their dad as they have some games they share a liking of, or they go out biking or they cook dinner (both like cooking) or we go for a walk Roto the beach, lucky enough to have nice walks etc locally. All stuff we enjoy as a family.

Ds1 has set up work experience in a niche area and was to be doing that after school, far more beneficial than 'environment' club.

I really don't see why I should be grateful for poor quality childcare that we neither want, nor need that is being forced on us and will be detrimental to the time we have together as a family given dps shifts.

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 16:22:29

nocomet I take dd to gymnastics at a place like you describe, she is only three but she loves it and they get to use all equipment, they lower the rings down a bit, it's amazing yo see her swinging from them and then jump into the big pit filled with foam! And jumping of the horse, balancing on the beams etc. It's great for het motor skills and it's a semi structured group perfect for he age, if she continues to enjoy it I imagine by teen years her level will be far above what the school could offer.

As an aside I LOVE the springy floor! And there is one bit that is like a running track only sort of like trampoline, I so want it in my house!

Nocomet Sun 04-May-14 16:58:51

I think that's the tumble track, you learn to do flips and walkovers and things on that first because it's bouncy and easier to get over than the floor.

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 17:01:10

Yes that's what it is, it's fabulous!

HolidayCriminal Sun 04-May-14 17:07:59

Does smack of cynicism, whole thing. OP's school is high achieving already, so the Trust has moved in to try to make it a flagship, capitalising on the high social status of parental intake, nothing the new management team did will be the reason why school did better, but they can pretend it's all to their credit.

Nocomet Sun 04-May-14 17:10:16

Don't get me wrong I'm all for more voluntarycheap/free enrichment activities and homework clubs after school.

I know my DCs are very lucky to be able to afford the clubs they do.

However, compulsion and teens never works. The very children who need something worth while to do in the evening are, sadly, the ones most likely to play up a young PE student and spoil it for the others.

(This is exactlywhat happened at DDs primary football club)

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 17:13:43

Exactly holiday and actually before the trust took over the lea got involved and sent in a 'superhead' who made changes and improvements so the academy conversion wasn't needed or warranted.

Sadly the same is hapopening at my younger kids primary, leadership issues, failed ofsted so lea head sent in and he is fabulous but will be in place a year tops and they are starting academy conversion despite parents not wanting it. And the credit will be taken by the academy despite it being a good school anyway with above average results for the county.

Yes Norfolk had issues with education bit conversion to academy won't address these issues.

5madthings Sun 04-May-14 17:14:47

Exactly nocomet I am more than happy for the school to offer these clubs but they should not be compulsory!

DespicableWee Sun 04-May-14 17:56:41

Mad are you north or south? If your school is the north one within that trust, I can definitely understand your concerns. It always had a good reputation, especially for pastoral care which can only suffer if teachers are frazzled and kids resentful of the extra hours. DS1 used to be at BL secondary until we moved out of the area and that was quite similar in size, ethos and pastoral care levels to H.

We are now in a city and DS1&2 go to different secondaries. Both are changing to academies in September despite neither failing Ofsted. It seems more and more schools are being pushed into it with increased work loads and requirements alongside decreased budgets and conveniently timed sponsorship offers from academy trusts. It's a big concern.

ibbydibby Sun 04-May-14 18:16:19

School is south, relatively speaking. 5madthings I was under impression that the only option for a school put in special measures was to convert to academy? (maybe am wrong though). Lots of interesting points apparently raised at one of the meetings last week (not the one I was at)...sticking point may be that, if children with outside clubs etc are allowed to leave at "usual" time, transport unlikely to be provided. So would be ok for children within walking distance, not ok for those in outer-lying villages.

DespicableWee Sun 04-May-14 19:30:12

That could be an interesting point to work on then. Assuming the outlying villages fall within that perfect distance that is too far to walk and so transport is provided free but near enough to be well within catchment. If there is no transport at 'usual' leaving time that would prevent village children from attending extra curricular clubs, they would be discriminated against due to circumstances outside their control.

Ah, south. Is the college an option to move to? I was always north of centre so don't really know the schools out the other side.

5madthings Thu 08-May-14 12:12:05

There was a meeting at school last night, dp went (I am going to the one next week) dp said the general feeling from the parents was negative, they do not want the compulsory longer day.

Also the students WILL still have homework to do at home, esp in the older years.

Apparently it hadn't Bern decided yet but it sounds like a done deal...

DontputyourfingerinthejellyNel Mon 12-May-14 10:39:42

Any updates, 5madthings or IbbyDibby?

5madthings Mon 12-May-14 13:26:33

There was ameeting last week
Re yr10. And their is a meeting tonight that I am going to.

I think it's a done deal, not happy and will be wwriting to Govenors and trustees but I inspiration trust are tweeting about it like it is happening.

SuffolkNWhat Mon 12-May-14 15:15:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

5madthings Mon 12-May-14 17:10:41

Really Suffolk? That is good to know!! Anywhere anywhere I can write in support of the tteachers? I am going to write to ht and the trustees and governers etc!

Maybe pm to check it's the right school? And if anyone wants to get in touch.

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