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A year round school system

79 replies

Orangeblossom78 · 06/12/2019 09:23

I have been thinking more about this recently with reports in the press about play schemes in deprived areas for children in the holidays, and also the pressure on families in general in holidays to scrabble together childcare for school age children.

Would it not be better if schools did 3 weeks on and one week off? All year round- maybe a two weeks break in the summer

This week off could be filled with activities at the school sun by the people who do after school / holiday clubs (we already have this on the PPA days where a holiday club provider does activities with KS2 / 1 alternate weeks so the teachers have time to plan)

This would mean-

Less pressure of 6 week terms (my DC seem to get pretty tired towards the end of each block)

The one week could be used flexibly, could stay home and consolidate learning or go into school to the activities

Possibly more sport / activity in the extra week

Benefits for deprived areas

Less of the 'losing learning over the long summer'

Easier to plan holidays - every fourth week off

Less pressure on teachers, who could be paid year round but less intense

Could be funded for all- maybe some part with UC / tax credits childcare element or childcare vouchers, perhaps

Any thoughts or is this just a bonkers idea?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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Aroundtheworldin80moves · 06/12/2019 09:28

Guessing you would want to stagger the weeks off? Could get tricky logistically with schools having different holidays, exams etc. Plus they would need two weeks at Christmas.

Theoretically it sounds nice. But it's not as simple as that.


MarySidney · 06/12/2019 09:30

Less pressure on teachers, who could be paid year round but less intense

Most teachers of my acquaintance spend at least a week of every holiday clearing up after last term and preparing for next, and sometimes accompanying school trips. With only a week off each time, they'd never get an actual break.

And families wouldn't be able to go away for more than a week at a time.


Samcro · 06/12/2019 09:31

we need to let children have down time. i imagine this would be awful for children.


SquareAsABlock · 06/12/2019 09:32

The one week could be used flexibly, could stay home and consolidate learning or go into school to the activities

So when exactly are teachers and school staff meant to have time off? I'm not disputing that some holidays (summer) do go on too long when some school terms are the same. It's not up to teachers and school staff to give up their much needed time off to balance it out though.


churchandstate · 06/12/2019 09:34

I think this is pulling up the ladder after us, to be honest. One of the true joys of childhood is that moment where you leave school for 6 weeks in a haze of glorious sunshine (one hopes) and for what seems like an eternity at that moment you don’t have to worry about: homework, bullies, getting up, being tired, not seeing your parents, whether or not you have the latest tat that people have at school, not being able to keep up in Maths etc.

Let the kids have their break.


notnowmaybelater · 06/12/2019 09:36

Schools do renovation/ building work over the long summer holidays, which is one of the reasons the buildings can't be made available to run holiday clubs in.

This would be a problem - a week isn't long enough to repair, renovate, alter and deep clean a large building or complex of buildings in the sort of heavy use a school sees. This applies especially to larger and secondary schools.


churchandstate · 06/12/2019 09:37

It’s also true that schools aren’t set up for this. A lot of work takes place during each summer that allows for the mad dash of each academic year to - just - work.


hazell42 · 06/12/2019 09:45

Well if we are talking ideal situations, my own peronal plan would be for 4 weeks fixed holidays, at christmas and Easter, end of July, beginning of August and the other 9 weeks or whatever it currently is to be taken at family convenience.
All kids are supposed to work at their own pace atm but they rarely do, with many school still teaching to the whole class as they did 100 years ago
But with all resources on a school moodle that should be doable
It would also mean that families can take days for funerals, hospital.appointments, illness, special events or whatever from their allowance without sanctions.
It would also mean that anyone who wished could benefit from extra tuition time by not taking all.their allowance.
Obviously teachers contracts would need changing. But it is a misconception that they get long holidays anyway, so they would just need to book their holidays like everyone else does and the school.could have floating teachers to cover this. No need to be specialist because the work is already there.
Teachers woul still teach bit instead if oing though each bit of the curriculum, do workshops and let students manage their own learning
Wont happen of course.
But I cant think if a good reason against it.


churchandstate · 06/12/2019 09:51

the school.could have floating teachers to cover this.

Oh that would be dreadful.


AutumnRose1 · 06/12/2019 09:52


I don’t have kids

But it sounds like a model designed to fit children round the ever more demanding putting them in a similar situation to the ever more demanding workplace.

I’ve got friends who would say that’s good and it will male them more prepared for the ever more demanding workplace.

My feeling that just 80 years of a hamster wheel instead of 60 years?


AutumnRose1 · 06/12/2019 09:53

*make not male 😂


ladyvimes · 06/12/2019 09:54

The reason children are knackered after 6 weeks is because of the ridiculous expectations put in them from the government. We have to cr so much into a day there is barely anytime for the children to breathe. We have no time for drama, stories or proper art lessons; everything is intense and it is too much.
As a teacher and a parent I don’t want the holidays to change I want the government to overhaul their unreasonable and unrealistic expectations!


WaterSheep · 06/12/2019 09:55

I want the government to overhaul their unreasonable and unrealistic expectations!

I second this, and also want to add that they need to stop moving the goalposts.


WindFlower92 · 06/12/2019 09:56

@hazell42 "Teachers woul still teach bit instead if oing though each bit of the curriculum, do workshops and let students manage their own learning"

And what does this actually look like in reality?


ChazsBrilliantAttitude · 06/12/2019 09:57

I see you logic but I would suggest that better holiday activity provision would be the way to go. Some children go hungry in school holidays without school dinners. Recent research shows that better off children do more sport.

Good properly funded holiday provision could help with this. Sports, cookery, hobbies and catch up classes etc.


formerbabe · 06/12/2019 09:59

I don't like that idea tbh.

I do think the summer holidays are far too long though.

I would prefer four weeks off during the summer.


Riv · 06/12/2019 10:04

I actually worked as a teacher in a school that did something like this in the 1980s. It was a specialist school for children with long term medical needs.
For those who are interested we had standard size classes and curriculum but children might be absent more frequently or need medical treatment during class from the consultants and nursing team. They frequently went from school to the attached hospital rather than going home (think over-night dialysis etc)
We had a standard 6 week term with one week off between each term all year round. Two weeks off at Christmas and an extra week that you could choose when to take in consultation with the other teachers and the medical team.
As a teacher I found it worked really well. I was never as exhausted as I was in standard mainstream. I actually “lost “ around 4 weeks holiday the year I went back to mainstream due to the odd terms, but I really didn’t miss them.
Unlike standard school holidays when I collapse and am difficult to live with for a couple of weeks at the start and physically and mentally have to wind up again for the final few weeks and work at least half of the time, at this school I was actually ready to holiday within a day or so. All of the teachers felt the same.
Parents found it difficult because their children were off school at different times to their siblings. Teachers who were parents were rarely off when their children were and they couldn’t take enough holiday to accommodate that. Children found it hard because they were not at home when their friends were off and had to come to school when their friends were on holiday. (to be fair they were ill and often had to stay in the hospital for treatment anyway )
I’d recommend it- if every school did the same and holidayed at the same time - but then you’d have the same problems as now for the one week in 6 rather than current patterns.


Choccyp1g · 06/12/2019 10:05

I don't think your plan would work but YANBU to consider it.

The current school year is based around farming and Harvest, which is not relevant for most people nowadays.

It is very difficult to make big changes affecting millions of people, but we should be prepared to take a long view occasionally.


BernardsarenotalwaysSaints · 06/12/2019 10:08

I can’t really see how that would work, particularly in years 11 & 13.

I want the government to overhaul their unreasonable and unrealistic expectations! I completely agree.

I could get on board with the summer holiday being shortened to 4 weeks & having 3 at Easter & Christmas. Other than that I wouldn’t change them though. Children need the break & so do the teachers after having to coax tired, fractious children through those last 2-3 weeks of term.


Spied · 06/12/2019 10:10

Great ideas


BarbedBloom · 06/12/2019 10:11

I know for a fact that if this happened all of my teacher friends would leave the profession. They count down the days till summer holidays so they can actually have a decent break. They spend the first two weeks and the last week sorting their classrooms, so your suggestion would mean they never had a decent time away from the classroom. Also, I remember how tired I was as a child, I needed that time off.


RevengeOfTheReindeer · 06/12/2019 10:20

People with families the other side of the world would never get to see them because it's not worth making the trip for just a week.


MarySidney · 06/12/2019 10:21

I could get on board with the summer holiday being shortened to 4 weeks

So every family that wants to go away would be trying to book a trip within the same four weeks, instead of as now the same six weeks?

The summer holiday isn't just about the harvest - since state schools began, more children have lived in towns than in the country. July/August is also the time when the weather is most likely to be good.


Orangeblossom78 · 06/12/2019 10:23

i don't mean extra teachers in the 'off' weeks I meant play leaders and those times being voluntary / play based for those who need it. It would not have to be exactly like this 3/1 week idea but something a bit different to what we have now.

I do wonder how the school year might look if it had not just grown from being around the 'harvest' in the old days! If it was started from scratch. I notice PP mentioning teachers not liking it, however they would get this third week off and presumably if they had DC the Dc could attend the play / activity based weeks should they choose to, so would have thought might be preferable for teachers?

OP posts:

notnowmaybelater · 06/12/2019 10:23

Keeping 3 weeks in summer and one at Christmas but using the rest of the holidays to make every week genuinely A4 day week (with no option of going to school on Monday, doors locked or it in use by an external playscheme/ youth club/ tutoring/ MFL club/ music club/ sport club/ whatever but genuinely external) provider and the other four days remaining as they are - no longer, breaks stay the same) might address the tiredness of teachers and children.

Parents might not like that as one parent would have to work four days for many years, or pay for the Monday club...

The problem of when to do work on the fabric of the school would remain.

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