Consultation on the Length of the School Day

The children in our school are always our top priority with their learning and well-being at the heart of any decision we make. Following discussions with a number of parents over the last twelve months regarding how we structure the school day and after consulting with staff, the school governing body and the Trust, it has been proposed from September, that the timings of the school day will be adjusted in order to maximise teaching and learning throughout school and ensure your child receives positive experiences throughout the day including during lesson time and at unstructured times.

Allowing a change in the school day timings would be beneficial; for the children we would see less fatigue, teachers often note that learning time isn’t used to its full potential after 3pm as children are incredibly tired and often hungry. Similarly, after school clubs, which aim to enrich the curriculum, will begin promptly at 3pm and children will engage more positively, as they won’t be as exhausted. After school clubs will run 3pm-4pm.

For parents, we hope that you will be able to enjoy increased time with your children during term time, where you are able to focus on activities such as reading. We know that getting medical and dental appointments can be quite challenging with such a late finish. Equally, children have many after school commitments such as dancing, football, mosque etc. An earlier finish will hopefully ease some of the time pressures that can be created by these wonderful opportunities.

I would like to stress that pupils would continue to receive the same amount of time in lessons as they currently do. Changes have already been made regarding how children enter school in the morning and this now ensures children enter school promptly at 8:40am. In addition to this, our plan is to shorten the lunch period (which at present is unnecessarily long). School will finish at 3pm, making the school more in line with Rotherham schools. A 3pm finish also supports parents who collect children from the Infant School at 3:10pm.

We strongly believe that all children should have the chance to be physically active during their school day in classroom learning, PE lessons and at playtime. Despite reducing the lunch period, we will keep exercise as a priority by participating in the Daily Mile initiative with every child in school spending 15 minutes at least, three times per week, running or walking around an area of school (the yard, field or hall depending on the weather). This active time will be taken flexibly at the class teacher’s discretion, giving the children a mental and physical boost to further enhance learning opportunities.

Inevitably, the main emphasis of our discussions in school has been around the educational benefits of the proposal but, as you would expect, I am also extremely conscious of the social and family implications. The Governors and I are keen to answer any queries or concerns regarding these changes; therefore, if you would like to share your views, you can either write to me in school or e-mail me at sitwelljunior@rotherham.school by 30th April.

As ever, thank you for your continued support of the school.

J Dawson

Head Teacher