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Responses re Timings of the School Day

Thank you for your responses to the recent consultation on the proposed changes to the school day. I have responded to the queries that you have raised as an FAQ below.  If you have any further comments please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mr C D’Cunha
Assistant Chief Executive Officer
Executive Principal
Chantry Academy, Littleport and East Cambridgeshire Academy

Question

Response

What circumstances would children not be required to attend? They spend enough time at school without compulsory additions for extra-curricular activities they don’t want to do.

Taking care of siblings, strong parental objection are examples but this is not exhaustive. Individual student circumstances will be evaluated to make a decision.

How will you ensure that learning time is not lost?

We will be shortening Tutor time from 45min to 30min. This time lost throughout the year will be replaced with “Collapsed” sessions from external speakers to support the ICan and IAm sessions.

Students will still have five 1 hour lessons each day. There will not be a change in the curriculum allocation.

Why can’t you start later so the kids don’t miss anymore school work.

All schools are limited to the number of hours we can direct staff. To ensure we have enough time for Professional Development and Team meetings we feel it is necessary  to reduce the school day or reduce the time for extra-curricular activity.

The Y11 students in September will they be expected to only do revision focused extracurricular activities?

No, they can opt for a range of sessions, some departments will still run additional revision as part of the extra-curricular. Many of our year 11 have attended period 7 this year, but many of them feel they would have preferred the opportunity to expand their CV with addition activity.

We have designed a curriculum from years 7-11 which allows more than the Exam Boards Guided Learning hours within this time.

What will happen if a child does not want to attend and their parents support this?

These are optional, we strongly encourage students to attend and the activities are there to enrich their experience. We believe we will get strong take up but the end of compulsory learning would be 3pm.

Will the children have to, or be encouraged to, attend every day, Monday to Thursday?

There will be a range of sessions each day and students will sign up to these for the half-term, they will be expected to attend for the half-term. This will encourage resilience, they can then change their option for the following half-term. They will not have to attend each day.

Will my child have to sign up to something they don't want to do if their preferred choice is full?

No. This is their choice, we are hoping that there will be around 15 clubs each night and an alternative session would be available on a different night. However, we would encourage students to try something new.

Is it a requirement to take part in at least 2 activities per week?

It is strongly advised and encouraged, but not compulsory.

By finishing the school an extra 15 mins per day, I believe is not good for the children's valuable learning time, as this will shorten their learning time by 1.25 hours per week. If you base that on the current school weeks that the children that's a lot of learning time to lose in the course of a year. Do you propose how as a school you will make up for the missed learning time, if this change takes place? 

We will be shortening Tutor time from 45min to 30min. This time lost throughout the year will be replaced with “Collapsed” sessions from external speakers to support the ICan and IAm sessions.

Students will still have 5 one hour lessons each day. There will not be a change in the curriculum allocation.

Lots of children don't want to do these clubs . They spend enough time in school as it is. Children should be asked what extra activities they want to do. At the end of the day children should be listened to as it’s all about what the children want.

This change is being considered following discussions with students. We will also ask students if there are particular activities that we do not offer that we could reasonably accommodate.

Will they be mandatory/compulsory?

No. Students will be strongly encouraged to attend but we envisage a high take up.

How will you deal with allotting students per sessions? Some will obviously more popular than others.

We have considered this as a possibility and we are exploring a number of options, but nothing has been confirmed.

·         First come first served

·         Allocating additional slots for popular sessions

·         Limiting students to a one half-term run

How are the children going to catch up with Core studies when leaving school earlier to attend hobbies?

We have designed the timetable to provide ample time above the Exam Boards Guided Learning Hours – recommended amount of time to complete the course. We also have intervention sessions for students within the school day with teachers and Higher Level Teaching Assistants who work with small groups to close gaps in student learning.

Would there be constant cancellations of the activities as has been the case previously or would the extra-curricular session be treated like a lesson?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will the students have the opportunity to request activities they are interested in?

 

 

 

Will year groups be mixed for activities?

There is a risk that with staff absence sessions will be cancelled. As we are expecting students to sign up in advance we will be able to notify parents that the session is cancelled. As these groups are being provided by staff who wish to share their passion, it is difficult to communicate this passion through a replacement. Many staff will offer support to ensure groups can continue.

 

Yes, they can make suggestions and we will endeavour to accommodate these if there is sufficient interest.

 

There will be activities that mix year groups, this is good for their personal development particularly for productions. There will not be mixing of year groups if there is a risk to health or safety.

Is this part of Department of Education changes or just the school?

I am delighted to say that this is a decision made by the school, made in the best interest of the students and the wider community.