March 12 2014 Latest news:
Monday, January 13, 2014
An academy could reduce its teaching time by 50 minutes per week in a bid to free up staff for teacher training with the aim of becoming an outstanding school.
Wymondham High Academy is currently consulting on whether to finish the timetable at 2pm on a Tuesday, following which teachers would take part in 90 minutes of “collaborative planning”.
This could include bringing in educational trainers Mike Hughes and Dylan William, as well as sharing best practice between colleagues.
Vice principle Jonathan Rockey stressed that pupils would still be allowed to stay on site until 3pm for activities including homework, hobby, sports and academic clubs. Buses would leave the school at 2pm, followed by a “late” bus at 3pm.
“What we want as an academy is to achieve outstanding status and we believe high quality professional development is the key to achievement,” he said.
“One of the issues is that because we have such a wide curriculum we have some period six teaching in the sixth form and we want everybody to be involved in the training.”
Under the proposals, the school day on a Tuesday would still contain five teaching periods, each of which would last 50 minutes instead of 60. Currently the school day begins at 8.35 with an assembly, and lessons run from 8.55am until 3pm, with a break and lunchtime. The consultation document said that governors had agreed to the change in principle, subject to consultation with staff, parents and students.
Mr Rockey added that a number of parents had already responded positively.
“We strongly believe the improvement in teaching and learning would offset the 50 minutes lost,” he added. “We want to be an outstanding school but know that we need to balance that with the needs of the community and we’re mindful of that.
“Following the consultation we’ll look at the responses, and everybody who has responded so far has had an individual reply, and we’ll look at whether there are any further ideas we can take from parents, and we’ll take it forward form there with a view to starting it in September.”
Wymondham High Academy was rated as a “good” school by Ofsted in July, up from its previous “satisfactory” status.