School Day Consultation FAQ

Restructuring the Academy Day

Thank you to those parents who took the time to comment on the proposed restructure of the Academy Day.  The majority of parents appear to welcome the proposed changes, with the following feedback and frequently asked questions:

What happens next?

Because most parents appear to support the idea of a restructured Academy day we will bring the proposal to governors at their next meeting on Wednesday 26 April.  After this meeting we will let parents, students and staff know what governors have decided.

If governors do approve the proposals then we will go ahead with them as soon as possible.  This might be as soon as Monday 12 June, 2017, but only if bus companies can adjust their schedule this soon.

What do parents most like about the proposal?

The following comments were typical:

  1. The three lunch sittings is a good idea as a calm and relaxed lunchtime enables children to fully enjoy their meal and fuel up for the afternoon session.
  1. During the darker winter months children will be able to travel home more safely
  1. There will be more time for after-school activities – and sport especially will benefit from the extra daylight hours
  1. A shorter day may be easier for students with shorter attention spans
  1. An earlier finish to the day would make it easier for children to fit in their homework and still have time for leisure as well as family time in the evening

What are the answers to the questions and concerns parents raised?

  1. Changing to an earlier finish time will impact heavily on those of us who work and already struggle to organise child care pick-ups and drop-offs. A later finish of 4.00pm would help.

There will be study facilities in the Academy library and IT open area, as well as a homework club, so students who need or want to stay at school and do their homework or read will be able to do so until at least 4pm.  There will also be a range of enrichment activities on after school every night from Tuesday to Friday, with varying finish times depending on the activity.

(One parent was concerned that the day might be further shortened; some schools now close at 2:30pm.  We can confirm that this is absolutely not the intention for Trinity.)

  1. What about the buses? Will my child have to wait an hour for a bus?

No.  Bus companies have reassured us that:

  • The usual bus will depart from Trinity’s carpark at 3:15. This will give students five minutes to catch the bus after the end of lessons, compared to the current three minutes.
  • In relation to Hatfield it is the bus company’s intention to run an additional 8 service from Moorends to Doncaster departing at 3:29. This will pick up at Thorne at 3:39 and continue to Doncaster via Hatfield Woodhouse and Hatfield.  In the morning the arrival at Thorne is 8:15, and the company has no plans to change this.
  • In terms of Fishlake and surrounding areas, the company suspects that demand would be small.  As they operate these journeys commercially, with no funding from external sources, they would not be in a position to put on an additional service. However, it may be possible for parents to club together and for something to be organised privately.  Parents should discuss this with Mr Thurlow if this would be something that would be welcome.

Bus companies have asked that we promote the “Mega Travel Pass”.  This speeds things up massively compared to payment in cash.  They also offer a weekly ticket at £6 a week, which might be of interest to some parents.  This can be purchased and used on a mobile phone app so that students need not carry cash about. 

  1. I think reading still needs to be encouraged in school.

Agreed.  We will have 15 minutes each day for silent reading, and reading will also take place in lessons.  Sometimes tutor time in the mornings will provide additional time for reading.

  1. Going from Y8 eating at 12:00 to Y9 eating at 13:30 is going to be hard on a lot of children

Good point.  For this reason we have adjusted the initial proposal, and students in Years 9 and 10 will eat during the second sitting instead of waiting until the third sitting.

  1. My child will be hungry by the time it’s his turn to eat. Will students get to eat in the canteen at break time?

Years 7, 8 and 10 will eat earlier under the new proposals, and Year 9 will eat at the same time as they do now.

Years 11, 12 and 13 will eat 25 minutes later than they do now (but only 10 minutes later during external examinations as you will see below).  Our sixth form have vending facilities in their sixth form centre.  Years 10 and 11 will continue to have priority use of the restaurants at break time. 

It works like this:

  Sitting Proposed new time Existing time
Year 7 1 12:05 12:40
Year 8 1 12:05 12:40
Year 9 2 12:40 12:40
Year 10 2 12:40 1:05
Year 11 3 1:30* 1:05
Year 12 3 1:30* 1:05
Year 13 3 1:30* 1:05

* Students who have an external exam in the afternoon will eat at 1:15pm

  1. Please can there be a selection of small healthy food/snacks to buy at break time and not hot bacon/sausage sandwiches? I would prefer that my son does not have the opportunity to buy hot sandwiches every day, perhaps you could offer this as a ‘Friday treat’. I think there should be the option of bringing food from home also.

Good point.  Our restaurant manager, Mr Oldale, and the Head of Food and Nutrition, Miss Nalty, will work together on the menu for break time, including seeking out students’ views.  Bringing food from home is fine, of course.

  1. Three lessons back to back in the afternoon without a break is too much.

It’s quite normal in schools for students to have three, or even four, lessons in a row.  Our arrangement requires students to work for two and a half hours, and students walk between lessons.  This is the way the timetable was set up in the first place at Trinity, and it worked well for nine years. (The Academy moved from this pattern to introduce one-hour lessons, but this didn’t generate the hoped for improvement in learning.)  The timing of the proposed new Academy day is below.

  1. I would ask for clear communication about the after-school activities on offer so that we can ensure our child attends these appropriately.

There are currently 32 different activities proposed for students to choose from on Tuesday to Friday afternoons, and the list continues to grow.  When this is finalised we will publish it to parents as well as students.

On Monday nights staff will be involved in training, working in ‘learning communities’ that will focus on strengthening skills and meeting identified training needs.  This training should impact the classroom immediately.  It is our aim that all our teachers should teach consistently excellent lessons, that discipline standards should rise as a result of a consistent, warm and fair approach, and that departmental teams should benefit from regular meetings to plan and review the curriculum.

Each night of the week there will be opportunity for students to attend homework club, or to study independently in the library or IT open area.

Proposed new Academy day  

Time Y7,8 Y9,10 Y11 and Sixth Form
8:25 Tutor time or assembly Tutor time or assembly Tutor time or assembly
9:00 Lesson Lesson Lesson
9:50 Lesson Lesson Lesson
10:40 Break Break Break
11:00 Lesson Lesson Lesson
11:50 Read then eat Lesson Lesson
12:40 Lesson Eat then read Lesson
1:30 Lesson Lesson Eat then read
2:20 Lesson Lesson Lesson
3:10

End of day

Optional enrichments or study opportunity

 

Mr Page and Mr Winch

April 2017