# Timetable

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Maths_Mike, Jun 27, 2011.

1. ### Maths_MikeNew commenter

Can anyone believe this.
Curent year 10 have 4 lessons (out of 6 per fortnight) period 5 (ie last period) 66% of lessons Period 5
In year 11 next year they get 3 out of 6 period 5. - 50% period 5
The other half of year 11 also get 3 lessons period 5 (2 of which are Friday period 5)
So in total of the 10 available period 5 slots (5 each week - two week timetable) 6 of them are filled with year 11 classes.
This is for a struggling department that is a major target for whole school improvement and will be led be a new (and acting subject leader - my repalcement) and will have 2 other staff replaced by GTP's.
Thank God I am Leaving

2. ### cyolba

We shojuld go to the septic idea of proper lessons in the morning and then sporty arty crud in the afternoon. All our PPA is then afte rlunch and we can volunteer to join in some of the fun stuff.
Your timetable is akin to an AS class I once had, whose 4 period week consisted of a double MOnday 1 and 2 and then a two singles on Friday, either side of lunch. The joy!

cyolba, glad he's not working there either

3. ### valed

Yes - I am sure I was told that too!
Mind you, I was surprised the deputy had time to tell me - he was off to teach one of his 6 lessons for the week.....
.... and every time I walked past his room, there was at least one 'naughty person' standing outside...
How long to go Mike ???

4. ### r.larder

Mmmmmm... Call yourselves professionals!!!! As a music teacher who has taken on timetabling for this year and has also taught English in the afternoons (Poor you!) it is up to the teacher to provide stimulating and enjoyable lessons for the pupils. I have tried my best to keep English and Maths away from the last period of the day, after lunch, after break, when there is a full moon or when it is windy!. Maybe Saturday mornings would be preferable for certain teachers..... no, I thought not. Stop whining and get on with the job you are paid to do... which is teach.

5. ### NazardNew commenter

Thanks for your constructive post.
I don't think anyone is advocating that maths should never be taught at the end of the school day, but it does seem to be unhelpful to have such a large proportion of KS4 maths lessons taking place during the afternoon. Given that maths is such a major priority in Mike's school, the timetabler should perhaps have put the timing of maths lessons higher up the priority list.
I am somewhat concerned that you have taught English (at any time of day).

6. ### r.larder

Touche!!
I agree that this should be a higher priority and that there seems to be a lot of KS4 maths at the end of the day, but what should be timetabled in the afternoons then. The 'crud' artistic lessons that have been proved to boost academic ability?
Some timetablers don't care that much about what falls where, I agree, but those who complain the most should offer their services to find a solution and go see the staff who's 'crud' lessons need to be scheduled in the afternoons.

7. ### NazardNew commenter

This is what everyone else on the thread has said.
A bit of everything! At the moment it appears overwhelmingly to be mathematics that is in this position. If teachers of other subjects (such as music and English) want to argue that it is as easy to teach KS4 pupils during the afternoon as it is during the morning then they should clearly volunteer to have their lessons during the afternoon. Otherwise there should be some parity between the subjects.
No one else on this thread has been harsh about other subjects. No one is denigrating other subjects, but we are expressing surprise that maths is being treated in this way.
Again, no one is arguing that certain subjects are less worthy than other subjects. Sharing out the less productive lessons does seem to be fair, though.

8. ### r.larder

Actually, yes they have. Thats why the word 'crud' has been used

9. ### reilloc

Er ... no; the posts before yours didn't talk about any other subjects and you were the poster to introduce " crud"

10. ### Maths_MikeNew commenter

r.larder I think your post was mainly in response to post 2 - but you did not make this clear.

It therefore came across that you think it is OK to timetable anything anytime and because we are professionals we should not complain. If that is your honest view than I have to hope that I dont ever work in a school where you do the timtable.

A timetable should be designed to consider many factors and clearly you cant please everyone all the time, but prioritising a struggling department and trying to ensure the are not unfairkly timetabled with regard to Key stage 4 lessons is an obvious one IMO.

Excepting post 2 - no one said maths should not be taught last period - clearly we are not going to always have last period free (couldnt you tell CYOBLA was being sarastic - I thought you taught English?) and we would happily except a fair distribution of Period 5 lessons across the different ages and abilities.

The group in question however has 66% of their lesson period 5 in year 10 and will now get 50% of their lesson period 5 in year 11. working on 39 weks in year 10 and 30 in year 11 this means that of their 207 Key stage 4 lessons - 122 (59%) of them - will have been period 5.

Anyone who thinks this is a fair and sensible distribution of lessons (for any subject) needs their head examined.

11. ### Maths_MikeNew commenter

Haha - too young to retire unfortunately but moving to another school in September with no responsibilities and plenty of a Level so hopfefully I will be happier.

12. ### ajw87

I was just reading this post and felt compelled to reply. I work in a struggling school, and have just received my new timetable. We have 5 periods of Maths per week, and all 5 (yes all five) are period 6 every day, every week for KS4. Mad?!

13. ### DMNew commenter

As a timetabler I am gobsmacked by these stories. If any subject did not receive an equitable distribution, I would be bombarded with complaints! In my school with a five period day and six lessons per fortnight, mathematics gets 1, 3, 5 in week one and 2, 3, 4 in week two. How hard can it be?!

14. ### skintbintNew commenter

I worked in a school where year 8 had maths one morning and one afternoon. the afternoon sessions were sheer HELL, however the same group were angels first thing in the morning - different teacher? different subject? no. Whosoever thinks timetabling does not matter is a TWIT!!

15. ### rogerjob

Up North we also have timetable problems. Maths HOD put in groups and teachers, unavoidably he managed 2 "split" classes i.e more than one teacher. (We are told English managed no "splits" - they do have more staff) When the first draft came back from SMT it had grown to 10!! (English 6) - Thats going to be great for results! Answer from SMT you have too many part-time staff (only 2)! 3 weeks to go, and counting!

16. ### mmmmmathsNew commenter

This time last year I was given timetables where some classes had three different teachers and numerous classes had two teachers. Staff with 3 non contacts, staff with 13 non contacts!

17. ### JD113New commenter

All but one of our KS3 classes are split, and some of the KS4 classes too. But we do have several part-timers.

18. ### pipipi

I think part-timers do decrease the options that a timetabler has. If they don't work Fridays, then their classes get squeezed into 4 days. That means I spend the rest of the week squeezed as well. But I welcome part-timers in to the dept. (and maybe I should consider part-time too).
What I really think is unfair (or maybe a timetabler hasn't realised?) is when a large majority of any dept is only in the morning or only in the afternoon. And if a particular dept is a focus, maybe they should be prioritised.
(possibly a timetabler is so pleased that everything has been fitted in, that they haven't noticed. I remember my timetabler expecting that the first draft would receive plenty of 'criticism' and would then adapt. Sometimes it would adapt to whoever shouted loudest!)

19. ### googolplexOccasional commenter

An obvious way of reducing afternoon lessons is to flip the day (P12345 becomes P54321), which is something that we have done in the past in order to achieve a fairer balance. It works provided you don't have some special group which is timetabled a particular period in order to access learning out of school.

20. ### Guzintas

Mr/Mrs/Ms Larder. Your response is a sad, but unfortunately accurate in too many cases, example of how SMT (or people doing a job to get themselves on to SMT) work in schools. Maybe you are the one who should stop whining and get on with having a decent go at the job which you are paid to do...which is to design a fair timetable for all.