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Wasted month - get 4 more weeks preparing Year 11?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by diddydave, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    When it comes around to exams in May everyone suddenly needs more time with their year 11 (and 6th form), this would be my solution...no cost, no longer terms...just a little disruption for 1 year and a bit as teachers move on.

    We finish the school year at the end of June rather than July and start in August instead of September.

    Each child still gets their 190 days a year.
    The current year 10 going into 11 wouldn't gain any time as they lose this year's July but gain it back in August.
    The extra 4-weeks comes from the 'gained time' as currently described.

    As for disruption:
    Teacher contracts could gradually be changed to start on 1 August instead of 1 September
    Current teachers would have their 'summer' break in July rather than August and would have to come back for the month of August.
  2. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    Isn't this what happens in Scotland?
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    But would they have to move the exams earlier in order to get them all in, marked and circulated in time for the end of July?
  4. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Only if you need the GCSE results to govern entry onto Level 3 courses. This isn't something I'd see as necessary, most places can judge a student's suitability from their interview and school references.

    In my experience from when I was head of year 11 the colleges etc gave mainly unconditional offers as they were desperate to get bodies in. For the more 'elite' it could easily work in their favour by setting their grades and they get to see the students in action for a month and when the results come out decide then whether to keep them or not - quite a powerful incentive for students moving to those places to make good first impressions.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  5. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    If you don't care about getting results before the start of the new year (which seems to me like a recipe for disaster but let's run with it) then why not just move the exams later? Much easier than shifting the entire school year around.
  6. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Yes, and when I started teaching I believe the exams were later but the exam boards wanted more time to mark them and so there has been a gradual creep earlier and earlier.
  7. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    I don't object to a move to reflect the dates of Scottish schools (which are in alignment with most European countries) but I don't think it will solve the 'not enough time with Year 11' problem. It is my opinion that it doesn't matter how much time you have with Y11 it is never enough time. Actually, more accurately, it is enough time; it just doesn't feel like it is. Every year we complain that we'd like a chance to cover more (although Y11 always reach a point where they are as ready as they'll ever be and get testy in the classroom - but not 'testy' in a good way!) but, strangely, ever year most students do okay (as in, they achieve what they deserve/their target).

    Now, there are certain subjects that, according to them, never seem to have enough time and are always scheduling sessions after school, at weekends, through the night etc. (or want to start the GCSE in Y7!) and their results never seem to be vastly better (or worse) than anyone else's or their own results from other years (despite changing specifications)!
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Schools in Ireland have 12 weeks off over the Summer. Many other countries have between 8 and 10 weeks off for their Summer.

    So a better option is to be aligned with the longer Summer breaks and reduce the half-term breaks. Best for all year groups . So that there is a more teaching leading up to June for all year groups. Then all schools finish at the end of June and start again in September.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    How about moving the university year to a January start? Do what the Irish do, and have the school leaving exams after the end of term. No blocking up of the sports hall with exams, no problems keeping the place quiet. Exam marking would then be during the summer holidays, making it easier for teachers to take it on. Results in the September, then sort the uni places.
    blazer, strawbs and lilachardy like this.
  10. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    Is the exam system in this regard broken?

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