Dear Parent/Carer,

We recently invited a consultation on minor changes to the timing of the school day from September 2024. This was to accommodate changes in the delivery of PSHE/RSE considering the recommendations made in the recent DESC PSHE/RSE Review.

Proposed times for September 2024 are as follows:

Monday - Thursday Friday
Registration (Period 1) 8.50am - 9.10am 8.50am - 9.00am
PSHE 9.00am - 9.45am
Period 2 9.10am - 10.00am 9.45am - 10.30am
Period 3 10.00am - 10.50am 10.30am - 11.15am
Breaktime 10.50am - 11.10am 11.15am - 11.35am
Period 4 11.10am - 12.00pm 11.35am - 12.20pm
Period 5 (Lunch: Years 7, 9 & 11) 12.00pm - 12.50pm 12.20pm - 1.05pm
Period 6 (Lunch: Years 8, 10, 12 & 13) 12.50pm - 1.40pm 1.05pm - 1.50pm
Period 7 1.40pm - 2.30pm 1.50pm - 2.35pm
Period 8 2.30pm - 3.20pm 2.35pm - 3.20pm

There was no need to alter bus times for the morning drop-offs at school or for bus pick-up times.

Following a one-month consultation period from 1st – 31st May we received responses from 7 parents/carers, 5 teachers and 3 students.

We would like to share the following responses to points raised by parents and carers:

Point Response
Ballakermeen school day should align with SNHS SNHS have already decided their new school day based on their context. To match with SNHS would create significant logistical issues, particularly around school buses, and would require more significant changes to the student curriculum at BHS.
45 minute lunch on a Friday is too short 45 minutes is sufficient time to get lunch and in conjunction with a 20 minute morning break we feel that students will enjoy a suitable amount of non-lesson time on a Friday.
Friday is too long With the addition of a PSHE lesson and the subsequent 6 lessons of 45 minutes, only 5 minutes extra lesson time is added to the day on a Friday.

Students will lose learning time

This is the main compromise of this proposal however the alternative would be to consider removing certain lessons/subjects from the curriculum in part or completely. There will certainly need to be even more emphasis on making every second count and being absolutely prepared for learning on a Friday. This though is part of the culture that we are trying to establish everyday at Ballakermeen. The importance of the learning taking place in PSHE and the value that this has as students move forward in their lives is considered a mitigating balance to the compromise.

As a result of the consultation and based on the responses received, we plan for the proposed change to the school day to be put into place in September 2024 with an ongoing review of impact during the Autumn term up to Christmas.

Yours faithfully,

Graeme Corrin
Head Teacher