Why change?

Why is this ‘a better way of learning’?

     Better study time

  • Increased teaching time for students, of up to 50 hours per year
  • Longer lessons which bring students academic benefits

     Better use of the day 

  • A later start means that students are ready to learn
  • Avoids students having periods of trapped time between lessons
  • Enables blocks of time for students to study, or undertake work experience, enrichment activities or part-time employment
  • More respectful of students’ other commitments and less ‘school-like’ 

     Better preparation for the future

  • Longer sessions give students more time to develop their independent study skills, more time to get support and better prepare them for university and employment.

Why did we change the College Day?

Students and parents told us that the College day and timetable did not work as well as it could because:

  • Sometimes there could be long gaps between lessons
  • Starting at 8.50am start meant that some students left home as early as 7am to get to College on time
  • Students had up to 4 different subjects in one day: this meant 4 subjects to focus on, 4 lots of homework to be working on and 4 lots of books to bring in.

Why did we change to a later start time?

Academic research shows that students learn better later in the day and that an early start time is not optimum for teenagers. Professor Colin Epsie, Professor of Sleep Medicine in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford states that: 

'We know that something funny happens when you’re a teenager, in that you seem to be out of sync with the world. Your parents think it’s because you’re lazy and opinionated and everything would be ok if you could get to sleep earlier. But science is telling us that teenagers need to sleep more in the mornings.'

We discussed our new timetable model with a number of academics both at home and internationally and all commented that the new model will help students to learn. 

Dr Paul Kelley of the Open University (and formerly Research Associate at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford) states:

'A better way of learning: Why starting school at 10:00 improves education and health? Teenage years are critical for both education and health. During late adolescence major physical changes mean teenagers need more sleep. In addition, biological changes occur, making them naturally wake up and go to sleep later in the day. So later starting times protect student sleep and student health. The 10am start will also improve learning, partly because students will be in better health, and partly because teenagers and university students learn better later in the day.'