Change to School Session Times

Mr Richardson asked all students on Friday 15th April to take home a letter explaining the proposed change to school session times in September 2011 and September 2012. The letter is as follows:

[framed_box] Dear Parent or Carer

Statement of Intent to Change the School Session Times

On behalf of the governing body of Heworth Grange School I am writing to hereby give notice of our intention to change the school session times in September 2011 and September 2012 and to invite you to take part in consultation on the matter.

The school has been working all year on designing a new curriculum model capable of providing a relevant and engaging experience for all of our young people, ready for implementation in September 2012. Alongside that new curriculum model we have devised a new school day which will more effectively deliver the curriculum and help to provide a more challenging and vibrant classroom experience. The features of these new timings include:

[list style=”list1″ color=”blue”]
  • Earlier start and earlier finish.
  • Two week timetable cycle for greater flexibility.
  • 75 minute sessions to provide greater continuity of learning and a more intensive learning experience.
  • Less movement of students around the site.
  • Longer break, shorter lunch time.
  • Longer morning session, shorter afternoon.
  • Built in professional development experience for staff on a weekly basis.

The proposed new session times for SEPTEMBER 2012 are included at the bottom of this page in appendices 1 (four days a week) and 2 (one day a week). The timings in appendix 2 are for the one day a week when staff professional development would take place (session 4) and therefore normal lessons would end at 1.45pm on that day.

The provision of a weekly professional development opportunity for staff is critical if the school is to secure the improvement it seeks in teaching and learning and progress and standards over the coming years. To that end, and to facilitate the detailed planning required to deliver the new curriculum model successfully, we therefore propose to implement an interim school day in September 2011 which retains many of the features of the current timings but allows for the weekly professional development to commence next year. The features of this model are as follows:[list style=”list1″ color=”blue”]

  • Provides some of the benefits of the 2012/13 model but within the limitations of the current curriculum.
  • Maintains uniformity of lesson times and end of school day for students.
  • Standardised 50/55 minute lessons but with built in changeover time.
  • Still provides the advantages of an earlier finish and a built in professional development session every week.
  • Provides a sensible ‘bridging’ position between current position and 2012/13 model.

The proposed new session times for September 2011 are included in appendix 3 at the bottom of the page. Although we have included details of the changes for September 2012 there will be a further round of consultation next year.

Clearly changes like these do impact upon you and your family and therefore the governing body and I are keen to hear your views before we proceed formally to change the session times. I must be clear, however, that in my view these changes are absolutely necessary if we are to maintain and indeed accelerate the improvements we have achieved in the last two years.

You can share your views in all of the following ways:

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  • By writing to me at Heworth Grange, High Lanes, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE10 0PT
  • By using the contact form available in the “contact us” link at the top of this page
  • In person, at a specially convened meeting to take place at the school at 5.30pm on Tuesday 17th May 2011.
    The Chair of Governors, senior staff and I will all be present at the meeting to present our proposals in more detail and to answer any questions that you may have.

If you wish to attend the meeting please let us know by using the contact form in the “contact us” link at the top of this page, or by returning the tear off slip from the letter by Friday 13th May 2011

I appreciate that this letter is coming to you just before the Easter holidays; however, I felt it appropriate to give you as much notice as possible. I hope you will take the time to share your views on this matter and look forward to working with you to reach a satisfactory conclusion for us all.

All of the above details are also available on the school web site at

Kind regards

Chris Richardson
Head Teacher[/framed_box]

Activity Timing
Appendix Table 1 – Four days a week from 2012
Registration/assembly/news 08.45 – 09.00
Session 1 09.00 – 10.15
Session 2 10.15 – 11.30
Break 11.30 – 11.50
Session 3 11.50 – 13.05
Lunch 13.05 – 13.45
Session 4 13.45 – 15.00
Activity Timing
Appendix 2 – One day a week from 2012 – Lessons end 13.45
Registration/assembly/news 08.45 – 09.00
Session 1 09.00 – 10.15
Break 10.15 – 10.30
Session 2 10.30 – 11.45
Lunch 11.45 – 12.30
Session 3 12.30 – 13.45
Session 4 13.45 – 15.00
[/styled_table] [/one_half_last] [styled_table]
Activity Timing
Appendix 3 – School day 2011/12
Registration/assembly/news 08.55 – 9.10
Changeover 09.10 – 09.15
Period 1 09.15 – 10.10
Changeover 10.10 – 10.15
Period 2 10.15 – 11.10
Break 11.10 – 11.25
Period 3 11.25 – 12.20
Lunch 12.20 – 13.05
Registration 13.05 – 13.10
Changeover 13.10 – 13.15
Period 4 13.15 – 14.05
Changeover 14.05 – 14.10
Period 5 14.10 – 15.00