The typical school day from 9 am to 3 pm remains in existence in most schools (and has been that way since Adam was a lad!). Given the changes in society in the past 50 years I think it’s time that the length of the school day, as well as starting and finishing times were reviewed.
Whilst this may involve changed practices for some staff in schools it does NOT HAVE to mean working LONGER hours, just different hours.
Families circumstances and work patterns have changed and traditional school times may no longer be relevant. School times were initiated in the industrial age and the world has changed. ‘Stay at home mums’ are certainly the minority. Perhaps it’s time to revisit some of our traditions to reflect changing times.
Schools in many places are the hub of the community, yet the facilities in many schools are under utilised outside the ‘peak’ periods from 8 am to 3.30 pm. (Please note I am talking about the utilisation of the FACILITIES. I am NOT suggesting that staff in schools ONLY work from 8 to 3.30!!! – I know they work MUCH longer than that!
Rising rates of obesity will have long term effects on both the physical and mental health of people. It would be great to see more school facilities becoming the hub of the community and utilised by a diverse range of organisations including government services, sporting clubs, as well as private organisations.
A number of Chicago schools have extended the school day by 90 minutes. Some are utilising the extra time for ‘the basics’ whilst others are focusing on PE and the arts. Many schools feel these areas have suffered as a result of the increased emphasis on literacy and numeracy brought about by standardised assessment.
The implementation of the Australian Curriculum means subject areas are competing in a crowded curriculum.
Do schools need more time? What would it be used for?
Could the facilities in our schools be better utilised outside ‘normal’ school hours?
How could school hours align with the needs of society and modern work practices?