Response to the school day
29 June 2018 (by admin)
Consultation of the length of the school day at Crossgates Primary School.
28th June 2018
Dear Parents and Carers,
I wrote to you in April to consult about changing the length of the school day. Thank you for your responses. We had many positive verbal comments and received 15 emails both positive and negative.
All parents/ carers, staff, local schools and the crossing patrol were involved in the consultation process. School Crossing expressed that it would make Milnrow safer, as all crossing patrols would operate at the same time. A member of staff from Hollingworth also mentioned that it would make it easier for pupils from their school as they wouldn’t have to hang around as much waiting for their siblings from Crossgates.
This week we held a Governing Board meeting and it was decided that the change to the school day will go ahead. The benefits for the children and school far outweigh any negative effects some people think it will have.
I would like to remind you of the reason behind this change.
- Next year we will be at full capacity. Nine years ago we had 254 children in school. From September 2018, we will have 315 children.
- Fewer children on the playground together. Children will have more space and will be able to enjoy the equipment more.
- More learning time will be available. Therefore, better use of time. We have a very busy curriculum during which we will be able to relax and incorporate natural rest breaks for the children, especially in the afternoon. This will promote children’s wellbeing.
- At the moment some TAs cover lunchtime and are out of class at the start of the afternoon. We will be able to provide better opportunities for the children.
- Reduce behaviour incidents 12:55 – 1:10 is always the most difficult time. The children have been out for too long.
- Even though there will be a shorter lunchtime, there will be more time for children to eat.
- We won’t increase the charge for afterschool club. It will run from 3:15 – 5:30.
- I know that some swimming lessons etc. start at 4pm, so it will be much less of a rush for parents.
- In the winter months, it is dark by 3:30pm. This will give children extra time to get home in the light.
I would like to reassure you about some of the concerns raised:
- The expense of 15 minutes after school club. After school club will be free for the first 15 minutes for parents who are unable to make it due to work commitments. This will also apply to child minders who pick up from two or more schools. This can be pre-arranged through the after school club staff before September. After school club charges will remain the same and charges will start from 3:30.
- Congestion in Milnrow. I agree, but it is congested from 2:30pm. We are a ‘Walk to School’ school and I would encourage parents and children to walk more. The pollution outside a school at the start and the end of the day is dangerously high; there are studies to prove this. The road rage I see at times is very concerning and this happens at the top of Kiln Lane beyond school.
- Concern about too many schools finishing at 3:15. When we looked at this we did discuss a 3pm finish. I don’t think this would have been a good idea for all parents. The concern seemed to be around Milnrow Parish. Their children tend to walk across Kiln Lane or down it. By the time our children get there the congestion should have gone. On a positive note, School Crossing has expressed that it will make Milnrow safer as all crossing patrols will operate at the same time. The only other school that finishes at 3:15 is Newhey.
- We don’t think about working parents. I believe we do. We opened breakfast club in response to requests from parents who needed to get to work earlier. Those parents, who only need after school club till 3:30, because they work, will get it free of charge. As I stated in my original letter, there won’t be an increase in the cost of after school club. We run the most flexible breakfast and after school clubs for working parents. Not many schools do this.
- Easy option and less work. The children will get an extra session of learning each day, which will be extremely beneficial with the broad, balanced and packed curriculum we deliver.
- Children work better in the afternoons. Children actually work much better in the mornings.
- A concern that 45 minutes isn’t long enough for lunch. We have tried this out and it has worked much better. In the past, the children have had to wait for their lunch and have had to rush. This will no longer be the case.
- It’s because some children can’t behave. It really is because they have had enough. There are more accidents at the end of lunch because so many children are outside. Or, some children pretend they have fallen over so that they can come in. In September, there will be 315 children in school, as opposed to 254 nine years ago. It’s a big increase and we have less play space since the Finch classes were built.
- It’s about saving money. Yes it will save money, but this isn’t the most important reason. It’s about continually developing the quality of education we can provide. Any money saved will be used to benefit all the children.
- What about children’s wellbeing? This will give us more time for Philosophy, massage, walk the mile and mindfulness. At the moment, it is all a rush. We would never put anything into place that would damage the children’s wellbeing; it’s not what we are here for. Children will have time to be sociable during lessons, at playtime and at lunchtime.
As I mentioned in a newsletter, on Monday, 18th June, we started a two week trial at lunchtime. It has run extremely smoothly. This is what has been noted so far:
- Lunches have been served quicker – better use of the time.
- No waiting around for the children.
- Hall is ready at 1:15 for PE or music.
- No negative impact of TAs not being in the classroom in the afternoon.
- It’s calmer.
- The children have had enough time to eat and play.
- The children have been positive.
- No incidents or accidents.
- The children have been very independent.
- There has been an opportunity for an extra playtime.
- When it’s hot it’s enough and when it’s cold it’s definitely enough time! With the weather being so hot, it has worked extremely well.
The new day will start in September, 8:45 – 3:15. I hope my responses have reassured you. If they haven’t, please make an appointment to talk to me. I do want this to work for everyone. If there is something I have missed, I would like to sort it out before September.
Many thanks for your comments.
Mrs. Norton (Headteacher) and the Governing Board.