Norwich high school starts consultation with parents over changes to school day

City Academy in Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

City Academy in Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A Norwich high school is consulting with parents on planned changes to its day - including closing one hour earlier once a week.

City Academy Norwich (CAN) has written to parents and carers about the changes, which would begin in September.

For students aged 11 to 15 - in years seven to 10 - the day will finish at 3.05pm on four days of the week, 20 minutes earlier than now, and at 2.30pm on Thursdays.

For 16-year-olds, year 11 students taking their GCSEs, they will leave school at 4pm on Mondays, and follow the same pattern as younger pupils for the rest of the week.

The school - which is to be taken over by the Bohunt Education Trust (BET) from the Transforming Education in Norfolk Group (TEN) - says training for staff would be extended by 25 minutes on Thursdays 'to support school improvement plans over the coming year'.

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But BET said, under the proposed changes, learning time would actually increase, and that students would also have more time for enrichment and extra-curricular activities.

Paul Collin and Gary Green, executive academy leads, said: 'With the demands of the new GCSE specifications on students, we believe that providing our year 11 students with the opportunity of a greater amount of learning time will support them to make improved progress and achieving the results they need.

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'Our mission is to give every student the opportunity to succeed in life, and quality classroom teaching is absolutely key to this.'

They said it would enable teachers to better share ideas and feedback. The shake-up would include moving the form period to the beginning of the day, introducing additional compulsory study time for year 11 and formalising a period dedicated to numeracy and literacy.

But one parent, who wished to stay anonymous, said they were worried about the impact on their child's GCSEs and felt frustrated as they based their work hours around the school timetable.

In September, it was announced that CAN would move to BET to 'build on the work' undertaken since the school became an academy in 2009.

The school faced scrutiny after a string of disappointing exam results, with just 34pc achieving a grade four or above - roughly equivalent to a C - in English and maths last year.

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