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General Chat Thread, Lengthen school day says Gove! in General; Originally Posted by elsiegee40 Perhaps Mr Gove should be lookjng at parliamentary hours too. If parliament started sitting earlier in ...
  1. #16


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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    Perhaps Mr Gove should be lookjng at parliamentary hours too. If parliament started sitting earlier in the day and didn't get even more holidays (recesses) than the schools, perhaps we'd get better laws?! Or perhaps it doesn't work like that, eh?!
    Ha! Sometimes I think they should sit a lot less - less law might be better law (and we could cut their pay and pensions pro-rata!).

  2. #17

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    Im happy to accept the lower than average wage in return for the increased time I spend with my family. If Mr Gove expects me to spend less time with my family then I need to be compensated for that.

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    ButterflyMoon (19th April 2013), stevenlong1985 (19th April 2013)

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    The point about private schools having longer holidays and yet often better results is a good one - IMHO it is class sizes that makes all the difference rather than time. I know several private schools locally and even though you would think they did, they don't have "better kit" than we do and in a couple of cases it is substantially worse, so that isnt the reason. The teachers are good, but not necessarily substantially better than public ones. Which leaves class sizes. Every teacher I know feels that they get on so much better when a good proportion of the class are away ill or whatever. We are up to 35 in some classes at my schools.
    Costing is a huge issue too - schools certainly can't manage the extra costs of heating, lighting and staff on their present budgets so that would have to be looked at very carefully.
    Primary children certainly can't concentrate for long periods and they don't need to experience a working day. If it gave more time for things like Art, Music and Sport I can see the merit as these subjects are being squeezed out of the curruculum. For older children expanding some subjects could be good.
    I like the idea of no homework - with all the distractions at home I think children would do better to do it at school - but the older ones do need to learn self-discipline and how to structure your own time to get work done.
    As for Asian schools - I have just read a very interesting article - which I can't find - by a Japanese girl who is now in the west and tells of how at school she was just taught reams of facts which she regurgitated for exams - with no real understanding of anything

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    NikChillin's Avatar
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    I think primary and secondary should be separated here, primary schools could incorporate a longer day but with more physical activity or team games to break up the time in lesson. It doesn't all have to be study.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Play is needed more in schools - primaries are slowly but surely removing it. Play means socialising, it means enjoyment - which means linking the things they've learned to good times and therefore making them more memorable.

    The idea of all work all of the time is not a good plan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    The teachers are good, but not necessarily substantially better than public ones. Which leaves class sizes. Every teacher I know feels that they get on so much better
    Sorry, but you can't ignore the demographics. You have parents who are spending sometimes tens of thousands of pounds on their children's education and THAT is very strong evidence that they are interested, engaged and motivated parents. I'm not sure how you would normalise that aspect out of the data to look at the effect of just class size, but without doing that any conclusion is suspect.
    Last edited by pcstru; 19th April 2013 at 09:29 AM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    <SNIP>
    As for Asian schools - I have just read a very interesting article - which I can't find - by a Japanese girl who is now in the west and tells of how at school she was just taught reams of facts which she regurgitated for exams - with no real understanding of anything
    After finding myself with lots of asians on my course I can confirm this seems to be a bigger problem than is recognised. I've recently been on a course with lots of asians already with degrees from their own countries who have come over to the UK to study here in the hope of gaining better employment when they return home because they have studied in english. What was blatantly apparent is that some of these students have been taught to listen to their teacher and repeat it for any coursework/exam and they would pass. When they were tasked with having to think for themselves they couldn't do it, and didn't understand how they could fail when they had repeated information already given to them.

    Don't get me wrong there were some very clever people too, but the majority of students struggled to gain an understanding of the subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    The point about private schools having longer holidays and yet often better results is a good one - IMHO it is class sizes that makes all the difference rather than time. I know several private schools locally and even though you would think they did, they don't have "better kit" than we do and in a couple of cases it is substantially worse, so that isnt the reason. The teachers are good, but not necessarily substantially better than public ones. Which leaves class sizes. Every teacher I know feels that they get on so much better when a good proportion of the class are away ill or whatever. We are up to 35 in some classes at my schools.
    Costing is a huge issue too - schools certainly can't manage the extra costs of heating, lighting and staff on their present budgets so that would have to be looked at very carefully.
    Primary children certainly can't concentrate for long periods and they don't need to experience a working day. If it gave more time for things like Art, Music and Sport I can see the merit as these subjects are being squeezed out of the curruculum. For older children expanding some subjects could be good.
    I like the idea of no homework - with all the distractions at home I think children would do better to do it at school - but the older ones do need to learn self-discipline and how to structure your own time to get work done.
    As for Asian schools - I have just read a very interesting article - which I can't find - by a Japanese girl who is now in the west and tells of how at school she was just taught reams of facts which she regurgitated for exams - with no real understanding of anything
    From personal experience, private schools also have far better student behavior and push the kids more.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    a Japanese girl who is now in the west and tells of how at school she was just taught reams of facts which she regurgitated for exams - with no real understanding of anything
    Ah, that ties in with Goves' new curriculum then.
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Play is needed more in schools - primaries are slowly but surely removing it.
    Really? Evidence for this is...?
    Last edited by sparkeh; 19th April 2013 at 10:26 AM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Really? Evidence for this is...?
    First hand experience of primaries in the area - they have such a focus on English, Maths and Science now, 'creative' and 'play' subjects are diminished.

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    As someone working in a private school, I certainly agree with the comments that we don't necessarily have better equipment than the state sector! However, smaller class sizes certainly help (average here would be about 15, hardly anything bigger than 20) but the children are here from 8.30 to nearly 7pm five days a week, plus Saturdays - and that's for kids 8 years old and upwards. They do compensate by having longer holidays - just had 3 and a half weeks for Easter, and 8 weeks over the summer...

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    First hand experience of primaries in the area - they have such a focus on English, Maths and Science now, 'creative' and 'play' subjects are diminished.
    Ah I see, so *your* local primaries are doing this, this is not the same as saying
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Play is needed more in schools -primaries are slowly but surely removing it.
    My experience of *my* local primaries is that play is valued as a way of learning and creativity is encouraged.

  16. #28

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Ah I see, so *your* local primaries are doing this, this is not the same as saying
    My experience of *my* local primaries is that play is valued as a way of learning and creativity is encouraged.
    You do realise we're all discussing from our own experiences here? I'm pretty sure none of us so far work at DoE level, or have PhDs in Child Development or some such? I present my views, based on my experience. You present yours. Don't get arsey about it because they differ.

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    I don't think most schools could afford to pay for staffing. Teachers get payed AYR anyway for not being here, but support staff on TTO would rightfully expect to be paid for the extra days/hours. Doubt most teachers could teach well without the extensive support network they rely on now-a-days. We have a TA in pretty much every classroom.

    Only way i could see it happening without increasing costs dramatically (also what about funding to heat/power the building) is to stagger the staffing, reducing the overall support.

    Sounds like a quality vs quantity situation to me, improving standards rather than hours would be better for everyone.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    You do realise we're all discussing from our own experiences here? I'm pretty sure none of us so far work at DoE level, or have PhDs in Child Development or some such? I present my views, based on my experience. You present yours. Don't get arsey about it because they differ.
    Oh I'm sorry if you felt I was coming across arsey, really wasn't intended and reading back I don't think it sounds like that. I generally have a lot of time for your posts whether I agree with them or not.

    Of course we are all talking from experience and stating that experience helps form the debate doesn't it. Saying "primaries are removing play" isn't helpful to the debate (or necessarily true as you can't speak of the national picture). Saying that in your area this is happening is helpful and interesting. If there was someone posting here who had experience of primaries at LA level then stating that they had experience of what the trend was at a county level is helpful and, truthfully, more valid in discussing the big picture.

    Makes sense right?
    Sparkeh (not arsey).
    Last edited by sparkeh; 19th April 2013 at 10:50 AM.

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