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General Chat Thread, 'Long summer holidays should end' in General; Right, so yet another interfering organisation has thrown in its 2 pence with regards to 'what's wrong with education'. This ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    'Long summer holidays should end'

    Right, so yet another interfering organisation has thrown in its 2 pence with regards to 'what's wrong with education'. This one is saying that summer holidays are too long. BBC NEWS | Education | Long school holidays 'should end'

    What do others think?

    I think that all these little stupid schemes and ideas that are constantly being introduced into education are missing one major factor: the views of the actual teachers. Those that work with the kids every day, and know how to get the best from them.

    Plus, if we don't have summer holidays, when will school get major projects done? Doing them in school time would be majorly disruptive to the kids.

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    Good way to get your name in the headlines, come up with some idea, throw it out there, let it be shot down and then come back with "It's a working idea and with the 'constructive' (read: shot down) views of the public, it could happen".

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Right, so yet another interfering organisation has thrown in its 2 pence with regards to 'what's wrong with education'. This one is saying that summer holidays are too long. BBC NEWS | Education | Long school holidays 'should end'

    What do others think?

    I think that all these little stupid schemes and ideas that are constantly being introduced into education are missing one major factor: the views of the actual teachers. Those that work with the kids every day, and know how to get the best from them.

    Plus, if we don't have summer holidays, when will school get major projects done? Doing them in school time would be majorly disruptive to the kids.
    i think the suggestion is complete rubbish....

    instead of looking at the six week holidays, we need to look at the school day itself and ask whether that can be improved to get the best out of pupils.

    The school day is dominated by activities that don't help a young persons health and well-being. Sitting at a desk for the majority of the day, and the limited amount of time devoted to physical activities such as sporting activities.

    Infact, the limited range of sports and physical activities in schools, is of greater concern than the length of the six week holidays. The six week holidays were the only real chance we had when i was that age to play an extended amount of cricket and football. I know not everyone is keen onthat, but the six weeks is an opportunity for young people to do those activities that interest them that aren't available or are limited in schools.

    The issues of literacy and numeracy do not end at the school gates, learning has to happen at the home in evenings and weekeds with meaningful activities. Activities which can mark the progress a young person is making is preferable to spending more hours in school.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    It is a difficult subject because it affects so many young people. I personally have often thought that six weeks is a little too long for the summer holidays.

    As a compromise, they could make February half term two weeks, Easter remains two weeks and May half term becomes two weeks, leaving the summer holiday at four weeks.

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    Nooo, I like my summer sleep!

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    I think it’s inevitable that some changes will happen as the subject keeps cropping up more and more often. I do also believe (as already mentioned) that parents have a responsibility to read and practice writing with their kids. How on earth this is the fault of the education system when the kids aren’t even at school baffles me!

    I often think the Government should intervene more and put more pressure on those parents that couldn't care less! I really cannot see any justification for not reading with your children.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    It is a difficult subject because it affects so many young people. I personally have often thought that six weeks is a little too long for the summer holidays.

    As a compromise, they could make February half term two weeks, Easter remains two weeks and May half term becomes two weeks, leaving the summer holiday at four weeks.
    The Finnish education system has a 10 week summer holiday, they start at a later age and the younger kids finish earlier in the afternoon. And last I checked, they had better results for their kids.

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    joe90bass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The Finnish education system has a 10 week summer holiday, they start at a later age and the younger kids finish earlier in the afternoon. And last I checked, they had better results for their kids.
    Weren't they top of an education league? (not sure if just European league or worldwide)

    I'm sure the getting kids into school at an early age was part of a government plan/scheme to get parents back into work. Along with the plans for breakfast clubs, etc.........

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    So when uni finishes in April and doesn't go back until mid september ....?

    (Not just kids that forget how to read and count!)

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe90bass View Post
    Weren't they top of an education league? (not sure if just European league or worldwide)

    I'm sure the getting kids into school at an early age was part of a government plan/scheme to get parents back into work. Along with the plans for breakfast clubs, etc.........
    i think that's a very good point....the govt. policy has been to bend over backwards for working parents. Instead of true family friendly policies - like paying for a childcare element to grandparents/relatives and help for single income working families on middling incomes,

    instead what they've done through the tax credits system is to line the pockets of childcare organisations to look after young children full-time during a week while mum and dad get back to work to help pay for ever bigger mortgages and to fund the govts. public spending spree, that and the encouragement of after-school clubs i think is a concern that children are starting in nursery/school sooner and are spending more hours before and after school....in effect being accomodated by the parents work schedule.

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    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    There was a time the 6 week hols was bliss...both when I was at school, and working. Over the last few years though, I've been finding myself casting around for inspiration after less than a week.

    I'm currently term time +2 weeks..in a way, I DO think it's too long...in another, I agree about the "when the hell do we get time to do major works" viewpoint. Although I will point out that in business, you have to do it regardless..

    This summer will be maintenance through and through as our servers are being virtualised by the LEA..NEXT summer will be hell, and if we get a break, I'll be surprised..it's the entire site move next summer..

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirbendy View Post
    I'm currently term time +2 weeks..in a way, I DO think it's too long...in another, I agree about the "when the hell do we get time to do major works" viewpoint. Although I will point out that in business, you have to do it regardless..

    This summer will be maintenance through and through as our servers are being virtualised by the LEA..NEXT summer will be hell, and if we get a break, I'll be surprised..it's the entire site move next summer..
    Businesses have a lot more funding available to enable the business to continue during major works. Schools do not.

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    As someone who has worked in a school operating a 5 term year I have to admit that for the kids it is good. For the teachers it is also very good because the 2 week break gives them a chance to unwind and come back refreshed, as well as getting the required marking / planning done.

    For us lot ... 4 weeks is usually more than enough time to do things. Being honest we only get about 2 weeks to do anything major anyway. Week 1 is summer school and things are being used, weeks 2+3 is closed down and we can get things done, Week 4 is A level results and so Wednesday - Friday SIMS needs to be up as do a few IT suites on Thursday / Friday. Week 5 we have GCSE results ... so similar applies ... and then in Week 6 we have teachers coming back in to do bits and pieces.

    This year fresh images will be prepared before the summer hols anyway, and it is just a case of pressing the button. The only major change is a fresh domain build of Server 2008. This can be prepared before hand, and servers moved over as needed ... it is just a case of preparation and planning.

    The 2 week break between each term is fantastic as it really does give you a chance for planned maintenance and downtime ... and a chance to do staged rollouts throughout the year.

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    Can you imagine the fuss the teaching unions would kick up over this?

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    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Businesses have a lot more funding available to enable the business to continue during major works. Schools do not.
    No, I do realise that. However, "major works" that take down the network could be scheduled for after hours instead of a 6 week break. God knows, in previous jobs myself an NM have pulled plenty of late nights. We had all of our UPS replaced a few weeks back, by MGE on behalf of the LEA..they were in from 7pm-midnight.

    Of course, schools would have to be willing to pay for the service..but there are alternatives. We will be reimaging all our machinery - we could just as easily done it after hours, but opted to wait until summer. The virtualisation project - it's being run parallel to the existing infrastructure it seems..there are ways and means.

    Of course, when we're running our own network in 12 months or so, I may feel different. However, right now I do feel the 6 week break is a bit long.

    There is also the viewpoint that we both hold - businesses and schools aren't the same thing. You're not losing revenue if it goes down, and it's not going to kill them if you need to take a subsystem down for a while. Schools can exist quite happily without IT, but staff have forgotten that fact.
    Last edited by Sirbendy; 25th May 2008 at 05:16 PM.

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