Amendment to the School Day - Comments Welcomed - Latest News - Harris Girls Academy

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Latest News

Posted on May 11th 2018

Amendment to the School Day - Comments Welcomed

HAGED19Dear Parents

I am writing to you to inform you of a proposed minor amendment to the academy day for next academic year which will affect students in years 7-11. Below, you will find details of the current arrangements, the suggested amendment and the rationale behind this.

I hope that you will agree that this minor change to the academy day will mean that the academy can offer a rich and, most importantly, balanced curriculum, which offers our girls academic and creative opportunities to excel, as well as a widening of our extra-curricular offer.

Should you have any views on this proposed amendment you are invited to send them to the academy either by letter or via email by Friday 25th May 2018 at the latest.

The current arrangements

  • The current academy day for years 7-9 runs from 8.30am to 3.10pm Monday to Friday.
  • The current academy day for some years 10-11 girls runs from 8.30am to 4.10pm Monday to Thursday.
  • The current academy day for most year 10-11 girls runs from 8.30am to 4.10pm Monday and Tuesday, and 8.30am to 3.10pm on Wednesday to Friday.
  • The current academy day for Years 12-13 depends on subject choice and site but can vary significantly from day to day.

The proposed arrangements

  • The academy day will run from 8.30am to 4.10pm on a Monday for all pupils in years 7-11.
  • The academy day will run from 8.30am to 3.10pm on every other day of the week for all pupils in years 7-11.

Rationale for the proposal

Harris Girls’ Academy East Dulwich recognises the importance of a rigorous academic curriculum in preparing girls for a competitive local, national and international jobs market, for university and for apprenticeships.

We believe that a rigorous and challenging curriculum should not just focus on ‘the core subjects’ of English, Maths and Science, or the ‘baccalaureate’ (English, Maths, Science, a modern foreign language, History or Geography), but that it should offer a range of subject disciplines including music, drama, art, product design in various forms, religious studies, citizenship, and personal, social and health education.

In KS3 in particular, it has proven very challenging to accommodate these subjects in a meaningful way into the ‘normal’ school week, and a number of subjects were only being offered in a carousel. This meant that exposure to those subjects across the academic year was limited. The new proposal allows for all subjects to be taught regularly, at least once per week, which creates the conditions for meaningful progression for all learners in all subjects.

The transition to the new curriculum for Key Stage 4 is now complete and there is no longer the expectation that students will be entered early (in Year 10) for any GCSE subject. There is therefore no longer any need for GCSE students to have additional teaching after the end of the school day in order to facilitate early entry. The removal of period 6 from Tuesday to Thursday for Key Stage 4 students will allow additional homework support and extracurricular clubs to be offered after school, widening opportunities and allowing all pupils the flexibility to pursue study support should they need this, or artistic, creative or sporting opportunities should they wish to do so.

By moving to one day per week where all students remain on site until 4:10, disruption to learning due to students leaving the site is minimised. As four afternoons per week are now available for clubs and other after school activities, your daughter will be able to attend after school clubs or use the academy’s excellent library if your preference is that she remains on site. Academy staff will continue to support the exit of pupils from the school site at the end of the school day by supervising bus stops and the area immediately outside the academy until these areas are clear.

Any views on this amendment should be sent to the academy either by letter or via the school email by Friday 25th May 2018 at the latest.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Carrie Senior