Shorter school day at Bywell causes upset

Shorter school day at Bywell causes upset

A PARENT has criticised changes to play and lunchtimes at a Dewsbury school from September.

The school day at Bywell C of E Junior School on Bendigo Road will end at 3pm instead of 3.30pm.

Lunch is to be cut to 45 minutes and there will only be playtime in the mornings.

Benefits from the change are said to include children being less tired and more time for staff to deal with paperwork.

One parent, who did not want to be named but has a nine-year-old at the school, slammed the move.

She said: “The education is really good, but teaching is only one part of learning.

“For them to concentrate they need to let off steam. It can’t be all work, work, work.

“Playtime is particularly important in the age of obesity that we live in - children need to be active to stay healthy.”

A letter to parents last Friday confirmed the move after consultation involving them, governors and staff. Pupils who cannot be collected at 3pm will be looked after in school until 3.30pm until the Easter holidays next year.

The letter said this “... provides families with additional time to make arrangements for the collection of their children from our school at 3pm.”

Some families are said to be unable to adjust their working hours to fit the new system.

The parent said: “My son is going lose one of his friends because they can’t come to pick her up at 3pm and so they’re moving her to another school.”

Further benefits include fewer chances for “negative behaviours” in “less structured” parts of the day. The letter added: “We have arrived at this decision because we believe it is in the best interest of the whole school community.

“It will support us in meeting the needs of our pupils even better than we already do in an educational climate that is constantly changing.”


Head defends new timetable

HEADTEACHER Zaheda Adam of Bywell Junior School has defended changes to the school day which has upset some parents.

Ms Adam accepted the switch can be unsettling but said it is a move made by others nationally. She said: “This change was made for the benefit of all children in the school with the intention of further improving learning, behaviour and overall attainment.

“In addition to scheduled breaks, children will still have regular opportunities to access the outdoors play and learning activities throughout the curriculum.”

Earlier this year the school brought in extra physical activity through the Commando Joe programme.

Ms Adam added: “The school is committed to ensuring that the children in its care receive a high quality education in an inclusive, safe, friendly and happy environment.  The school believe that the change to the school day will further contribute to this ethos.

“Bywell has been recognised as one of the top 100 highest performing primary schools in the UK for its performance over the last three years.  “This is testament to the hard work of everyone in the school community and something to be very proud of.”

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