Proposed changes to the start / finish times at Meadowbank School
Dear Parents and Carers,
Please read the following information regarding proposed changes to the start / end of the school day at Meadowbank School from September 2021 onwards.
It is proposed that from Monday 6th September 2021, the school day at Meadowbank will start at 9.00am and finish at 2.55pm.
Proposal for changing the school session times by the Governing Body of Meadowbank School
As part of our ongoing work on curriculum review (in line with Curriculum for Wales 2022) we have started to think about adaptations to our school day and how these can best support our pupils to learn effectively. We want our pupils to benefit from manageable focused learning sessions punctuated by movement breaks and opportunities for social interaction.
Following an audit of session times within the school day (recently temporarily amended due to COVID working) it became clear that the school is currently providing sessions which far exceed the suggested minimum weekly session times for both mainstream and other Cardiff special schools.
We understand that for special schools the timings may be more flexible with time needing to be allocated for activities particular to the requirements of pupils, such as allowing time to develop independent skills (e.g. mobility, feeding / putting on coats / dressing and undressing, social communication, signing and for any medical treatments required).
As a Governing Body we feel strongly that development of life skills should play an increasing part in the learning opportunities of our pupils and have supported the school to include these sessions as part of the learning journey of the child. In addition to the above, many of our pupils have limited attention & listening skills which impacts on their capacity to concentrate and get the most out of the learning experience. It is also important to consider the length of time that pupils spend each day travelling to and from school. Increased congestion due to the geographical position of Meadowbank (which sits in very close proximity to Gabalfa Primary, Ysgol Glan Ceubal and Glantaf) is also impacting on the safe & timely departure of pupils from the setting.
Other factors to consider include;
- Extended travel time home for pupils at rush hour periods
- Widespread congestion across the 4 sites
- Increasing numbers of pupils on roll over time due to our position as a growing school
- Later start for pupils, many of whom have disturbed sleep
- Earlier finish to support pupils with limited attention & listening skills
- Vertically grouped classes resulting in Foundation Phase / Key Stage 2 pupils travelling on the same transport
- Kitchen refurbishment which will allow for hot meals to be served on site. This will result in a staggered lunch hour to accommodate more pupils having access to a lunchtime sitting.
With that in mind we are proposing the following;
Aims and objectives
· To ensure that the structure for the school timetable provides the best possible framework for teaching and learning.
· To ensure that Welsh Government Legislations are met and school times comply with the Education (School Day and School Year) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012ccordance with Welsh Government. The required minimum teaching times (Statutory Guidance 7/90) are as follows: Foundation Phase – 21 hours a week / Key Stage 2 – 23.5 hours a week. https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2018-03/22-the-school-year-and-session-times.pdf
Roles and responsibilities of governors
The governing body will ensure that, if changes are being considered to the school day, the headteacher will consult fully with the staff, parents, pupils, and the Local Authority (LA) to ensure that:
· a statement is prepared specifying the proposed change and, if required to do so by the LA, provide a copy of the statement to all parents and make copies available for inspection at the school (together with current and proposed timetable structures)
· call a meeting, if requested by parents to discuss the proposed change – An online meeting will take place on Monday 7th June at 4pm to discuss the proposals. Those unable to attend the meeting may submit written comments (emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org) by 12 noon on the day of the meeting.
· consider any comments made and decide whether to implement the proposed change, with or without any modification
· inform the LA and parents of any change before it takes effect
Following the consultation period all stakeholders will be notified in writing of the agreed changes by Tuesday 8th June 2021.
(Chair of Governors)