The DeHavilland Blog

Monday, October 10, 2005

The 364-day-a-year school

Thanks to my friend DK, I'm getting more exposure to both the current practices and new ideas found across the ocean in the UK. One exciting idea that's being considered by a local school executive is the year-round school (article here).

Paul Mortimer has put forth this idea as he looks to rebuild one of the two schools he manages. Students would still only attend for the statutory number of days - 190 - but they would be on multiple timetables, allowing him to build a smaller school (since only 2/3 of the students would be attending at a time) and also offer smaller class sizes.

Mortimer says he wants to have a school that reflects the realities of the 21st century, and not be bound to traditions of the 19th. From the article:

"It would meet the needs of children and families, given the changes in
people's working lives and it would use extended schools for the good of the
community.

"The school would be a focal point of the community, like a modern
extension of the good old family, especially as many parents are single
parents."

Activities at the school would not always be of the usual teacher-pupil
variety, he said.

"They won't necessarily always be in the classroom. Part of the
curriculum could involve families engaging in activities in the sports
hall."

Not only would this reflect the reality of modern living (in terms of parents' work schedules and the like), it theoretically re-introduces the idea of school as the center of community, and learning at the center of the family. This is a very exciting idea - worth watching to see how it progresses.

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