New timetable for pupils

Batley Grammar School Headteacher Brigid Tullie. (d20041210)
Batley Grammar School Headteacher Brigid Tullie. (d20041210)

Pupils will be more engaged during lessons and have more time for after school activities.

That was the message from Batley Grammar School headteacher Brigid Tullie, who has introduced a new timetable for pupils.

The school in Carlinghow Hill is trailing a new lesson plan, which will be brought in at the start of the new school year in September.

It includes reducing lunch times from one hour and 20 minutes to 35 minutes.

The school also finishes at an earlier time of 3.10pm, rather than 4pm.

A few of parents expressed concerns over the changes but Mrs Tullie defended the move saying it would benefit the pupils’ learning.

“We received two letters from parents concerned about the changes but we have more than 400 secondary pupils so that is not too bad,” she said.

“By staggering the lunch times, pupils will no longer be competing for food and space in the dining room.

“Shorter lunch times will also result in shorter teaching days so pupils will be less tired and be able to engage in after school activities either in school or elsewhere.”

In a letter to the News, one concerned parent feared staggering lunch times would mean pupils would have less time to socialise with older year groups.

It said: “This is a shame as older students have provided excellent role models for the younger pupils. Some children are not getting lunch until nearly 2pm.”

But Mrs Tullie insisted since the school began trailing the timetable last month, pupils have continued interact with other age groups.

“They have been mixing due to their lunchtimes overlapping and they have further opportunities to interact during extracurricular activities at the end of the day,” she said.

Governor Alistair Hartley, whose two sons attend the school, said he fully backed the proposals.

“Having spoken with the pupils, they have told me they would not want to go back to the old timetable,” he said.

“Lots of other schools finished at 3pm while we finished at 4pm. It put us on the back foot when trying to organise sports events after school.

“Schools were not prepared to wait but the changes mean we can now organise more events for the pupils.”