The school operates a fortnightly academic timetable. On Monday to Friday in Week A and Monday to Thursday in Week B, each pupil experiences six lesson periods, plus two form-time registration periods, an hour’s lunch-time and a morning break-time. Younger pupils enjoy a mid-afternoon break-time as well.
Every other Friday – those falling in Week B – is a flexi-day. On these days, form-registration times, break-times and lunch-times remain as on other days, but rather than having six different lessons through the day, the day’s teaching time is given over to a one-off whole-day plan.
For pupils in Year Eight or younger, this may mean they experience a single subject for the entire day, or perhaps a combination of subjects addressing a common theme, or project. The opportunities for cross-curricular learning are therefore enhanced and activities which would extend beyond a single hour’s lesson can be enjoyed. This will sometimes involve curriculum-related off-site visits.
For pupils in Year Nine and above, it is most usual for Flexi-Friday to be used for the teaching of a single subject, affording in-depth exploration of a topic. Again, this may be in the form of an off-site educational visit or for field work, or it may provide an opportunity to practise skills relevant for performance during formal assessment. Normally such days, although centred around a single subject or topic-area, afford a breadth of activities associated with that topic.
Flexi-Fridays support the development of pupils’ collaborative-working, independence and problem-solving skills. They allow pupils to work in social groups that may differ from their normal class-groupings, and to extend their language and communication skills. Above all, they are an exciting, often surprising, tool for engaging pupils’ natural curiosity and excitement for learning.