Change to the structure of the school day and week at Worksop College
We recognise that, when it comes to education, one size simply does not fit all. Therefore, from September 2020, we are excited to announce that our evening and weekend provision will offer flexibility, enhancing our provision as we launch of our new Co-curricular Programme that pupils ‘opt’ in and out of.
Why have you made these changes?
We are responding to a changing world, which is amplifying the pressures on young people, and so education needs to change in order to fully support the creation of resilient and independent learners. The way in which we consume all services has changed, with personalisation and flexibility at the heart of successful organisations. The move has also been made in response to feedback from parents and students.
What about Sport: will that be affected?
No. If anything, our sporting offer will be enhanced. As well as variety of training, strength and conditioning and athletic development opportunities built into the co-curricular programme, we will continue to have a full and varied fixture programme. We will be looking at our fixture card carefully for September 2020 onwards, creating challenging and exciting fixtures for our A and B Teams and ensuring the teams we play are ideally located, accessible, and work well for our sportsmen and women across the whole school.
My child has other commitments on a Saturday; does that mean they are not required to attend school?
That is correct, unless they are required to represent the school in a fixture. We know for many families that weekends are the only time that they have to come together; for others, their children have additional activities and interests outside school. For some children - irrespective of age - a six day week is simply too long, although for others it is just right. Our co-curricular plan will be a seven-day a week programme with pupils able to dip in and out of what interests and excites them.
Will the bus timings be affected?
Marginally. Almost all activities will take place from 4.30pm – 5.30pm, so all pupils will have the opportunity to be involved in the activity or event that evening, or complete their prep. If bus times change, this is likely to be by no more than 10 minutes. This decision has been taken as a direct result of feedback.
What about the boarding community - how will this affect them?
Positively. Enhancing and improving our Co-curricular Programme can only benefit those who make Worksop College their home. As a boarding school with a long history of such these changes are being made to improve what we do; offering flexibility, variety and range.
What will you be doing about the lessons usually taught on a Saturday? Will my child miss this academic lesson time?
These changes do not mean a reduction in academic lesson time, or indeed any dilution of our academic programmes. The four lessons currently taking place during Saturday morning will be slotted into the weekday timetable, extending the lesson time of the day from seven periods to eight. Length of lessons will be shortened slightly, with each period lasting 45 minutes instead of 50. Educational research points firmly to the benefits of shorter, more dynamic lessons and we will model our teaching around this.
How has this affected other schools who have made this change?
As you can imagine, part of our decision-making has been to look carefully at what other schools have done or are doing. We are one of the last schools in the Woodard Group to have mandatory academic lessons on a Saturday morning and, nationally, more and more schools every year are opting for more flexibility as family life changes and the ways in which people work is shifting.
What kind of activities and events can we expect as part of the Co-curricular Programme?
All activities will tie in with our Values: Bold & Ambitious, Supportive yet Challenging and Inquisitive & Thoughtful. There will be a focus on ensuring an exciting range of activities across all age ranges, interests and abilities.
Development of links with businesses will be key and some of this work has already begun. A focus on activities that promote and encourage positive mental health will be central, and outdoor pursuits will feature heavily, with opportunities here at school as well as further afield. Woven into our activities programme will be the promotion of ‘Life Skills’, with outcomes as varied as understanding how to calculate mortgage rates, how to iron or how to present effectively.
Generation ‘Z’ (as your children are commonly collectively known) are often criticised by the popular media for a lack of these skills. Whether that is true or not we know that, globally, industry is crying out for an emotionally intelligent and adaptable workforce. Our programme will be designed to build a life CV that clearly differentiates Worksop College Alumni.