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Patchway Community School

New School Timings Consultation

Consultation regarding proposed changes to the timings of the school day from September 2018

We have been listening to students, parents, carers and staff who are keen to maximise learning during the school day and so we are proposing the following changes to improve the plan of our school day:

1. School day starts 5 minutes earlier

Our first proposal is to bring the start of school forward by 5 minutes. This year the single point of entry into the school for students at the start of the school day has worked well.  It has meant that students are met on arrival, we can pick up concerns immediately, and we can do a check on uniform even before school begins.  However, minibuses for the Pegasus School start to bring in their students from 8.40am along this entry road.  By bringing our start time forward by just 5 minutes we will prevent this overlap of vehicular and pedestrian travel on the entry road.

2. Lunch is shortened from 45 to 35 minutes

The current 45 minute lunch break works well in many ways because some clubs do happen and most students end up with around half an hour to take some exercise and fresh air. However, we know that the lunch break is the time when most student fall-outs and arguments happen and these can have a significant knock-on effect on learning which takes place in the afternoon lessons.

At the moment we can’t change our lesson pattern of 2 lessons, break, 1 lesson, lunch, 2 lessons because of the movement of years 10 and 11, as well as sixth form, on partnership courses. We can, though, help students to stay focused on learning by reducing the lunch break to 35 minutes.  The dining hall has enough capacity to hold all students who want a hot meal and the main hall allows overflow for those students who bring a packed lunch and would like another space in which to eat and relax.  Most students who buy a hot meal have purchased their lunch within the first 10 minutes of the lunch break and vacate the dining room within 15 -20 minutes so even with a shortened lunch break they will still have plenty of time to get some fresh air and meet friends.  When our student numbers rise, having a 35 minute lunch break will enable us to look at a shift system so that the kitchen and dining room have capacity for higher numbers of students – this isn’t the case for next year, though!

Additionally, the school site is designed for twice the number of students currently on roll but the specialist nature of some of our classrooms means that we cannot rationalise areas and instead need to keep our whole site open each day. Having a shorter period for supervision means that we will be able to deploy our lunchtime supervisors more effectively. 

3. The 5 minute change over time between periods 4 and 5 is removed

Historically we’ve had a 5 minute change over time in the afternoon between lessons 4 and 5. We don’t have this on Wednesdays and we know that there is no loss of learning time on this day.  A change over time like this is confusing and leaves staff and students wondering whether the changeover bell is for the end of lesson 4 or start of lesson 5.  We propose to end the 5 minute afternoon change over time on all days.

4. School day ends earlier

These changes will mean that school ends 20 minutes earlier at 2.50pm on all days except Wednesday, when school will end at 2.30pm. These changes bring us more in line with other Olympus Academy Trust secondary schools and so allow more opportunities for in-house and cross-trust staff training.  It will also mean that we are in a position to offer more after school clubs for students from September.

We know that a long letter like this can be confusing! This is a consultation and we would like to hear your views, those of students, and of other stakeholders before we confirm any changes.  You can find out more about this consultation process by:

  • Looking at the presentation which is available on our website
  • Completing the online survey about these proposals (which is being emailed separately to you)
  • Or completing a paper survey available upon request from school reception which will need to be returned
  • Talking to your child who will hear about these proposals in assemblies and in tutor periods over the next two weeks
  • Coming along this evening, Monday 14 May to talk to a member of the leadership team about these changes (from 4.00 – 6.30pm, please note the year 7 parents’ evening will be running at the same time)
  • Coming along next Monday 21 May to talk to a member of the leadership team (from 4.00 – 6.00pm) 

The proposals are summarised at the bottom and the consultation closes at 9.00am on Tuesday 5 June.  We warmly invite you to complete our survey either online or by returning a paper form.  If you would like any clarification or have more general comments to make about the proposals, please get in touch by phone or through our enquiries email

Proposed changes to timing of school day – from 1 September 2018


  • School day starts 5 minutes earlier
  • Lunch is shortened from 45 to 35 minutes
  • The 5 minute change over time between periods 4 and 5 is removed (Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri)
  • End of school time is 20 minutes earlier – ie 2.50pm (and 2.30pm on Wednesday)


(Wednesday has same start time but no tutor periods, as is now the case, with 2.30pm finish time)


w/c 7 May

                students, parents, all staff, governors

                school council – Friday 11 May

w/c 14 May

                Y7 parents’ evening – Monday 14 May      

                Aspens catering

                OAT and Concorde Partnership

                local authority

                partner primary schools

w/c 21 May

                parent drop in – Monday 21 May, 4.00 -6.00pm

consultation continues

w/c 4 June

                consultation closes 9.00am, Tue 5 June - responses then considered

w/c 11 June

                outcome of consultation published

New School Timings Presentation