High school timetable changes

secondary schools in the Borders could be moving to a uniform 33 period week - and it will be piloted in Berwickshire High School from June 6 this year.

At the moment all nine seondary schools operate their own school day with different start times, lunch breaks, end times and periods ranging from 40 minutes to 57 minutes.

All secondary headteachers have agreed in principle to develop a working group to explore the 33-period week. The council’s education department identified the move as the best way of delivering a Curriculum for Excellence, giving schools the capacity to meet the needs of all pupils through greater partnership working between schools and other learning providers.

The planned areas for consideration are: aligning timetables between schools to maximise course choice for pupils; developing and utilising ICT for virtual learning; working with neighbouring education authorities to extend course choice; investigating benefits from the 33-period week which should allow three additional teaching periods; investigating partnership work through increased work with Borders College and employers.

At Berwickshire High the school will close at 3.20pm rather than 3.45pm two days per week and pupils travelling by bus will get home about ten minutes earlier than normal.

SBC’s Head of Schools Services (East) Jackie Swanston said: “ We believe adopting a 33 period week across all our schools will deliver a large number of benefits for pupils including more subject choice and greater flexibility through greater partnership working and use of ICT.”