Wensleydale School vows not to slacken off teaching in final week of term

Wensleydale School students playing hockey during their enrichment time.

The Wensleydale School has announced it will continue lessons as normal in the final week of term rather than wind down to the holidays.

Senior staff say they have done away with the traditional relaxed approach to work during the last few days of term.

Instead, the school aims to the final week like any other and then dedicate the final day only to enrichment activities.

Headteacher Julia Polley said: “In previous years so much precious learning time has been lost in that final week, with students off doing various activities, leaving classes half full and making it difficult for teachers to do their jobs.

“While Covid brought us unprecedented challenges, it also gave us the opportunity to rethink some of our approaches.

“We have a lot of knowledge to impart and not that much time to do it in, so we have developed a curriculum that offers our students a more balanced and impactful way of learning.

“Our change to the final week is an example of this.”

The school has already introduced a more structured school day, with five hours dedicated to learning, regular breaks for children to “relax and assimilate”, and a choice of more than 30 enrichment activities offered in the final hour, four days a week.

The school has also implemented a new homework policy, aiming to ensure students have ample time to balance their academic responsibilities with personal interests, family time, and extracurricular pursuits.

Additionally, the school provides dedicated six-week intervention slots in literacy and numeracy for students requiring extra support.

Mrs Polley added: “At Wensleydale, we are committed to our mission of empowering students with knowledge, skills and opportunities for personal growth, while also caring for their health and wellbeing.

“By embracing change and reimagining traditional practices, we believe we are providing an exceptional educational experience that prepares our students for a successful future, whichever path they choose to follow.”