We have listened. Here's our decision on changes to the school day from September 2017.

A summary of changes to the school day are as follows:

  • Retain standard timetable, including keeping break and lunchtimes as they are currently
  • Lessons reduced to 50 minutes from 60 minutes on Wednesdays on Week B to allow time for teachers collaborative planning


Result of the school day consultation

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to the consultation on proposed changes to the school day at Ryburn Valley High School to begin September 2017. We have 1420 students currently in school and we had 141 responses in total. 

We also organised an additional evening during which we explained in more detail how we believe the proposals would benefit students and listened to parents’/carers’ concerns. 


Break time and Lunch time

It was clear from the written and verbal feedback that the primary concern was the proposed shortening of breaks and lunch times. The main concerns were that students need time to relax, eat food properly and attend the extensive extracurricular opportunities on offer. Having heard this message loud and clear we have decided to keep breaks and lunches as they are currently. We also agree that we have to monitor and evaluate all the following factors more accurately throughout the year: 

  • information from students who do not eat in the canteen as to exactly why that is
  • quality of the food and drink
  • uptake of food and drink


Shorter Week B Wednesdays for Teachers Collaborative Planning 

Ofsted consistently state that Ryburn is a ‘good’ school. In our eyes, good is not good enough and, in many aspects, we are currently far better than a good rating suggests. Our aim is to become a truly excellent school in every aspect, and, in order to do that, we have to try new things. Once again I would like to thank everyone who echoed these sentiments during the consultation. Having listened to or read the reasons given about the potential benefits for students learning and performance, the vast majority of you have endorsed our idea to shorten lessons to create collaborative planning time for staff. 

Under National Teachers’ Pay and Conditions teachers are expected to attend one hour of meetings a week. We will allocate additional time, in effect period 5 on Wednesday Week B, on top of the national expectation to training. We will gain one hour, once a fortnight, by altering the day so we teach five 50 minute lessons instead of five one hour lessons. So, for pupils, school will finish at 2.25pm once a fortnight. This will be on Wednesdays in Week B only. On all other days, including Wednesdays on Week A, school will finish at 3.15pm. We have a huge variety of school clubs and study sessions which will be extended further to take place after school. 

The advantages include: 

  • increased quality of our students’ learning because of our better teaching
  • frequent and regular dedicated time to improve our teaching skills
  • time for teams to work together especially with Additional Needs Specialists (ANS aka TAs)

As with any new initiative, we agree with the feedback we heard about the impact of this change needing to be both monitored meticulously and evaluated effectively so that we can clearly demonstrate, in the future, where it has had a direct benefit on improving students’ learning and performance. 

We would also like to reiterate that this change will not save us any money and furthermore it will mean that staff have more hard work to do not less! 


Therefore the new school days will look like this next year:

2017-18 timetable

newday_final‘B Week’ WednesdayStandard Timetable8.559.1510.0510.2510.5511.1512.0512.4512.551.352.25Year 7-8FormPeriod 1BreakPeriod 2Period 3LunchPeriod 4Period 5End of SchoolYear 9-10-11FormPeriod 1Period 2BreakPeriod 3Period 4LunchPeriod 58.559.1510.1510.3511.1511.3512.351.151.352.153.15Year 7-8FormPeriod 1BreakPeriod 2Period 3LunchPeriod 4Period 5End of SchoolYear 9-10-11FormPeriod 1Period 2BreakPeriod 3Period 4LunchPeriod 5

This shortened timetable applies every other Wednesday. All other days, including Wednesday of ‘A Week’ will use the standard timetable.


More detailed information will follow before the end of term including bus schedules; after school support provision and a full calendar for 2017-18. 

Thanks again for your support.