NSW schools to trial extended school hours
Students and parents will get a taste of some fantastic new possibilities when the extended school hours trial gets underway in the new term.
From cooking to coding, music to martial arts and soccer to storytelling, students at nine NSW schools will have access to a range of exciting activities when the research pilot trialling extending the school day begins Week 2 Term 3.
The pilot schools have teamed up with national and local community and sporting organisations to deliver optional extracurricular activities outside school hours that meet student needs while providing greater flexibility for working parents.
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said that the traditional school day is already being reimagined by many schools to better meet the needs of students and their school community with morning fitness clubs, study centres, sports, STEM and arts programs.
“The reality is that the traditional school day, like the 9 to 5 workday, is a 20th-century concept which may not be the best model for 21st-century families, schools and the community,” Ms Mitchell said.
“This isn’t necessarily about changing existing class times. What we are doing is finding ways to better support students and make it easier for working parents to manage their commitments.
“This research pilot will give us a better understanding of what schools are already doing, and how we can expand on or implement effective practices at similar schools.”
The pilot will take place in terms 3 and 4 and is backed by local and international research that indicates access to high-quality programs and learning opportunities delivered in schools outside standard hours can have a range of benefits in terms of students’ learning and wellbeing.
NRL, Sydney FC, Cricket NSW, Code Camp, Story Factory, Big Child Care and the PCYC are a few examples of the organisations that have partnered up with schools to deliver extra-curricular activities in Term 3.
Hanwood Public School in the Riverina is one of nine schools signed up to participate in the pilot.
Principal Monica St Baker said she nominated the school to help provide more extracurricular activities for students, adding that the school will work with their P&C, staff and the community to identify suitable programs and activities for their students.
"The P&C and I have put it out to our wider community to look at what we could do, what expertise we have within our Hanwood community, as well as our Griffith community,” Ms St Barker said.
“We are very excited to offer an introduction to videography and photography for our Year 3 to 6 students two afternoons per week using the expertise of two local businesses.
“This will add a very exciting and interesting opportunity for our students."
Hastings Secondary College Principal, Meaghan Cook said the pilot will allow students to access activities that perhaps they weren’t able to access before, whilst also making the most of school facilities.
“After 3.30 in the afternoon both campuses are deserted and we have these outstanding facilities that aren’t being utilised,” Ms Cook told NBN News Port Macquarie.
“We know that students go home from school and often they may not have the opportunity to access extra-curricular activities particularly if both parents work.”
She said the trial will provide students with access to activities that meet their needs.
“It could be music programs, sporting activities, really the sky is the limit,” Ms Cook said.
Schools participating in the pilot include:
· Cawdor Public School
· Hanwood Public School
· Hastings Secondary College (Westport Campus and Port Macquarie
· Kings Langley Public School
· Kentlyn Public School
· Matraville Soldier’s Settlement Public School
· Orange High School
· Ruse Public School
· Spring Hill Public School.