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Bell Block School

Bell Block School is making the most of the children’s peak learning time. The school timetable is now altered so children spend more quality time in the classroom. Principal Roz Miller explains the traditional morning tea break was interrupting their peak learning times. She said that we looked at how we could maximise that learning time.

“We’re constantly looking at what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, how well it is working and where we can make improvements. So the new timetable basically goes like this: From 8.55am to 11am is class time but at around 10am the teacher gives the children an opportunity to eat a healthy snack in the class while they’re working. Some of our children don’t eat a lot of breakfast and some of them have it really early, so to expect them to go until 11 o’clock before they ate anything was unrealistic".

"Eating food in class isn’t a distraction as the children store it near their desks. Other changes include supervised eating from 11am to 11.10am followed by playtime until 11.35am. Classes then run until 1pm when the children have another 10 minute supervised eating period followed by a playtime until 1.35pm. The rest of the day until 3pm is class time. So they get the same amount of break time and eating time, but it’s broken into two parts. They can still have a good game of cricket in half an hour. Before the changes children had a 20-minute morning tea break at 10.30am and their lunch break was from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. So far the new timetable is working, but it will be reviewed at the end of the term. Already we can see there are a couple of things we’re going to change I think. Children don’t need 10 minutes to eat their morning tea,” Roz says.

Visit Bell Block School's web site https://www.bellblock.school.nz.