Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Late start for A-level students

A-level students at a private school in Surrey are to start lessons at 1.30pm rather than 9am

A private school is to start lessons for sixth formers at 1.30pm because teenagers "have a biological disposition to going to bed late and struggling to get up early".

Hampton Court House in East Molesey, Surrey, believes that the change from the conventional time of 9am, with classes ending at 7pm, will be more productive and less stressful for its students. The staggered start will also mean that the pupils can avoid rush-hour traffic.

Headmaster Guy Holloway said: "There is now more and more scientific evidence to support what many parents and teachers have known for years.

"The fact is that many teenagers do not sleep sufficiently during the week and this can, and often does, have a significant impact on teenage cognition and mental and physical health generally."

Gabriel Purcell-Davis, 15, currently in year 10 and who will be one of the first to undertake the new routine, said: "I want to wake up in my bed, not in my maths lesson."

A school spokesman said: "Parents know it can be a hard task to maintain routine in a teenager's life.

"The independent school, Hampton Court House, believes that there is a more productive and stress-free way to encourage A-level students to concentrate on their educational needs.

"It's a bold step forward, but a pioneering decision has now been made by Hampton Court House to start lessons for sixth formers at 1.30pm instead of the conventional time of 9 am.

"The reason? Recent and persuasive research has further reinforced the fact that teenagers have a biological disposition to going to bed late and struggling to get up early."

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