As many of the residents of West Wickham and Beckenham will know, 3 weeks ago was the October half term for the Langley Park Trust. However, this half term was different to those in the past, as it was 2 weeks long instead of 1. In an interview with Ms Scott she explained to me how the benefits where not only to the students, but to the staff as well.

The idea was introduced by Ms Katie Scott, head teacher of LPGS, who had done the same thing in her previous school and had seen drastic changes. One of the main changes, from a student’s point of view, was that coming back after the break, students felt a lot more relaxed and ready for the new school term (which is the longest one of the year). This made people more excited to learn and made them enjoy the subjects they were learning about more, rather than complaining about their tiredness! This also changed the atmosphere of the school, as students were reported to be more visibly cheerful.

Nonetheless, there was also a benefit to it from a teacher’s point of view. The extra week was instigated to help more evenly spread out the hours of professional development time. Despite there being concerns about the idea primarily, maybe due to the fact it was a change, after the half term many teachers are happy about it. This also makes the position more appealing to new teachers, as they see that their work is more evenly spread, so would increase the number of people entering the teaching profession- which is a major positive.

Speaking to Ms Scott about it, she has stated that “It would need to be trialled for 2 years in order to see all the benefits”, so many students and teachers can look forwards to the same happening next year. Nevertheless, the short-term benefits it has made have been already noticeable and has been a hit among all. Could this be the way forwards to increase morale and attendance in the longest half term of the year?