19th February 2016 at 00:00

Late start means pupils are on time

Delaying the start of the school day by 45 minutes results in improved time-keeping among students, a new study shows.

Pamela Thacher and Serge Onyper, from St Lawrence University in New York, collected sleep data from pupils at a high school that had introduced a later start time. They found that pupils’ amount of sleep remained the same.

However, the delayed start to the school day did mean that fewer pupils were late to school. The academics concluded that changes to academic performance, attendance and alertness would only occur if pupils used the later start time to sleep for longer each night.

State students find Oxbridge tougher

Despite efforts to widen access to Oxbridge, private-school pupils still find it much easier to adjust to life at a traditional Cambridge college than pupils from state schools, academics say.

Clara Perez-Adamson and Neil Mercer, from the University of Cambridge, interviewed 20 of the university’s students to find out how well they felt their secondary education had prepared them for the educational and social demands of an elite university. State-school pupils were more likely to experience anxiety. (For more on Oxbridge applications, see page 18).

Don’t keep the class waiting

Extending the waiting time between teachers’ instructions and pupils’ responses in a classroom exercise has previously been suggested as a way to improve classroom learning.

But Jenni Ingram and Victoria Elliott, from the University of Oxford, after reviewing research into classroom interactions, found that extending the waiting time between initiation of an exercise and pupils’ responses changed the nature of interaction and could be counter-productive. The academics suggest that researchers need to develop a more nuanced understanding of waiting time and desired pupil behaviours.


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