Extra day’s closure for secondary schools announced
Secondary schools will re-open a day later than primaries in September this year to permit training and preparatory work ahead of significant curriculum changes.
The first day of classes for students at the Department of Education and Children’s five secondary schools will be Thursday 10th September, to allow for an extra staff training day on Wednesday 9th September.
Primary schools will be unaffected and will re-open to pupils on Wednesday 9th September.
Starting in September 2015, schools are switching from the English GCSE system to the IGCSE, set by Cambridge International Examinations, the international examination board of the University of Cambridge.
In addition, as part of the reform of A levels, new specifications are being introduced from September 2015 in a large number of subjects.
Geoff Moorcroft, Director of Education, said: ‘September sees the start of significant curriculum reform in secondary schools that will continue until 2018. Much preparatory work is already taking place in schools. This additional day in September will provide secondary teachers with an opportunity to prepare for curriculum changes, gain greater familiarity with assessment materials and syllabus requirements and plan lessons for new intakes.’
Manx Sport and Recreation, which is part of the Department, will organise activities for children in Key Stage 3 (aged 11-14) on this day and details of these will be announced ahead of the school summer holidays.
Parents are also reminded that school holiday dates for TT 2015 are longer than usual and are encouraged not to get caught out if children are taking exams.
Schools will be closed for half term from Monday 1st June to Friday 12th June, 2015, incorporating the whole of TT fortnight.
However, as exam boards are based in the UK, GCSE and A level exams happen to fall in both practice and race weeks, when most UK schools are open.
The exams involve Year 10 students, as well as those in their final year of GCSEs and those studying for A and AS levels.
Mr Moorcroft said: ‘Parents are urged to consider this if seeking to make the most of the longer than usual break by booking holidays. External examinations cannot be rearranged if a pupil is absent.’
Next year sees a return to the more typical pattern of schools being open to pupils from the Tuesday (31st May) to Thursday (2nd June) of practice week but then closing until after race week, returning on Monday 13th June.
Parents wishing to check holiday dates should visit www.gov.im and click on ‘school holidays’ or ring the Department on 01624 685820.