Singaporeans will remember the dreaded feeling of rolling out of bed at 6am for school. The day is only made worse by having to stay in school till sunset for Co-Curricular Activities (CCA).
But maybe not for Christ Church Secondary School (CCSS) students. In 2010, the school implemented a 4-day lesson week, with Fridays devoted entirely to CCAs. This way, students won’t have to stay late for their CCA practices.
One might think that students may skip school on Friday as it’s only a half-day catered to CCAs.
However, you’ll be surprised that student attendance rates for CCAs have risen to a whopping 100%.
We’ve all worn boxy uniforms that somehow manage to remain scratchy even after multiple washes.
As part of their 4-day lesson week, Christ Church Secondary allows students to come in CCA t-shirts every Friday. Though uniforms are still necessary on the other days, it’s a small victory for students there.
CCSS students enjoy early dismissals at 12.30pm on Fridays. Since they only spend half the day on CCAs – which are probably enjoyable – the day might as well be considered a weekend.
This does not mean that education takes a backseat. CCSS adds an extra hour to their timetable from Monday-Thursday so students can keep up with the curriculum.
Nevertheless, students will find this a reasonable trade-off since they get almost an extra day off school.
With the rising trend of balancing the joy of learning and the rigour of education, other schools have also introduced a flexible timetable.
Clementi Primary School and St Andrew’s Junior School set aside 1.5 hours every week in the morning before lessons for CCAs. This provides students with more time after school to pursue other interests.
Some companies in New Zealand and Japan have been experimenting with 4-day work weeks. The result is a reportedly lower level of stress among employees.
The same probably works for students. 5 days of lessons can be extremely draining. With 4-day lesson weeks, students may just be able to enjoy their education more.
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