A London academy has become the first school in Britain to introduce a 10am start after research showed that teenagers do not fully wake up until mid-morning. This is from the Daily Mail…
Headmistress of the UCL Academy, Geraldine Davies, allows children to arrive at 10am but to leave at 5.30pm.
She argues that the school, which has been open since September, is already seeing positive results.
She told The Sunday Times: ‘Youngsters are turning up alert and ready to learn and are focused and engaged in lessons.
‘We have no hard data on exam results yet, since we have only been open six months, but the aim is to rigorously review the effects. Pupil and teacher surveys have so far been positive.’
There have been calls to expand the project across Britain after research from the school’s sponsors, University College London, Oxford and Harvard showed that teenagers are predisposed to go to bed later and waking between 9am and 10am.
This pattern, named the adolescent ‘time shift’, continues until the body clock starts to change at the age of 21.
Pupils at the school, which is the first in the UK to be sponsored by a university, have had a positive response, with some adding that they are able to eat a nourishing breakfast and read through lessons before school starts.
Academics in America have shown that forcing teenagers to wake up before the body clock tells them to can stunt their academic growth.
A 2011 study involving 19-year-olds from the US air force found that those who started classes at 850am instead of 7am achieved higher results in their exams.
Oxford professor, Russell Foster and former head teacher Paul Kelley are set to present a paper on the research later this year.
Kelley said that he believed schools across the country should start later as they: ‘improve learning, but the sleep deprivation from enforced early starts has an effect on kids’ mental health.’
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