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Surprising Science

To Accommodate Teens’ Sleep, One School Cancels Morning Classes

Partially in response to recent research into adolescent sleep patterns, one English school has announced that sixth-form classes — attended by students aged 16-18 — will start at 1:30 PM and end at 7:00 PM.

What’s the Latest Development?

In what could be a pioneering move for Western education, administrators at Hampton Court House, a private school in the English town of East Molesey, have decided to shift the sixth form class schedule start time from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm. The change means that classes for these students — who, at ages 16-18, would be considered high school juniors and seniors in the US — will end at 7:00 pm.

What’s the Big Idea?

A growing body of scientific evidence shows that young people in general, and adolescents in particular, require much more quality sleep than most modern schedules often permit. Hampton Court House headmaster Guy Holloway elaborates: “[Lack of sleep] can, and often does, have a significant impact on teenage cognition and mental and physical health generally…[Hampton] believes that there is a more productive and stress-free way to encourage A-level students to concentrate on their educational needs.” In the US in particular, a “start high school later” movement has been going on for some time now, but in most cases “later start” still equates to “morning start.”  One of the beneficiaries of Hampton’s new schedule, Gabriel Purcell-Davis, says, “I want to wake up in my bed, not in my maths lesson.”

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Read it at The Guardian


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