The Breakspear School

  1. Curriculum
  2. More Curriculum Info
  3. The Organisation of Lessons

The Organisation of Lessons



Children attend for half a day, either in the morning (8.30 to 11.30) or the afternoon (12.30 to 3.30 p.m.) or all day (8.30 to 3.30) if you are eligible for 30 hours child care.  Each session has a 15 minute ‘soft start’ and parents can arrive to collect their children up to 15 minutes before the end of a session. There are up to 52 children for each session though much of the time they are in smaller ‘working’ groups.  During their time in our nursery, the children will explore a wide range of learning activities both inside the nursery classroom and in our carefully designed outside learning space. These activities are planned to support the early learning goals identified in the Early Years & Foundation Stage Statutory Framework.



Children in Reception follow the same day as the pupils in Years 1 and 2: 8.50 a.m. to 3.20 p.m. with a lunch break from 12:20 to 1.20 p.m. On an average day the children are in their class units for 4 hours 50 minutes of which 4 hours is dedicated ‘lesson’ time. There are thirty children in each class which - as far as possible - is equally balanced for gender and ability.  In our Reception year we follow the Early Years & Foundation Stage Statutory Framework. This is carefully structured to support the children’s learning and development for this age range. Teachers and support staff use this framework to provide a wide range of well-planned and engaging independent play based and adult supported learning activities in the classroom and out doors to maximise their learning.


The School Day at Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2)

The day for the children in Years 1 and 2 is: 8.50 a.m. to 3.20 p.m. with a lunch break from 12.20 to 1.20 p.m. An average day is therefore 4 hours 50 minutes of which 4 hours is dedicated lesson time (20 hours a week).


The School Day at Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6)

Children in Key Stage 2 start their day at 8.50 a.m. finishing at 3.25 p.m. with a lunch break from 12.20 to 1.20 p.m. An average day is therefore 5 hours 15 minutes of which 4 hours 30 minutes is dedicated lesson time (22½ hours a week).


The Organisation of Lessons at both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

There are usually thirty pupils of mixed academic ability in each class. We are fortunate in that our classes have children of only one age group. From time to time the classes are taught by other teachers so that they can benefit from a teacher's individual interests and strengths. Some teaching takes place in larger groupings for example year groups will come together to listen to visiting speakers or musicians.  At other times the children may be in smaller groups: to work with support staff, or to visit the school library with a parent, for example.


A variety of teaching methods are used by each teacher:

  • working with the whole class, perhaps illustrating a particular skill using the whiteboard, or setting a differentiated task so the children can work at different levels according to their abilities;
  • working with a smaller group to extend their abilities or aid them in understanding something that they are finding difficult or excel in;
  • sitting alongside just one child who may require individual support.


It is the professional judgement of the teacher that leads to the decision as to the approach used. That is based on what is being taught and the needs of the children at that particular moment.