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Innovation in Education – Teenagers’ Sleep Patterns Lead Curriculum at HCH

Press release, 8 May 2014

Parents know it can be a hard task to maintain routine in a teenager’s life. The independent school, Hampton Court House, believes that there is a more productive and stress-free way to encourage A level students to concentrate on their educational needs.

It’s a bold step forward, but a pioneering decision has now been made by Hampton Court House to start lessons for Sixth Formers at 1.30pm instead of the conventional time of 9 am.

The reason? Recent and persuasive research has further reinforced the fact that teenagers have a biological disposition to going to bed late and struggling to get up early.

The Headmaster says, ‘there is now more and more scientific evidence to support what many parents and teachers have known for years’.

‘The fact is that many teenagers do not sleep sufficiently during the week and this can, and often does, have a significant impact on teenage cognition and mental and physical health generally’.

The school plans to end sixth form teaching at 7pm and believes that the later start for A level tuition will enable students to make the most of their time each week. There’s an added bonus of course; rush hour will be avoided.

The Sixth Form will offer the key Russell Group facilitating A level subjects and will have the advantage of small tutorial style classes. Yet the Sixth Form will also be part of the intellectual atmosphere at HCH, which is a UNESCO world school and also the only school in the UK to be formally accredited by the French government with the Institut Français logo because of its commitment to French language and culture.

Currently in Year 10, and planning to be one of the first cohort of A level students at the school, is 15-year old Gabriel Purcell-Davis who declares ‘I want to wake up in my bed, not in my maths lesson.’

Hampton Court House is holding a

Sixth Form Open Evening on Thursday, 5th February 2015 at 7 pm

For a Sixth Form prospectus or to attend the Open Evening, please contact the Registrar, Rachel Bowles on 020 8614 0857 or through the school website.

For further information contact:
Jon Hind

Learn more about Sixth Form at HCH

Some links on sleep

Professor Russell Foster
Professor Foster’s TED talk
From 8’50” – teenagers need 8-9 hours’ sleep a night)
From 11′ and from 15’45” – “teenagers have a biological predisposition to going to bed later and getting up later”
From 17” – linking longer (and higher quality) sleep in teenage years with better mental health

A Very Short Introduction to Sleep