It became apparent early on in my probationary year that every minute of learning time is precious in the classroom. Making effective use of that time is crucial. Whilst carrying out formative assessment in the classroom, it was clear to see that there was a significant difference in not only the engagement levels of pupils at different times of the day, but in their learning and achievement. Indeed, there is already a wealth of literature on the topic. Studies dating back to the 1980s strongly suggest that children will have a peak in their day, and in this time will learn most (Biggers 1980, Dunn 1985). Pope (2016) discusses ‘efficiency gains’ when discussing the extention of learning and achievement gained in these peak learning times. Barron, Henderson and Spurgeon found that the time of day has an even more specific impact on children who are not meeting the level of learning and development deemed average for their age. Research so far on the subject has suggested that yes, time of day does have an impact on the learning and achievement of pupils, but has proven to be inconclusive in proving which time of day that is (Ammons et al, 1995).
The aims of this enquiry will therefore be:
- To investigate what time of day allows for the most impactful learning for the majority of pupils.
- To discover pupils’ views on when they themselves believe they learn best.