Laura Davidson

Primary Teacher

Stepps Primary School

  • Time of Day

Does the time of day have an impact on the learning and achievement of pupils?


Learning and teaching in maths, I have found to be one of the most challenging areas of my first year of teaching. I have found difficulties with engaging children in maths especially when exploring more difficult concepts. Keeping children focused throughout a whole maths lesson has also been a key focus throughout my year of teaching. For this reason, investigating the possible impact that time of day has on children’s learning in maths appealed to me professionally.

Hartley and Nicholls (2008) discuss that every person is an individual and therefore has their own individual skills and qualities. For some this can be how efficiently you engage at different parts of the day. In an education setting this can therefore have an effect on learning outcomes in different areas of the curriculum depending on what time of day they are taught. This idea, supported by Klein (2001) highlights that time of day has an impact on learning has been explored since the mid 1920’s. As research further developed throughout the years this theory became much more scientific and related more strongly to human biology, with the changes of hormone levels throughout the day. Such biochemical changes throughout the body during the course of the day, express themselves in a humans’ daily functions and their ability to learn new skills and recall information. Research found that the left hemisphere of the human brain is more active and powerful in the morning hours, which helps people to process information and carry out routines and procedures. Such skills and ideas are more closely linked with maths concepts. It could be argued that literacy activities such as spelling would also be effective at this time of day, due to the area of the brain that the child is using.


The main aims of this enquiry are to investigate

  • The impact that learning in maths at different times of the day has on children’s understanding.
  • Is learning more effective at specific point in the day.
Download Practitioner Enquiry