• Introduction
  • Timetable
  • Rationale & Benefits
  • Presentation
  • Nutrition

Southwood School, with the support of HSD Trustees and Superintendents have made the decision to shift our timetable to a Balanced School Day starting in the 2018-19 school year.

A Balanced School Day schedule divides the school day into three blocks of instructional time. Two longer nutrition and activity breaks are provided in the morning and afternoon instead of the traditional mid-morning/mid-afternoon recess and noon lunch hour.

Many schools and school divisions across the province have already embarked on this type of schedule, including Interlake, Lord Selkirk and Seven Oaks. As well, Ontario has been implementing a Balanced Day School schedule for ten or more years.

More information about how to pack for snacks and lunches as well as types of recess activities will be provided during the month of March.

In the spring of 2019, parents/guardians will be given an opportunity to share their views regarding the Balanced School Day.

If you should have further questions, we would be happy to address them. We look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

The two nutrition/activity breaks of 50 minutes allow time for eating and activity in both the morning and afternoon. Nutrition breaks provide 25 minutes for eating and 25 minutes for activity.

9:05 a.m. - 11:05 a.m.Learning Block 1
11:05 a.m. - 11:55 a.m.Nutritional and Activity Break
11:55 a.m. - 1:10 p.m.Learning Block 2
1:10 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.Nutritional and Activity Break
2:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Learning Block 3

The decision to shift to this new timetable is based upon a number of factors which we believe will benefit student learning, safety and well being. The uninterrupted blocks of time would improve all forms of student engagement.

Academically there will be longer blocks of learning time with less interruptions and opportunity for project based learning, inquiry and explorations. Intellectually there will be increased teacher contact time and flexibility for integration of subjects. Socially/emotionally we will provide longer blocks of activity time, appropriate nutrition breaks and less transitions. The extended blocks of time allocated to the break time is intended to improve student nutritional needs and physical/activity needs. Learning partnerships would be strengthened as the new schedule would also allow for teachers to lead activities on the playground which would develop and deepen teacher-student attachments. And finally, with classroom teachers on the playground during the activity times supervision of students would be increased leading to less discipline issues and reduced safety concerns.

We feel this timetable will have a positive impact on deeper learning for all of our kids. This addresses the learning environment both within and outside of the school building. The extended blocks of time supports our pedagogical practice of inquiry.

Academic BenefitsNutrition Benefits
More instruction time with less interruptions and transitions.Making time for good nutrition promotes good learning.
Longer learning blocks for cross curricular activities.Children are not as hungry at the end of the day.
Build skills, knowledge, self-confidence and self-efficacy through inquiry.Children who eat nutritionally have increased concentration leading to effective learning.
Physical BenefitsSocial/Emotional Benefits
Two opportunities per day of 25 minutes of uninterrupted play and activities.Deepen student/teacher relationships.
Quality outdoor play time energizes students, helps them to concentrate on school work and promotes a healthy lifestyle!Increase in safety and supervision: teachers will be supervising both free play and student activities.
Increased participation in physical literacy activities.Increased opportunities for teachers to guide problem solving and help students build resiliency.

The following link provides access to presentation slides that were shared at the Parent Information Night on Wed. Feb. 6, 2018.

Nutrition Resource Documents for Parents/Guardians.