FAQs for 2024-25 timetable changes

In September 2024, we’re making some changes to our timetables to achieve the best outcomes for our students.

What time will lessons start and finish?

Lessons will start at 9.15am but in many cases students will have a later start.  On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, lessons will be extended to 4.15pm.  However, on these days, the first lesson will either start at 11am or students will be compensated by earlier finish times on other days. 

Will everyone finish at 4.15pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday?

No, this will occur in 1 out of 10 cases.  In 6 out of 10 cases, it will be on 2 occasions and in the rest, 3 out of 10 cases, it will be just once.

Transport – how will my bus journey be affected?

We have worked with our bus service managed by Kura and with other public operators and made adjustments to fit in with our new start and finish times. 

Kura buses:  

Please download the Kura app for departure times but all Kura buses are now scheduled to arrive at the college at 09:10am. 

Departures from college will be: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30pm and Wednesday and Friday at 4pm. 

Public business from Ipswich Buses, Simmonds, Beestons and First:




Arrive Mon-Fri 

Depart Mon, Tue & Thu 

Depart Wed & Fri 




Sudbury, Hadleigh to One 




We anticipate that this will also be covered by a new Kura route 


Ipswich Buses 

Shotley Gate to One 




Timing adjusted 


Ipswich Buses 

Ipswich Centre to Chantry to One 

Regular Service (every 30 mins) 



Ipswich Buses 

Tesco Copdock to Ipswich Central 

Regular Service (every 10 mins) 



Ipswich Buses 

Old Cattle Market to One 




Timing adjusted 


Ipswich Buses 

Hitcham to One 




We anticipate that more compatible timings will be covered by a new Kura route 



Eye to One 




We will make individual timetable adjustments for students using this service 


Ipswich Buses 

Stradbroke to Ipswich Central (08:43, 16:20) 

Arrives One at 09:10 


Transfer from 15:30 

We will make individual timetable adjustments for students using this service 



P&R to One -  

Being withdrawn 

We anticipate that this will be covered by a new Kura route 


Ipswich Buses 

Ipswich Buses Route 93 - Colchester Station 


15:11 and 16:56 

More compatible timings are covered by our O4 Kura route 


Ipswich Buses 

Whitehouse/Winton/Sproughton - being withdrawn 

Being withdrawn 

Covered by our O1 and O3 Kura routes 


Ipswich Buses 

Manningtree/Brantham/E. Bergholt/Capel/Copdock/Washbrook 



More compatible timings are covered by our O6 Kura route 

Why are you making these changes now?

We review our timetables regularly to provide a transformative educational experience for our students and we regularly assess and improve the structures that shape their learning environment.

Why change halfway through the course?

We have been planning these changes to the college timetable for several years and we are confident that they will bring beneficial learning outcomes.  We are acutely conscious of potential disruption and therefore we are consulting with our Yr12 student ambassadors regarding the possibility of distributing lessons over 4 days for those at a mid-point in their studies.

In doing so we will be able to phase in new timetable arrangements, which retain aspects of the current table which appeal to existing students whilst introducing innovations that include. 

  • Increasing the frequency of subject lessons, from 2 to 3 times a week will enhance learning by reinforcing concepts regularly, promoting better knowledge retention, and deepening understanding. 
  • Reducing lesson length, from 130 minutes to 90 minutes will help to maintain focus, reduce overload, and optimise attention span. 
  • Providing teachers with an extra lesson per subject per week will give them greater flexibility to implement a wider variety of teaching methods to make learning experiences even better. 

How long will lessons be?

The length of lessons will change from 130 minutes to 90 minutes, the overall time per subject will remain at 4.5hrs.  Feedback from students and teachers suggests that shorter lessons are better for focus and mental health. 

There will be some triple (135 minute) and some quad (180 minute) lessons that exist in L2 / L3 Ext Dip vocational subjects with a high level of practical content to allow them to get the most out of the new timetable.  Of course, it is expected staff will facilitate breaks between longer lessons.

How many lessons will I attend each day?

Students will study a maximum of 3 lessons per day (more typically this will be 2 lessons per day). The exception being for those students studying 4 A level subjects.  

What about time for rehearsals, extra-curricular and practical activities?

We are extending the lunchbreaks on Wednesdays and Fridays from 75 to 90 minutes to accommodate extra-curricular activities. We will plan for rehearsal slots and practical activities to be timetabled, rather than squeezed into lunchtimes. 

However, it will still be possible for music rehearsals and clubs to run on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday as we can carefully timetable teaching staff so that they are available at a common time (e.g. 12.30-13.15) but can take their lunches earlier (11.45-12.30) or later (13.15-14.00). It is likely that students will have similar flexibility too. 

What if I need to attend a revision session during a designated “lunch” period?

Many students may find that their timetable has the flexibility to offer a lunchbreak during other non-contact time if they need to attend a revision session during the designated “lunch” period 

What about time for independent study?

We will give students dedicated time for meaningful, independent study between lessons with teachers and learning mentors on hand for any added support.  We anticipate that students will benefit from a “non” teaching day, together with later starts and/or earlier finishes, which can be taken onsite or offsite.

Will students be able to have a day off during the week?

This will depend on individual timetables.  For current students, these will be available on the Student Dashboard on 28th June.  For students starting in September, these will accessible via the application portal on 1st September. 

More lessons each day means carrying about more books!

Lockers are available for students to use, if more are required, we can review arrangements.

I have a job/other activity after college and theses are going to negatively impact these.

There will still be occasions when student timetables will offer the flexibility of later starts and/or earlier finishing times that will be compatible with part-time work.  We will endeavour, where possible, to make unique adjustments for individuals so that they can balance life and college commitments.

As the lessons are increased to 3 time a week, will be the timetables be on a two week or one week rotation and will students have one teacher to teach two of those lessons and one for the other?

The timetable is weekly - in most cases lessons will be split between two teachers on a 2 lessons/1 lesson basis.

When will these changes be implemented?

Timetable changes will be implemented for the new 2024/25 academic year this September.

Why make these changes?

Increasing the frequency of subject lessons, from 2 to 3 times a week will enhance learning by reinforcing concepts regularly, promoting better knowledge retention, and deepening understanding. 

The changes will give students dedicated time for supported independent study between their lessons, allowing them to develop their critical thinking skills; excellent preparation for higher education or the world of work 

The changes will improve student experience and provide a more flexible timetable. Moving forward, the adjustments ensure that our students will receive the full entitlement to their planned learning hours as we prepare for future curriculum changes prompted by national educational policy. 

These changes will allow a greater choice of combinations of subjects. 

Won’t flexible timetabling cause irregular start, finish and mealtimes which can be disruptive?

The college day has a standard start time of 09.15am, with a lunch break at 12.30pm, on three occasions in the week, lessons are extended until 16.15pm. However, note that the timing of lessons is generally consistent 09.15-10.45 / 11.00-12.30 / 13.15-14.45 / 14.45-16.15 - apart from Wednesday and Friday afternoon when lessons run 14.00-15.30. 

Although, lessons may start at different times during the week, students are welcome onsite across the day. 

Can the college accommodate more students on site at any one time and will there be places to sit and study?

We will be reviewing the provision of study spaces in the Turquoise LRC.  The timetable changes will still result in half-days on site for many. 

Will there be more homework?

No, but there will be structured time for independent learning outside of class time. 

Some students might find these changes unsettling and stressful. Is there support available?

Yes, the wellbeing of our students is paramount and we have invested significantly in an extensive pastoral and welfare team to provide comprehensive, wraparound support. 

What process did you go through to come up with these changes?

We have gone through an extensive process of research, planning, and consultation with our staff to develop our preferred timetable model. We have conducted focus groups with our student ambassadors and welcomed feedback. We are now informing current students, prospective students, parents, and external partners. As we engage more widely, we will update this document to reflect any further changes. 

What about students with special educational needs? Is there any impact?

High needs funded SEN students within our Supported Learning provision won’t be as affected by these changes as their timetable is fixed at 9:15-3.30pm every day.

Why isn't there a break in the afternoons?

In most cases, a break won't be necessary and will be offset by other factors, including a later start, meaning a shorter day overall and a long break between lessons in the middle of the day.  Therefore, we don’t believe that the addition of a break between periods 7 and 8 will bring significant benefits. In fact, it will more likely lengthen the day, or require an earlier start, neither of which are desirable. 

We will of course monitor the situation in practice, and if needed, we can shorten the morning break to 10 mins to provide a 5 min afternoon break.

I still have questions, who can I speak to?

There are plenty of options to ask questions or voice any concerns: