A year after Merrylands East Public principal John Goh introduced early start and finish times the ‘experiment’ has been declared a huge success. The 370 students are enjoying school more for the right reasons and boys in particular have improved performance.
Notably, 60 per cent of students enjoyed school for the learning experience more than for the socialisation — the opposite of the norm says John Goh.
Alii Posimani, one of the school captains, says:
“He and his classmates enjoyed ‘the 21st century classroom’ with varied learning environments and focus on self-learning..
Our learning has improved and it is better to do more in the morning and then go home for lunch.”
Year 5-6 teachers Bonnie Vicary and Lisa Sov also approve of the new school times. Bonnie says:
“When students come to school in the morning, they have not been dulled by watching an hour of television — and we are noticing a difference..
I have been teaching for 32 years and this is the most productive I have seen students.”
Lisa says discipline is not an issue with engaged students who perform better at the start of the day.
Some parents opposed the change in times, but John says:
“Most families are happy as 89 per cent are from a middle eastern or European background, so are used to those school times..
Many parents, or extended family, are at home and for those students who cannot go home at 1.15pm, there is a homework centre until 3pm and an after school care centre.”
John Goh, Principal of Merrylands East Public School since 2005 won the 2014 Harvard Club of Australia Teachers Mutual Bank Scholarship and an opportunity to undertake a professional education program at Harvard Graduate School of Education in the US.
Well done John Goh!