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All kindergartens and primary schools are now implementing school reform and have moved to the 4.5-day week. Is it really beneficial for children? Yes, assures François Testu, chronopsychologist.
Students now have classes four and a half days a week. How is this good news for them?
- François Testu: This reform shows a real desire to respect at best the biological and psychological rhythms of children, whether daily or weekly. And this is the first time we care! The new arrangements of school time will make it possible to dedense the days of students who were so far too busy in terms of learning and purely academic activities.
The extra half day is mainly Wednesday morning. Are not children likely to be more tired?
- François Testu : No, quite the contrary. This half-day of additional teaching will ensure the maintenance of the rhythm of children in the week. To go to bed later on Tuesday evening, and to get up later on Wednesday morning, for those who could, disturbed this regularity. With the 4.5-day week, bedtime and sunrise times will be more regular. There will no longer be this break and it will affect the behavior of children and their ability to learn. They will be less tired.
The children finish their school day at 15:30. Why is it better for them?
- François Testu : The time of attendance at school is the same, but the purely academic time is decreased and supplemented by sports, cultural or artistic activities. They will allow the child to breathe a little. The problem with the four-day week was the density of learning. However, all chronobiology work shows that in a day, there are times to learn and weaker times. We know that a child is better able to learn in the second half of the morning, after recess, and for older children, in the second half of the afternoon, from 3 pm. The reform will allow teachers to take better account of this to organize the students' day.