With just a couple of months left in the academic year, in the midst of all the quizzes and assignments, students are being introduced to a new time table which will be implemented in the coming academic year.
The timetable follows a Week A – Week B schedule, offering no minor but all major courses with four or more (in case of science) slots distributed over the period of a week, and eight or more per fortnight. The students were shown a draft of the new timetable in the first week of March. This is something completely new to Woodstock students.
“The majority, for instance music, is being offered major, for full credit, which is something that hasn’t happened at Woodstock before. This is quite exciting,” said Mr. Davies, the Head of Upper Years.
The timetable was introduced to “accommodate all the three curriculums, the MYP rolling onto IBDP, IGCSE and AP that the school will be offering over the course of the next two years,” said Ms. Mou Maiti, the academic coordinator. Ms. Maiti also pointed out that there “needs to be uniformity so that the Middle School and Upper Years have the same allocated options for the different curriculums. As a school, we wanted to have one recognizable pattern.”
Teachers who teach minor courses seem to think the new time table is great. Mr. Adam Hubbard, art teacher, said, “The good thing is that eliminating minors and having everything as majors will be beneficial to get through all the different projects in a short amount of time.”
Some feel that 50-minute periods for subjects like science are not enough, and they need more. For this reason, the school has created double blocks, with “two 50-minute science periods consecutively (for some grades), so that students get enough time to complete labs and understand the concept,” said Ms. Maiti.
The two-week timetable will allow the current Grade 8 and 9 students to have only one study hall per week, unless they are already done with a subject credit, which is not the case for most. This gives them a lot less self study time. To this, Mr. Richard Wartho, the head of Grade 9 homeroom and teacher said, “I don’t think having a single study hall is really going to be an issue because most students don’t use the ones they have right now efficiently.”
The students who do use the study halls for studying do not share the same views. “It’s going to be really hard for us to catch up with work. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to complete all my assignments on time and keep my grades up,” said Aviva Balani, Class of 2021.
The students seemed to be frustrated by all the changes taking place. “We are guinea pigs, so many new things are being tested on us,” said Yash Kedia, Class of 2021.
It is not just the freshmen going through a change of curriculum who feel this way. Veer Arya, Class of 2020, said, “I understand IB means changes, but why is our education being compromised? By the time we get used to this new time table, we’d probably be graduating. Everybody in my grade hates it already.”
The new timetable may take a lot of time for Woodstock students to get used to, even though this is not the first time the school has introduced something like this. Jia Looma, Class of 2020, said, “The transition is messed up” and “ seven majors all together just restricts students, and some of us want more for colleges and other things.”
Mr. Davies said, “The timetable is going to suit them (next year’s Grades 11 and 12) a lot more. The timetable that we currently have has gone out of existence because they are very restricted on what they could do.”