Big tick for move to four terms

ONE year down and the move to four terms is a resounding success.

Despite a few detractors when the move was raised again in 2010, those within the education sector have only praised the new model of four blocks of 10 weeks as public school pupils finish today for the summer holidays.

A four-term model has   brought Tasmania in line with the rest of the country.

Ravenswood Heights Primary School principal Brittany Rostenberg said yesterday that the shorter terms had only been a positive for the school, and parents and staff were overwhelmingly supportive.

``I've had a lot of parents talking about it being really positive,'' Ms Rostenberg said.

``One of the main things from the parents' point of view  was that the summer holidays were not so long, so students didn't get bored as they came back to school sooner.''

She said that although there was mild reluctance from some parents at the start of the year, all those fears had been allayed.

Ms Rostenberg said the 10-week terms were much easier on pupils and staff than the previous terms that ran for as long as 13 weeks.

She said general pupil and staff health had improved, with fewer people being away due to illness.

She said the only difficulty that the school had experienced was adjusting to the shorter term at the end of the year because of the amount of work to be completed, as well as events.

Tasmanian Association of State School Organisations president Jenny Eddington said the body had  received no complaints about the move to four terms.

``It's gone incredibly smoothly from what I've heard,'' she said.

She  only knew of a couple of issues -  end-of-year scheduling and senior exams, which were more to do with the implementation of the four terms than the model itself, and she expected these to be less of an issue in the future.

Education Minister Nick McKim said the feedback about four terms had been very positive.

``It's a great testament to our principals, teachers and support staff that the changes have flowed so seamlessly,'' he said.

``Research shows shorter terms and more regular breaks help kids stay motivated and retain things they've learned. It's also credited with reducing absenteeism - especially in the winter months.''

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