Why are Private School Days Longer

Independent schools provide students learning in traditional academic lessons, sport & drama classes and activities. Children attending private school get to take part in a range of sports, activities, games and clubs that are extracurricular, not part of the school curriculum.

Why are private school days longer

Private school days are longer as academic curriculum topics are condensed into shorter school terms allowing for longer holidays. Also, students are provided with an extensive extracurricular program of sports, games, clubs and competitive competitions for pupils to participate. In addition, independent schools can set they’re own school dates, thus not requiring to follow UK education department dates.

Condensed school lessons and examinations

Longer days and shorter term times are what private schools follow with teaching timetables in all subjects and other activities for students. Academic topic content teaching is condensed into fewer weeks with longer holidays of approximately 18 weeks.

February and October half terms schools mainly don’t give instead they have longer holidays at certain times of the year.

Fee paying schools don’t require following UK education department rules on the number of days they must teach or open. Private school students are taught in smaller class sizes, with teachers using adapted curriculum with excellent discipline, thus they’re able to deliver all course teaching and examinations faster.

Older students tend to have 8 x 40 minute classes 4 days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday with Wednesday and Saturday morning lessons. Other independent schools follow a similar teaching timetable, although younger students have fewer lessons according to their age.

School day at private school

  • Pre prep school times in UK are around 08.45 to 15.45, although times vary slightly in different schools. In addition extra curricular activities are offered up to around 17.45, Monday to Friday.
  • Private prep school day times in UK are around 08.30 to 16.00-16.30 for all academic lessons, although students attend after school clubs and sports until 18.30-19.00 most days.
  • Senior school students attend from around 08.30-16.30 classroom lessons, with after class extracurricular activities until 19.00.
school trips

Additional academic and support classes

Student classes on offer are compulsory, options or paid for separately. Pupils can, and do elect to study or attend an additional academic or support class offered by the school on top of they’re regular study schedule. These classes could be offered in classics, languages, music & drama, sciences or sports.

Indeed, for overseas students that have chosen to attend a private school come from different countries from China, UAE, France, Malaysia and others. Additional lessons in English as a second language is offered, or in some cases encouraged for students to improve they’re English.

Games and sports afternoon

Traditionally fee paying schools have allocated one afternoon per school week day to students participating in sport & games of their choosing. Generally time allocated is after lunch 13.00 to around 16.00, although times vary by school.

Half day sports once a week boys & girls of all age groups can participate in from day to boarding students.

Extracurricular activities

The school day doesn’t stop after formal lessons are finished as students are offered and encouraged to take part in clubs, sports & games or drama & dance to enrich they’re social and personal life.

Up until 18.30-19.00 on school days students choose which sports or activities they wish to participate in as part of the extracurricular activities program at each individual school.

Students can and do participate in competitive sports matches and others receive tuition from instructors at the school or are brought in to provide specialist activity lessons.


  • Football
  • Cricket
  • Chess
  • Pottery
  • Swimming
  • Horse riding
  • Photography
  • Drama, dance & ballet
school holidays

Holiday weeks time off school

Longer student holidays off at private school helps all day & boarding school pupils with traveling back to they’re homes in UK and abroad. Also, provides students time away from academic study and allows an extended time with family & friends at home.

Christmas/New year school students 4 weeks off.

Easter 4 weeks off.

October & February some schools give one week off, although many don’t.

Summer holidays around 9 weeks school break.

Holiday activities and school child care

Independent schools stop formal academic lessons during holidays, although only close for 4 or 5 weeks per year. School realise students get a lot of time off and parents could have busy work commitments, so offer holiday activities at the child’s school.

You’ll probably require paying for a holiday club attendance at school whereby you’re daughter or son will take in sports, games and other activities usually over Monday to Friday so you can work.

School social & academic field trips

Independent schools arrange social outings to various local, national and international places of interest each year. Students are taken to theme parks, museums, farms, business, parks for one day school trips and weekend activities.

Older students also go on academic field trips such as geography to the countryside, beach or city to extend learning in the subject. Pupils would be away all day resulting in missed classes for other subjects to be caught up.

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