We have a 75-minute lunch break at Knighton followed by a 15-minute reading time until the girls first lesson in the afternoon starts at 2.30pm; a 90-minute chunk of time between 1pm (end of the lesson before lunch) and 2.30pm. This got me thinking; surely we could have a briefer lunch time break, start lessons earlier and then cram more into the already crammed timetable. Then I took a walk around the school campus to get a feel what was going in the school and thought again.

I could see a singing lesson going on in the Music School as well as hearing a piano practice through the windows. As I passed the IT Room I saw there were five girls practicing their touch typing skills and a couple of others finishing off some extra work they had to complete. In the sports hall I saw some extra gymnastics going on in preparation for next week’s gym competition as well as some girls watching and supporting their gym skills. The art scholars were busily working on their sketch books and other projects in the art room. Six girls were sprawled out on the giant bean bags reading and chatting in the library. Outside in the arena I could see four girls on their ponies enjoying a lunch time riding lesson and on the other side of the field some of the girls were getting in some (voluntary) extra netball shooting practice. Coming up the drive was a minibus loaded with girls returning from Bryanston after a session on their climbing wall during the lunch break. Before heading back in I had a chat with some of the girls playing on the timber trail and swings in the orchard at the back of school.

As we walked towards my office, three of our Year 8 girls stopped me and asked if they could have a word. “Can we start a rock band?” they asked. “Of course you can”, I said, “go for it”. Off they ran towards the Music School.

That’s why we have a long lunch break!