Later School Start May Be Better for Kids

November 6, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. advantage / ædˈvæn tɪdʒ / (n.) – a benefit of something
Example: Getting eight hours of sleep gives kids an advantage in school.

2. pretty / ˈprɪt i / (adv.) – very or to a great extent
Example: I was up pretty late last night studying.

3. deprivation / ˌdɛp rəˈveɪ ʃən / (n.) – the act of being denied of something
Example:  Researchers say that mobile devices can cause sleep deprivation.

4. recruit / rɪˈkrut / (v.) – to take someone in for a particular task
Example:  The school recruited 10 students for the experiment.

5. preference / ˈprɛf ər əns / (n.) – one that is chosen over the other
Example:  We have different sleeping preferences—she likes to sleep late, while I don’t.


Read the text below.
Researchers from the United Kingdom are proposing a later start for school days.

A team from Oxford University suggests that starting school at 10:00 a.m. could be a huge advantage for teenagers. According to them, getting up early is not suitable for a person’s body clock from ages 10 to 55. In particular, the activities and functions of adolescents can run pretty late into the night. Thus, requiring them to start early can cause sleep deprivation, which can affect one’s health and learning.

To test their theory, 100 schools around the UK will be recruited to take part in an experiment called Teensleep, which will start during the 2016-2017 academic year. The participating schools will be randomly divided into four groups.

The first group will start school at 10:00 a.m. The second group will take a sleep education program where students will be taught ways to be able to sleep better. The third group will be given both a late start and a sleep education program. Finally, the last group, the control group, will experience no changes in the start of their classes.

While there are still no findings for Teensleep, some critics have already questioned if it is the right study to examine sleep deprivation. If this kind of program were to be considered in schools, one issue is whether or not it would look into the sleeping preferences of teenagers, which is usually around midnight. Another issue would be that parents and teachers will have to adjust and change their daily schedules to accommodate the late start.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are some problems that the experiment might encounter?
·         Do you agree with starting school at a later time? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         If you were to set your own schedule for school, what would it be and why?
·         What do you think people should do to have better sleep?

November 6, 2015