Principles of Timetable Construction Day 1: An Introduction to the Principles of Timetabling

This is Day 1 of our two-day course, developed primarily for staff new to or with limited experience of timetabling. Details of alternative dates and venues for Day 1, Day 2 (Scheduling the timetable), and our two-day residential courses can be accessed via the Events section. Delegates may attend Days 1 and 2 separately or concurrently.

Delegates focus on the basic principles underpinning planning and scheduling. A variety of practical activities introduce a range of tools and strategies, including feasibility tests and staff deployment modelling, essential for the successful completion of a timetable. The key to successful scheduling is the planning and preparation that takes place in advance - view the timeline.

9.00     Registration and refreshments
9.30     Introduction: general principles
10.45am     Refreshment break
11.05am     Developing and refining the timetable model
  • The impact of constraints on the timetable structure
  •  Feasibility testing: schematic planning, costing the curriculum and timetable model
12.30     Lunch
1.20pm     Feasibility testing: staff deployment modelling, coming charts and clash charts
2.30pm     Refreshment break
2.45pm     Scheduling
  • The use and limitations of the computer
  • A strategy for scheduling
  • Advice, shortcuts, and pitfalls
  • Adapting your plans to improve the timetable
  • Timelines
3.30pm     Final plenary discussion and evaluation
3.45pm     Close

Explore each step of scheduling an imaginary school using paper resources and spreadsheet exercises. Practical activities enable delegates to appreciate issues encountered during scheduling and to explore solutions. References will be made to functions and tools in timetabling software, however, the emphasis is on exploring an effective sequence of scheduling activities.

Delegates will:

  • be introduced to a systematic approach to planning and scheduling a secondary school timetable
  • explore the basic principles of timetabling through presentation, discussion and practical paper exercises
  • learn to use a range of tools and techniques to plan and schedule a timetable, and understand the role of software in completing the task effectively
  • place the process of timetabling within the context of the school’s curriculum planning, and the need for cost effectiveness
  • develop skills to interpret and analyse their own timetable, lead discussion and begin the timetabling process themselves

Suitable for staff new to, or with limited experience of timetabling.

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