However, it must be noted that mental offence and alertness is not greatest at the beginning of the day, but gradually increases and reaches its peak about the middle of the morning. Similarly, mental freshness is not greater immediately after recess, but towards the middle of the afternoon.
In other words, the best periods for difficult or mentally demanding subjects are the second and third periods in the morning and the second period in the afternoon. The worst period for such subjects is the last period of the day when students are tired, inattentive and perhaps eager to go home.
(2) The same principle holds in case of the days of a week. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days from the point of view of freshness and mental vigour. On Monday mornings and at the end of the week freshness and alertness of the mind are not at their peaks. This principle should also be borne in mind while preparing a time-table.
(3) In order to handle fatigue appropriately, a break should be kept for the entire school for a short duration for drill and games a little after the middle of the morning.
Various school subjects are shown here in a descending order of fatigue-causing power as follows: Mathematics, English, Mother-tongue, Science, History, Geography, Drawing and Manual Work. In preparing a time-table, the best periods should be devoted to Mathematics and English.
(4) The length of the periods should be considered in connection with the time-table. Ideally, it would be better to have different lengths of periods for different subjects. For those subjects which are more demanding mentally, the duration of a period should be less and the number of periods should be more.
For less demanding subjects, the duration of a period could be longer. However, in reality this is seldom achieved due to administrative difficulties in co-ordinating a time-table of this kind for various subjects, teachers and classes.
Thus, in actual practice, the length of each period is the same and should be between 35 to minutes. Ideally, the length of a period should be shorter during very hot weather and longer during cool weather. In other words, the duration of a period should be flexible.
(5) The principle of variety should be considered while framing atime-table. This principle applies to both students and teachers. Students should not be made to study the same subject or type of subjects or highly demanding subjects for too long a duration or stretch.
Whenever possible, two consecutive periods should not be kept for the same subject, unless this is necessary due to the nature of the subject such as science. Similarly, teachers should also be allotted easy and difficult subjects alternately.
For example, a science teacher can be given Physics, (Chemistry and Biology alternatively. An English teacher should not be given composition periods continuously but should be given grammar, poetry and prose lessons alternately with composition periods.
(6) Adjacent classes should not be given a reading lesson and a lesson in tables simultaneously. Otherwise, noise will interfere with learning in both the classes. When one classes reading, the other class should be writing.
(7) For experiments and practical work in science, two consecutive periods should be allotted. The same principle toads for other subjects like home-science, agriculture etc.
(8) A good time-table must provide free periods to teachers. However, all free periods should not be given to a teacher on the same day. They should be scattered and equally distributed over the entire week. Each teacher should ideally lave five free periods a week. Language teachers require more free periods- since they have a great deal, of correction work o do. Science teachers should also have extra free periods for the setting up of apparatus.
(9) A time-table should make adequate provisions for rest, recreation and co-curricular activities.
(10) The rules and regulations of the State Department of Education should be paid due attention while formulating it. These rules are usually concerned with the durations of a school year, a school term, a school day and the number of periods for each subject.
(11) Each school has its own specific needs depending upon whether it is a single-sex or co-educational school, denominational school, urban or rural school, primary or secondary school, general or special school, academic or vocational school and so on. A timetable should bear in mind the nature and aims of a school as well as its specific needs.
(12) In a single-shift school, the length of a school day is usually longer while in a double-shift school, it is shorter. This fact should be borne in mind. Besides, the length of a. school year, a school term and the number of holidays should also be considered while framing a time-table.