Timetabling good practice

The necessary preparation for creating your timetable if you're not sure where to start, together with process, is further detailed below.

Our timetabling philosophy in edge is:

  • Student driven  -  subject choices as wide as possible
  • Staff input  -  ability to express their wishes to the timetablers through their HOD's
  • Involvement  -  at least 3 people involved in its production, preferably one new person each time
  • Scrutiny  -  open to scrutiny at all times
  • Simplicity  -  as simple as possible, which allows changes to be more easily implemented

Breakdown of tasks in order

The timetabling process  and  timetable video playlist

Creating and editing a timetable

The timetable is perfect when:

  • students get all their options
  • teachers have classes they desire
  • all teachers have their correct load
  • teachers have all their classes in their designated room
  • class sizes are balanced and manageable
  • rooms are used efficiently
  • the curriculum is delivered
  • there is a mixture of morning and afternoon periods for each class
  • non-contact time is evenly spread for teachers
  • part-timers have their classes blocked together
  • the timetable is easily understood and easy to modify


Breakdown of tasks in order

1     Planning

  1. General Meetings to discuss structure – includes Management, HoD’s, curriculum committee

  2. Departmental Meetings to discuss choices and items raised from 1.1

  3. Produce a booklet of courses

  4. Presentation to students and caregivers to discuss options

  5. Settle on a timetable team


2      Preparation

  1. Collect option sheets

  2. Enter option sheets

  3. Check options for suitability. Counsel students if required

  4. Decide number of classes and subjects to cull

  5. Ask HOD’s for their preferred staffing

  6. Check on requirements of part-timers

  7. Record other restrictions eg. rooming, timing etc


3      Building

  1. Enter teacher restrictions/requirements

  2. Enter structural restrictions and consider the order of the option lines through the timetable cycle, eg. Monday P1 is A, Monday P2 is B, etc, as well as which lines the juniors will use throughout the year. eg. Term 1, Y9, C & D, Term 2 Y9, I & J, etc

  3. Decide on acceptable clash number based on schools size, ie. the bigger the school the smaller the clash percentage

  4. Build option lines

  5. Test different option combinations for best fit

  6. Check class sizes and balance

  7. Confirm teacher classes are ok

  8. Check critical rooming

  9. Decide how to handle student clashes


4       Completion

  1. Decide on option placements during the week – (step 6 in Setup Wizard)

  2. Insert the ‘extras’ eg. PED, Music etc

  3. Complete rooming

  4. Confirm junior classes

  5. Do a full room, class clash check

  6. Publish and be damned !!


The Timetabling Process

Where you have been assigned the edge Timetabler user responsibility, a checklist is available which identifies the process to create and display the timetable.  

Setting up a timetable for the following year can be done at any time during the current year, ensuring that the year selector at the top right of the page is set to the relevant year.

The Timetable > Configuration > Setup page lists the recommended process, in order, for the successful creation of a timetable. Tick boxes are provided as a reminder of the tasks completed so far. It is possible but not desirable for a timetable to be created without having assigned teachers to Location/s. Some fields are automatically filled from School Setup where the School and Form Class Types, and Year Levels are entered.

  • The ‘Courses Defined’ link provides a summary of courses to check the course details from there.
  • The 'Locations Defined' link further provides for 'Add a New Location' or 'Add a Teacher to a Location' links.


The checklist asks have you:

  1. provided the data required to create a course?

    • A course is an academic course of tuition available to be selected by a student, which has associated Curriculum items such as MoE subject and hours, instructional year level and if relevant, related standards attached.
    • Course information can be rolled over from year to year using the Year selector on the upper right hand side of the Course Summary page along with the ‘Automatically Setup Courses’ link.
  2. assigned teachers to locations?

    • This assists the process of pre-populating rooms on the timetable.
  3. assigned students to courses?

    • Can be assigned via each individual course page or by enabling ‘Timetable > Configuration > Courses > Student Options Configuration’ which allows students to select their own courses from the student portal.
  4. completed the calendar setup correctly and saved your term dates, event days, holidays and teacher only days?


Creating and Editing a Timetable

The Create/Edit timetable page enables you to either create a new timetable, or edit an existing one. The timetabling process involves steps beginning with defining your academic year with start and end dates, followed by timetable structure etc. The timetable has a maximum of 12 days and 10 periods per day.

For more, see our timetable creation article using the Timetable Setup Wizard to begin a new timetable.



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