ALTERED school hours are the latest in a sea of change for pupils at Merrylands East Primary School.
The pupils now attend classes between 8am and 1.15pm. A homework centre runs after school until 3pm for pupils whose parents are unable to collect them early. Up to 72 of the school's 366 pupils use the service each day.
Watch our video about the altered hours below. Video by: Gene Ramirez.
The alterations are a trial that will be assessed by Macquarie University. Parents have had mixed reactions.
Karen El Samad, the president of the school's P & C said she appreciated the flexibility of the new hours .
"I get to miss the school traffic and . . . there's no rushing to get them to eat their dinner, do homework, get them to their after school activities. They go to tutoring or sport. They get home and it's really relaxed."
Peter Dempsey said he was pleased to avoid peak-hour traffic but it could be difficult getting children Brooke, 6, and Brendan, 5, to bed early in preparation for the earlier start.
"For me it doesn't really matter because I work shifts so I'm here picking them up," he said.
Some parents expressed concern the school zones had not changed with school hours. They said the crossing guard had turned up at 8am and 2.30pm.
Principal John Goh said Roads and Maritime Services was making school zone signs to reflect the change. They will be installed within a month.
Mr Goh said the new school times were one aspect of change to "respond to local needs".
"It's not just one size fits all because schools in other locations would be very different to this school," he said.