Timetabling preparation checklist

Use the following checklist to prepare for timetabling by exception. Also see Glossary of terms.


Key questions


Concepts and terminology


How many days are there in your timetable? That is when does your timetable repeat?

a) 5 days.
b) 10 days.
c) 15 days.
d) Other.

Timetable cycle.


What time segments have you divided your day into? That is, how many periods do you have per day?




When do recess and lunch breaks occur?
Do you allow specialist subjects to run over recess or lunch? For example, art can run over recess, and students leave their equipment and return to it after the break.

Period 1 - MUSIC
Period 2 - ART
Recess break
Period 3 - ART



How do you group students?

a) Prep A, Prep B, Prep C and Prep D.
b) Year 5/6A, Year 5/6B, etc.

Year group, grade, form, core class, home group, class, cohort.


What specialist subjects and other activities will each year group participate in?

a) Assembly.
b) Sport.
c) Art, Music, PE, etc.

Year group allocation, Activity.


How many periods will each activity run for over the timetable cycle?
Can doubles and triples run over recess or lunch?

a) Art runs for two periods.
b) PE runs for a single period.

Doubles, triples and quadruples.


Which activities need to run at the same time with other year groups?

a) Assembly.
b) Sport.
c) Music (choir).
d) Staff designated planning time.

Joins or Not available.


Key questions


Concepts and terminology







Staffing requirements:

  • Do you have part-time staff?



  • What days are they unavailable?



  • What time do staff need to be face-to-face teaching. For example, 24 periods out of 30 periods per week.


Staff loads.

  • Do staff need planning time?



  • Does planning time need to be organised for groups of teachers together?



  • Does this planning time need to be timetabled at specific times?




Do you have any room requirements?

a) Gym not available Tuesday morning.
b) Only one Art room but two Art teachers.

Unavailability, Resource.


Do you have any particular timetabling/scheduling requirement?




Do any of these activities need to run at specific times?

a) Assembly Monday from 9:00 - 9:50am.
b) Year 5 and 6 sport Wed periods 5 and 6.

Manual scheduling or Not available.


Do you have any special requirements for specialist subjects?

a) Art must be timetabled so each year level does Art after the same level. This ensures the equipment does not need to change.

Scheduling consecutives.


What other timetable requirements do you have?

a) No sport in the afternoon during summer.




b) Preps do not have specialist classes in the morning.

Not available.



c) No more than one specialist class per day.