Mixed Age Teaching and Class Structures

Class Structures for 2017 – 2018 

Each year we look at the class structures for September based on the number of pupils in each year group and how to provide them with equality of access to teacher input time, the highest standard of education and the ‘challenge for all’ that we pride ourselves on here at Frieth.

For more detail on the strategic decisions made by the governing body on how we would structure the classes in the school, please read the accompanying Governor Newsletter.

We expect that from September 2017 our KS2 cohort sizes will be as follows:

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

19

18

19

23

 

This gives us an expected total of 79 pupils across 3 classes although the final numbers are subject to change until the end of the July term.

 

Our aim has always been to provide classes with approximately equivalent numbers; keep all class sizes to a minimum; and provide equality of access to teacher input for all pupils. Given the numbers in each year group, and the physical sizes of the classrooms the structure of the classes will change slightly from the previous two academic years. As such there will still be 3 classes in KS2 in September as follows:

  • Kestrels will be mixed year 3 and 4
  • Kites will be mixed year 4 and 5
  • Eagles will be year 6 pupils.

In EYFS and KS1 we are expecting to have full classes of 30 pupils and therefore we will continue to have the following structure:

  • Owls will be mixed Reception and year 1
  • Buzzards will be mixed year 1 and 2

 

For the well-being of all pupils, the decision will not be made on academic ability, but will be based primarily on age and the professional judgement of the staff. The finalised class lists will be sent home with pupil reports on the 7th July.

For more information on mixed age teaching, please see the parent leaflet below.

As always the decisions are made with the best interests of every pupil in our hearts and minds; that we remain fully committed to the personalised, targeted teaching and learning approach which enables mixed-age teaching to be a success; and that all decisions made within school are rooted in our core Christian values.

Benefits to mixed age teaching

There are many proven benefits to mixed age teaching, such as:

  • There is a greater focus on individualisation.
  • This results in better differentiation.
  • Pupils form wider friendships.
  • Pupils relate to broader groups of other children
  • Younger pupils get the benefit of experiencing being the oldest in their class and the responsibilities that go with this
  • There is greater flexibility of learning opportunities

 

Teachers’ Responsibilities

 

All teachers are responsible for the individual development of every child in their class. Mixed year group classes do not change this responsibility. At Frieth there is already a wide range of needs within each class and year group and the teachers are already proficient at adapting the curriculum to meet the pupils’ individual needs across the curriculum.

 

 In mixed year group classes the teachers take the objectives and plan a programme of study to teach these objectives effectively across the ability range of the class. At times pupils will work at the same tasks but at different levels of ability and at other times the pupils will do completely different work specific to their needs within that area of learning. At all times the teacher is finding out about each individual child’s abilities and is planning and evaluating accordingly in terms of the differentiated outcomes of the tasks the teacher is asking the children to perform.

 

What happens when your child goes into a mixed age class?

 

Things that do happen!

They do make good progress, have individual attention, maintain friendships, make other friendships, play together, work together in smaller classes and experience another year group. They all access the correct curriculum for their year group, age and stage of development, although the pathways to the same learning will be different according to the class teacher, resources and needs of the pupils in the classes. 

 

Things that don’t happen!

They are not kept down or held back and they definitively do not miss out. Just as children reach all their baby milestones at different rates, so too their stages of learning will progress differently. 

 

Whole School Approach

 

We work hard throughout the school to ensure that all children in a particular year group maintain their group’s identity. Opportunities will be created for all children in the year group to work together, take part in workshops and trips together, sit together at dinner time and play together. We hold a transition day for the children to meet their new teachers and spend time preparing them for the changes that will happen in the Autumn term.