Our school operates with six classes. Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 are taught in three separate classes dictated by year group. Children in Key Stage 2 are grouped and taught in three mixed aged classes.
As children progress through the school there may be occasions where they will be placed in a class group that contains two year groups. This is unavoidable and common in primary schools. This has long since been a real strength of the school which we can celebrate. In some school years, dependant on numbers, there are some class groups that will move ‘en bloc’ to the next class-teacher.
For each year group standardised tests are used to assess children’s progress and assist in organising groups accordingly. To support the standardised tests, other assessments administered throughout each year and teacher assessments are all taken into account.
When organising mixed age classes some schools choose to arrange groups by order of age only throughout the school, regardless of ability (i.e. the eldest of one year group join the youngest of the next year group).This arrangement inevitably increases the span of ability within each class quite considerably. A wider differentiation of work required is likely to dilute the effectiveness of ensuring and encouraging children to reach their full potential.
It is very important to realise that at our school children are not held back in whichever class group they are placed. Children are taught as their year group with careful consideration for their different abilities. The National Curriculum Framework specifies clearly what is to be taught for each year group and regular assessments ensure that children are taught in accordance with their ability and beyond. Themed topics are carefully coordinated across the school to ensure that children learn key objectives particular to their year group whilst not repeating work already covered.
There may be occasions during a school year when a child’s progress makes it necessary to consider moving a child to another class group. This only happens after consultation with parents and when we are certain that such a move would be beneficial to a child.
Transition is a key time for all of our children as they move through school. During the summer term and once the class structure for the next academic year has been established, children spend time in their new classes; often when the Year 6 children are spending time at their secondary school. Children throughout the school follow the same PSHE/SEAL topic of Changes. This allows children to spend time with their new class, establish new friendship and allays concerns about changes in September.
If at any stage, parents are concerned about transition and class organisation, we encourage you to speak to your child’s class teacher or to the Headteacher.