In a small school like Weston-on-Trent, mixed year group classes are a way of life. The school has 5 classrooms and 7 year groups with around 20 pupils in each year group. When most of the year groups are full, single year group classes are not possible.
Our pupils spend 7 years in the school: moving from their first year in Reception, through 2 years in Key Stage 1(infants) and then 4 years in Key Stage 2 (juniors) before moving onto secondary school.
Key Stage 1 classes are limited to 30 pupils but the rule does not apply to Key Stage 2 classes where pupils are generally more independent and require less adult support in their lessons. It is important to note that the organisation of classes may vary from year to year in order to accommodate the differing numbers in each year groups.
Our children work in 5 classes arranged as following for the 2016/2017 academic year:
Pupils who remain in the same class for more than one year are not taught the same things over again, nor do we have any different expectations for them in terms of their academic progress and attainment.
We assess the progress of pupils against the national expectations of pupils in each year group, irrespective of which class they are in. We know from analysing several years of data that pupils who in the same year group but in different classes make the same progress in younger and older classes. So for example, we know that in general, pupils in Year 4 in Swallows class make the same academic progress as pupils in Year 4 in Kingfishers Class.
There is always a range of children’s ability in every class and teachers focus on what each child knows, what they can already do and what they need to be taught next. You can help to support your child as they learn the key year group expectations. Find out more by clicking here.
Sometimes children can be disappointed that they are staying in the same class without some of their friends but we have always noted that there are advantages too. Pupils often grow in confidence when they become one of the eldest in the class. They can show the new children in the class how things are done and become role models for them. They learn to make new friends and still play with their old friends at playtimes and lunchtimes.
Our class lists are given very careful consideration. We make a wholehearted attempt to do what is best for every child within our care.
During the summer term class lists are finalised for the following academic year. All of the school’s teachers, including the school’s senior leaders, carefully review the class lists for the next academic year. Many factors are considered in these discussions. Age is considered but greater emphasis is placed on the needs of every individual child. Every decision is made while keeping in mind the fact that the development of the child is of paramount importance.
The final decisions about class lists are therefore based upon our thorough and accurate professional observations and understandings of every child’s abilities (both academic and social). We also carefully consider age and friendship groups, as we want all of our children to ‘achieve their true potential’.
The overall goal is to balance the needs of all the children, and staff, in the school in the best possible way.
We understand that pupils and their parents want to know about their new class as soon as possible. Admissions for each year group are not finalised until the end of June, at which time we work out who will be in each class and let everyone know in time for transition events in July.