Presentation on theme: "Changing Lives, Building Futures Newid Bywydau, Creu Dyfodol MIXED AGE CLASSES The majority of schools in Caerphilly CBC have classes where the children’s."— Presentation transcript:
Changing Lives, Building Futures Newid Bywydau, Creu Dyfodol MIXED AGE CLASSES The majority of schools in Caerphilly CBC have classes where the children’s age range is larger than a year. This is not a new situation for our schools who have successfully educated children in mixed aged classes for many years. The reason for organising classes in this way is because schools are funded per pupil and there is also a class size limit of 30 pupils. A year group will often be either more or less than this number and so for educational and financial reasons pupils will need to be grouped with either older or younger pupils. A considerable amount of research has been carried out on the impact of mixed-aged classes on children’s achievement. The research indicates that children make the same or better progress in mixed-age classes than those children in same-age classes. Also children in mixed-age classes have significantly more positive attitudes towards school, themselves and others (Stone,1998;Veenman, 1996). The Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) lists a number of benefits of mixed- age classes. These include: Children’s needs are more accurately met as the teacher focuses on teaching each child according to his or her strengths. “My children have been in 3 primary schools (due to house moves) and the third (current) one has mixed classes as it's a small village school. I wasn't keen, it was a downside for me, but actually it seems fine. The school seems to put more effort into teaching children at the level they're ready for, as the teachers have to work with a wider age and ability range, so the work seems to be more differentiated than at their previous schools and my children have enjoyed making friends in different years. I really wouldn't have expected to be writing so positively about mixed year classes but so far, no problems at all.” Miss P (Comments taken from an internet parents forum) We hope that this leaflet has answered some of your questions and concerns around the organisation and impact of mixed age classes. If you have any further questions please talk to your child’s school. They will be able to help and reassure you. Useful reading; Estyn. (2006) Small Primary Schools in Wales Gaustad, Joan. (1995). Implementing the multiage classroom. ERIC Digest. Eugene, OR: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management. Katz, Lilian. (1995). The benefits of mixed-age grouping. ERIC Digest. Champaign, IL: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Stone, Sandra. The multiage classroom: A guide for parents. ACEI Speaks. Veenman, Simon. (1996). Effects of multigrade and multi-age classes reconsidered. Review of Educational Research, 66(3), 323-340.
Changing Lives, Building Futures Newid Bywydau, Creu Dyfodol Children learn at their own rate and have more opportunity to take charge of their learning. This sense of “ownership” and self direction is the foundation for life long learning. Children develop a sense of family with their classmates. They become a “family of learners” who support and care for each other. Older children have the opportunity to take leadership roles. Children are more likely to co-operate than compete. Older children model more sophisticated approaches to problem solving, and younger children are able to accomplish tasks they could not do without the assistance of older children. In 2006 Estyn carried out a report into small primary schools in Wales where 90 children or less were educated in classes with multiple age ranges in one class. The evidence indicated that “overall, pupils in small schools achieve similar standards to pupils in other schools.” The report also highlighted that “pupils in small schools (in mixed age classes) achieve slightly higher standards in key skills (speaking and listening, reading, writing, numeracy and using information and communications technology) than pupils in other schools.” Your child’s school will ensure that the teachers who are chosen to teach a mixed age class will have been well prepared to work effectively with this situation. School schemes of work, assessment policies, resources and training will ensure that all children make good progress. Each child will be given work according to his/her stage of development. The new Curriculum in Primary Schools in Wales – The Foundation Phase and the KS2 Skills Curriculum both ensure that the child is taught as an individual and that their stage of development, not their age informs the teacher’s planning. The well being of the children is also of great importance for the school. The school will make sure that the children are happy and settled in their new classes and that there are opportunities for children to continue with their peer friendship groups throughout the school day. Parents comments about mixed age classes “We moved area and schools two years ago, and I was horrified to discover that my son was in a mixed age class in the new school. Even worse, they did the same age split thing, but because the classes had already been set when we moved, he was in the 'older' mixed class instead of the younger just yr1 class, despite being the youngest in the year! I was very, very worried, but in fact he has been absolutely fine, and has made friends with children from both classes as they spend a lot of time together anyway.” Mrs A “My child went through mixed classes in his school. It really has not been a problem. In fact, it has its advantages, with the children getting to know other children from other classes and feeling more confident with change. There will always be mixed ability in any class, teachers are trained to deal with that. Ours are taught in groups depending on ability. I think it worries the parents more than the children, and no evidence in our school of it affecting the children's progress, as far as I can tell.” Mrs J “My child is in a reception - yr2 class and it's great. I think it's better for her than a single year class actually because it seems more inclusive”. Mr D