Mixed Age Teaching
Mixed Age Teaching and Class Structures
Due to the size of our school our children are taught in mixed age classes. The current class structure at Barrington is;
Class 1 – YR and Y1
Class 2 – Y1 and Y2
Class 3 - Y3 and Y4
Class 4 – Y5 and Y6
Where a year group is divided across two different classes for the well-being of all pupils, the decision will be made on which class best meets the needs of the child and the professional judgement of the staff. 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
All teachers are responsible for the individual development of every child in their class. Mixed year group classes do not change this responsibility. At Barrington 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.