For the school year 2021-22 we will be running 1 mixed Year EYFS/ year 1 class.
Why and how has the decision to mix year groups been made?
- Every year we review the numbers in each year group, as well as the individual needs of pupils in the group, the staffing and the classes we have. We then model different scenarios for the year, the following years, and discuss this with members of the Governing Board. We consider the needs of the year groups alongside the budgetary implications of the different scenarios.
- We have to consider the best ways to meet the needs of all of the year groups. There is never one simple answer but a key factor is that we do not prioritise the needs of one year group above the needs of another.
- Single year teaching is more straightforward and is generally how we seek to arrange our classes. However, mixed-year teaching is our preferred option when we feel that it will better meet the needs of our pupils.
What are the benefits?
- Staff are aware of the complexities of teaching mixed classes as well as the problems that could arise if teaching is not effective. However, they have identified the following benefits:
- When a child stays with a teacher for two years this is called 'looping' and there is researched evidence which shows the benefits of this. The result of this is that the children are settled with the staff, they know their expectations and the teachers are aware of the children's next steps in learning already. Please click here to read a research article on the positive effects of looping on primary aged pupils.
- Children have a great opportunity to build independence in their learning. In this way, children do not always rely on adult support to access a task and become more confident independent learners
- Children benefit in many ways from the opportunity to become an ‘expert’ and a positive role model which the younger children often aspire to. However, this is not used as a strategy if it will mean the older children miss out on their own learning opportunities or if the younger children feel inferior to their older classmates. This will enable the older children to develop their responsibility, independence and confidence as well as mastering key knowledge and skills.
- Mixed grouping can enhance and nurture deeper thinking and problem skills in Maths.
- The way Reading lessons will be structured will allow additional directed teacher time with each child, which will help children make rapid progress.
- In English mixed grouping allows for a wider range of vocabulary to be taught and children to learn stronger social and verbal competences. Children can become strong communicators using language often beyond their current year group
- There can be a greater sense of co-operation and opportunities to work with a wider circle of peers and opportunities to build friendships from across different year groups
- Mixing the year groups will allow for additional adult support for the children. By combining year groups the children will have access to more Learning Support Assistant hours.
Each academic year the staffing structure is reviewed and considerations regarding the sizes of classes mixed or single form entry considered.