Mixed aged classes means DD & DS in the same class alternate years

(25 Posts)
LocalEditorCambridge Sun 08-Dec-13 19:33:27

This is from a thread is on the Cambridge site - linking here for more advice for more traffic. A small city primary school means two siblings will be together every other year - does anyone have experience of this and got the positives & negatives? Thanks

http://local.mumsnet.com/Talk/local_cambridge/1933181-Siblings-close-in-age-in-the-same-primary-school-class-good-or-bad-thing

LocalEditorCambridge Sun 08-Dec-13 19:36:23
AliceinSlumberland Sun 08-Dec-13 19:40:26

Surely only the same as twins in a one form entry? Except of course they'd be together throughout.

spanieleyes Sun 08-Dec-13 19:46:24

I've had siblings in a mixed age class ( and currently have twins). To be honest, they tend to ignore each other ( or at least have no more interaction than any other children in the class) One family has had 5 children ( and a grandchild!) in school at the same time-with only 4 classes they were bound to spend some time together! The only negative is that one child tends to go home and tell parents about any misdemeanours caused by the other!

ShoeWhore Sun 08-Dec-13 19:48:54

I potentially have the same issue next year OP and tbh I am quite concerned. I don't think it is the same as twins tbh. Twins are the same age, these siblings are a year or so apart.

I think much depends on their personalities and also a bit on their academic progress. In our case, the older sibling is super confident and v bright, the younger has mild SN, lacks confidence and has struggled with reading and writing. It would really not be beneficial to the younger one in particular I feel.

If they were more evenly matched academically and socially I would have less concerns though OP. Under those circumstances I don't think it's a disaster if the school is otherwise great.

SockPinchingMonster Sun 08-Dec-13 19:50:42

My twins are in the same class, they're yr1 at the moment. I don't really like it - my dd is more confident and a bit of a teacher's pet so she gets a lot of house points/rewards, this knocks my ds' confidence horribly - he is quieter, just as intelligent as his sister but doesn't show it and doesn't get the recognition. It has caused a lot of tears lately. Our school takes 45 kids a year so there is the possibility to have them split next year - but the school won't do it automatically, I will have to ask them and see if they allow it. The classes are always split on age so in theory they will always be in the same class.

bundaberg Sun 08-Dec-13 19:53:31

i was in the same class as my brother for a while.

it was a non-issue. there are no positives and negatives IMO... we just happened to be in the same class. that was that

OutInAllWeathers Sun 08-Dec-13 20:19:42

Personally I wouldn't want this for my children, and have specifically requested for them to be in different classes in the past. This has been possible however because there are either 2 or 3 spilt year classes per age group so it has been fine. Not sure what you can do if there is only one class option though.
It probably does depend on the children concerned, my two are very different both academically and their personalities so I don't believe it would be good for either of them.

eromdap Sun 08-Dec-13 20:35:08

I have dd in year 3 and ds in yr 2, both in the same class and as the year above is v large they may be together more often than not.

Positive is that they can tell me loads about there day as they fill in each other's gaps. If the teacher has asked them to do something or bring something in then at least one of them will remember.

Negative: ds is bright, particularly with mental maths and spellings which in the past has knocked my dd's confidence. However, I expressed my concerns to the teacher who is very aware that dd can be over sensitive about some things and issue hasn't surfaced yet.

Another positive, they are both in the same spellings group so we only have one set of spellings to practice each week!

Generally I think they are lucky to be in a smaller school where they get to mix more readily with different aged children and where there are plenty of jobs to be done around the school but not so many children to share them between, giving them a greater sense of responsibility and ownership of their school.

toomuchicecream Sun 08-Dec-13 21:44:48

I had 2 brothers last year and have 2 sibling pairs this year (year 1/2 mix) and its never been a problem. The only time they are together I'd when we line up automatically. At all other times they are I completely different groups doing different things.

Fuzzymum1 Sun 08-Dec-13 23:21:01

In the mixed reception and year one class where I work we have brothers, one in each year. Apart from the name and the fact they look similar you wouldn't know they were related - they don't interact much and are working on different things etc. SO far it's been a non-issue. Years ago the school had cousins and their aunty in the same class - never an issue either.

SummerRain Sun 08-Dec-13 23:27:16

Ours is a small village school with only 3 classrooms so dd and ds1 will be together for 5 out of 8 years. It's fine, I can't think of any downsides. Dd tries to tattle on ds1 sometimes but we've told her if the teacher doesn't see fit to tell us we don't want to hear it. They're a year apart but ds1 is astoundingly bright so they're in the same groups for some stuff but dd isn't bothered and the mixed friendship group works in our favour when it comes to playdates and parties.

There are 6 sibling pairs in their room atm and I don't know of any that have had problems.

MinionDave Sun 08-Dec-13 23:36:02

My 2 are 11 months apart in age, and should be in the same composite class, but the school requested that they went into different classes as they like to keep siblings apart where possible.

It was never an issue for me, but I was happy to go along with it

ILoveRacnoss Mon 09-Dec-13 00:27:53

I have a pair of siblings in my mixed-age class at the moment. The only problem we have is that they look identical from the back so I keep calling the wrong name... but no more than for a totally unrelated pair with the same hairstyle.

They are in different groups for the subjects that we do group for, and they are currently on different tables for the mixed topics. They have different friends. I don't compare them as they each have different strengths and areas needing support. They are only together when we're in register order to line up.

Next year one will move on and I'll get a different pair of siblings instead!

It really isn't an issue.

DeWe Mon 09-Dec-13 09:56:05

My dc are further apart, so I don't have this issue.

However I think as a general rule it isn't a good thing. I think the older can feel threatened by the younger potentially surpassing them, and the younger can feel they're forever playing catch up.

In my form at primary (1 form entry) there were twins. Twin A was clever, popular, arty, confident, musical... Twin B was slightly better at sports. They used to argue in class, and I think part of it was that A was always (except sports' day) overshadowing B. If B came up with an idea in class, A would be desperate to either better it or prove him wrong, and usually could if let.

But I think there probably are siblings for whom it works well.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 09-Dec-13 10:12:29

I think it is potentially tough on the younger sibling who could be as much as 2 years younger than their older sibling if DC1 is Sept and DC2 is August 2 years later.

singinggirl Mon 09-Dec-13 11:11:07

Small schools are very used to this, and their differentiation should be if a high order. A school I work in pt currently has three sets of twins and two more pairs of siblings in the Y5/6 class. None of them sit with their siblings and they are all treated as individuals. All have been at the school since reception and they and their parents are happy. One thing I would say is that the whole school has quite a family feel, the children are all secure and confident.

marmitecat Mon 09-Dec-13 13:15:54

It's normal at my kids' small school. My two are in the same class again this year. It's just not really an issue for us. They're not competing as work is differentiated. I have one introvert and one extrovert and I did worry about one being overlooked but it's no different to any other pair of kids for the teacher.

Frikadellen Mon 09-Dec-13 13:23:07

Happens a lot in the 4 class primary my children attend/ed never once heard a parent complain about anything but cost of trips having to go out double.

Xochiquetzal Mon 09-Dec-13 13:36:03

My son has lived with my parents since birth (I was 15 and had PND) and him, my youngest sister and my youngest brother are all in the same class (DS and sister year 5, Brother year 6) and it's been fine all the way through school, they get on very well but aren't allowed to work on group projects together as it's not fair on the other children (the tables are set up in groups of 4 so if those 3 are together the other child tends to get pushed out). The only issues there have ever been is Ds and my brother look very similar so teachers do get confused sometimes, especially if they are running around and they do get very competitive at sports but the teachers have been pretty good at dealing with that.

MiaowTheCat Mon 09-Dec-13 16:53:28

Could well end up happening with mine depending on intake numbers and how schools organise classes when they start school... 11 month age gap between them - they fall into different academic years but if they do mixed age groups they might fall into the same class.

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Mon 09-Dec-13 17:04:05

The school where my children go to is so small that it only has 2 classes. In a couple of years DS and DD1 will be in the same class. I have never even considered if it was a problem or not. Bit of a non issue as far as I'm concerned.

bundaberg Mon 09-Dec-13 17:44:54

meant to say on my post as well... my children are at a montessori school, and all montessori schools run mixed age classes. this means that my 2 youngest will spend nearly all of their school life in a class together

i genuinely don't see it as a problem

Lavenderhoney Wed 11-Dec-13 08:00:33

My dc dd of 4 yrs and ds of 6 yrs may be in the same class. I am worrying about it as up til now they have been separate. Dd is very self confident and easy going and ds is very shy and sensitive. The teacher of ds told me it would knock his self esteem to be in a class with his dsis.

I have an opportunity to put them in another small school, which has separate classes. Both schools are excellent on paper and both heads are very nice. Everything is positive about both schools!

I have no idea what to do. Any advice welcome.

Lavenderhoney Wed 11-Dec-13 08:02:00

I meant to add but posted too soon- both schools are new to us, moving to a new area.

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