what would you think about a nursery/reception/Y1 composite class?

(15 Posts)
peacheshoney Thu 28-Apr-16 14:46:09

DCs school is moving to the youngest class having this composition from September.
Presumably nursery children will start the term after their 3rd b/day, so by the summer term you would have a child who is a few days after their 3rd birthday with a child who is 6 and 3/4

starry0ne Thu 28-Apr-16 14:50:15

I think difficult.. the expectations between 3 and 5 are immense.. The level of concentration, level of expected learning, I would be concerned.

peacheshoney Thu 28-Apr-16 14:51:58

The age range would be 3 to nearly 7 starryone

trilbydoll Thu 28-Apr-16 14:56:04

DD is about to go into the preschool room at nursery and I'm concerned there's too big a gap between her and the ones starting school in Sept! 3-6 is a huge age range, and presumably moving from mainly play to more formal learning? How can they manage the logistics?

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Thu 28-Apr-16 14:56:49

Montessori schools (and German kindergartens) have this age mix deliberately. Our Kindergarten has 3 classrooms of 3-6 year olds - obviously they could have a class of 3-4 year olds, a class of 4-5 year olds and a class of 5-6 year olds, but they have 3 mixed classes instead. They do take age based groups out for targeted work for a short time most days, though sometimes they only take the oldest ones out, and a lot of the trips are age banded (including the residential trip the 5-6 year olds go on in the year before they leave!).

There are a lot of advantages if its managed properly - but not if it is one teacher trying to juggle purely for cost/ space saving reasons.

InternationalHouseofToast Thu 28-Apr-16 14:57:04

Can they do this? Surely the Yr 1s are on the national curriculum when the others are on the EYFS so they're doing different things. My DS would have been very upset, as a young Yr 1 to be told he couldn't do the playing / singing that the nursery / foundation children in the same class were doing had he been in this situation.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Thu 28-Apr-16 15:00:38

A Montessori explanation of the logic behind the 3 year age mix

TeenAndTween Thu 28-Apr-16 15:18:33

If this is a private school I would be worried about its long term viability.

If this is a small village state school then my concerns would be around how they intend to manage differentiation. How concerned I would be would depend on the year group/age/maturity of my child and the number from each year group in the class, and how it is staffed. Plus impact for future years and friendships.

dairymilkmonster Thu 28-Apr-16 20:55:43

I would not be at all hAppy with this - the needs of that age range are so different on many levels. Emotional needs, behavioural expectations, concentration, toileting as well as the more academic considerations...age 3 to max almost 7 is ridiculous in my eyes but i recognise some might go with it.

peacheshoney Fri 29-Apr-16 09:03:15

thanks for your replies, it might be a deal breaker for us.It is a state school.I understand that the funding model will be different for small schools next year and this has necessitated the change.i understand that they differentiate some work, but what for example will happen in pe?

MashaMisha Fri 29-Apr-16 09:33:40

My DC went to a German Kindergarten, and it had exactly this age range, as mentioned above.

Personally I think it worked brilliantly. There was a lot of free play, a lot of separating the children into smaller groups, according to age, but sometimes according to interest too; there was a wide range of activities and so lots of choice. In the Y1 equivalent year, the children did loads of extra activities (as Schwabische says, they also did a residential trip), so it is perfectly possible.
It was well managed and I think the children got a lot out of it, definitely socially, but I don't think at all that it held my children back developmentally in any way. I think it benefitted them.

They are at school in the UK now, and they aren't behind in any areas. As long as it is properly managed, appropriately staffed and carefully planned, it is a model that I would actively choose.

bluespiral Fri 29-Apr-16 09:38:13

That's a ridiculous age gap to have in one class. And then when you add on to top of that the difference between the less able / least mature 3yos and the brightest most mature 7yos? I honestly don't think I could keep my child at the school.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Fri 29-Apr-16 11:15:29

As Mascha says it is a fantastic model if done right. I've had 3 kids go through from being the youngest to in one case the 2nd oldest (they start the month they turn 3 so all have a turn at being the youngest, and I have one old for year and one the youngest in the year) in the class. I have nothing but praise and positive Iimpressions of the 3.5 year age band - look up the logic montessori methodology has for 3 year banding.

However I agree if it is only done for financial reasons and not pedagogical ones, and the teacher Iis not excited about and well set up for a whole new approach, it may not work as it should.

Spindelina Fri 29-Apr-16 15:17:12

Would the nursery kids start the term after their third birthday? Around here, they only have one nursery intake at the state schools (September after third birthday). If that were the case, you'd only have a spread of three years.

rumblingDMexploitingbstds Fri 29-Apr-16 15:25:21

If it's a state school, with the strong pressure to jump reception and year one children through the hoops to the deadlines, I would be worried about the nursery children being hothoused and trained to get through the hoops rather than play - or being left to wander in the background without attention and 'learning through play' looking more like baby sitting. That's potentially a very tricky group with three different stages - free flow play only - mix of freeflow with introduction to formal learning, and full formal learning - and I'd want to know how is it going to be staffed, how many adults in the room to do all the Foundation Curriculum work and observations, and what is going to happen if there is one or two children in that group with needs that tie up one of those members of staff? It could be done with a very skilled teacher and a good team, but I'd want a lot of reassurance.

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