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AIBU - Concerned about school merging Year R and Year 1 in one class....

(10 Posts)
Dickydory Thu 27-Apr-17 15:38:07

DC is due to start a small village school in sept. I knew from outset the school had to merge some year groups, but was told that YR was always kept separate. The school have now announced that YR will start with Y1 as one class of 30 children... now AIBU in findings this a concern. They are two totally different curriculum's, and sets of children with totally different needs. I am worried the play based nature of YR will be lost as the class has to achieve the Yr1 standards, and the new YRs, my DC included will be lost in the settling in phase etc. DC is already a very young child in the year, and will need time to settle into school etc. I think asking teachers to work across year groups is one thing but across curriculums seems to be something else. I know all schools are facing financial challenges and of course difficult decisions have to be made but I am not sure this is the right way forwards. As I say I not against merging year groups per se, just this merge. AIBU to be concerned and is there anyone out there who can provide me with some reassurance that this has worked before?

requestingsunshine Thu 27-Apr-17 15:45:25

My dc all started in a school that merged most year groups including YR and Y1 and never had any issues. They combined alot of the fun stuff and then just seperated for 'lesson' type stuff like reading, writing and maths. It seemed to work really well for all the children.

TimeIhadaNameChange Thu 27-Apr-17 15:45:28

That's how it was at my (fairly large) primary and it worked fine. I don't remember too much about it, but it was nice progressing through one class for two years and knowing you'd gone from being in the younger half to the older.

I've helped in schools where they've had the equivalent of YR-Y2 in one composite class, and Y3-Y6 in another (small community schools with two language streams). I must be hard for the teachers but from a learning viewpoint it seemed be work well. Sometimes the work they'd get would be differentiated by age, at other times they'd work together, with the older children helping out the younger where necessary.

TreeTop7 Thu 27-Apr-17 15:48:22

This happened to me in the late 1970s. Small village. It worked very well. The school had excellent academic outcomes and I've still got friends from the "other year" to this day.

PoisonousSmurf Thu 27-Apr-17 15:50:28

Our village school only had 45 pupils and it's always been like this.
R with 1, 2 and 3 together then 4,5 and 6.
Has always worked well.

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Thu 27-Apr-17 15:51:00

It's actually quite common in smaller schools and is often of huge benefit as the YR1 children are able to access a free flow type environment for longer, which I think many still need at that age.

In terms of how it works the F2 children normally start settling in at the beginning of the first week joined by Yr1 later in the week. Groups are normally split by age so they can teach both curriculums. If you have concerns these should be addressed by the staff at the meetings held for new starters before the summer.

I wouldn't worry too much it can work beautifully and allow children the opportunity to mix with older/younger peers.

Batgirlspants Thu 27-Apr-17 15:53:02

Quite commen here. Mine were in mixed classes and works fine with a good teacher. Don't worry.

grasspigeons Thu 27-Apr-17 15:53:10

My child's school was like this. It was fine. I don't think your child will be lost. I think it would be easier for the teacher having 15 role models in the class of how to sit, line up and where to put the coat. The teacher can concentrate on the new ones who don't know how to do school in the early days as its only half of them. I do get your concern about play but I think that the younger ones will end up seperate out to play outside whilst the older ones do a bit more sit down learning. Y1 always has a lot of play at the start to help children transition so the school would have til about now in the year to work out how to do more formal learning with the older ones.

Dickydory Thu 27-Apr-17 15:55:16

Ah I'm reassured already! smile Thank you!

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Thu 27-Apr-17 15:57:23

most of the primary schools my lot have been to have had some sort of combined classes

one was P1-3 and P4-7, other were just two years, but sometimes a P1/2 and a 2/3 if the intake in 1 and 3 had been small. ...that's when the issues start ime....parents always assume that any P2 child in the 2/3 class is better than those in the P1/2 class.

I've found it makes a good "social" side to the school, there's a lot of mixing between the children and their siblings, everyone seems to know everyone else and be interested

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