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Experiences of mixed Reception/Year 1 classes

(12 Posts)
LawrieMarlow Mon 30-May-11 22:19:35

DD is in reception and we had a letter from school about arrangements for classes in September. Currently 26 in her class. Year 1 has 29 and there are two year 2 classes of 17 each (DS in one of those)

From September there will be two mixed Reception/Year 1 classes each with 14 year 1s and 16 Reception. The letter says that they will be doing work appropriate to their level and that there will be various groups for different areas (phonics etc I should think). Have been very happy with her learning this year and don't really have any qualms but am interested in how others have found this mixed age class.

The letter also explained how with 32 for reception that they could have 16 and 16, or 30 with two in year 1, both of which wouldn't really work (DS's year 2 classes were a one off I think) and so this arrangement is only really there due to more than 30 in reception for September). Am interested what will happen from next September ie when DD in Year 2 as unless there is any movement they will still have the mixed classes and just have to hope that there is a smaller entry for Reception for 2012. But realise I may be overthinking a bit grin.

papermate Mon 30-May-11 22:27:28

lower down the school it isnt realy an issue, but Its one of the factors why we made the switch in schools, before Y5, as Y6 & y5 share in our primary, and i think Y6 is a big year, preparing for secondary school etc.

I personally wouldnt be happy with a class of 30 or larger. we picked our primary based on classes of under 20 per class, so when it came to light one or maybe 2 classes would share we felt let down.

Our son for info was in a class of Y3 & y4 shared, when he was in Y3 it was fine, he is a bright lad and so then did Y4 work, but when he was in y4, when he had finished his work he was allowed to read or play. He moved schools after a term of Y4.

LawrieMarlow Mon 30-May-11 22:36:15

Thank you - in juniors they have mixed year 3/4 classes this year although next year there will be one year 3, one year 4, two year 5s and a year 6 class. We have only been here since last June but are very happy with the school so far. I am not too concerned about the numbers - I always suspected that DS's year this year was a one-off and didn't expect classes that size all the time.

Am just interested in how Year 1/Reception will work given the differences between EYFS and KS1. DD is tbh quite ready for KS1 and although I am happy that she will continue to be able to work at her level, I don't want her to feel that she is still in a reception class IYSWIM.

mama09 Mon 30-May-11 22:56:47

Hi, I teach in a very small school where we only have 2 classes. I teach year 3, 4, 5 and 6 and there are 2 part time teachers teaching reception, year 1 and year 2. The pupils have made really good progress this year. I can understand your anxiety, but remember that children all work at their own pace and all teachers should differentiate for each child so that they work at a level appropriate to them. Although the curriculum is different, the teacher should be able to deal with this too. I'm sure your daughter will be frequently told that she is now a year 1 and will need to show the receptions how to behave etc.

mrz Tue 31-May-11 14:03:05

Personally I don't have a problem with mixed age classes in small schools but am never sure why schools create them artificially. It seems to presuppose that these young children are going to continue to develop at the same rate so all in one class will be at a similar level and all in the other class at a different level. In real life that just doesn't happen.

sarahfreck Tue 31-May-11 14:37:55

I have a relative who has taught mixed reception/year 1 for many years (small village school) and it is tricky because of the real differences in EYFS and NC Year 1, however it can be done and done well if you have really good teachers. It does need a great deal of thought though as to how you are going to meet the needs of all the children and the different types of curriculum. It can benefit reception children though because they see Year 's doing more advanced things and it can spark their ambition to be like them and do the same things!

sarahfreck Tue 31-May-11 14:38:26

Year 1s even!

mrz Tue 31-May-11 14:48:10

I agree sarah both my children had mixed age classes in our small village school (only 3 teachers)

LawrieMarlow Tue 31-May-11 15:28:10

Thank you for all the input - I am very sure that were it not for the number joining reception that there wouldn't be the mixed age classes.

And if DD were a reception age child I would have no problem at all probably as she would definitely be encouraged by those older than her. But anyway I do have confidence in the school and hopefully all will turn out well smile

admission Tue 31-May-11 17:54:01

The school do have a problem and it is called the infant class size regulations.
I would be interested to know what the admission number is for the school. If they have 32 expected in september then presumably it is 34 plus given the numbers in year 2.
From your figures the numbers in year 1 for september are going up from 26 to 28 and then they are combining them with the 32 that have accepted a place for September which just by co-incidence comes to 60, the maximum they can have in two infant classes.
The problem is that if any more join the reception class before September then they have to be accepted upto the admission number and that will then give more than 60 and the school will be breaching the ICS Regs.
Further more anymore joining in reception and year1 in year from Septemebr onwards should in theory be elibible for a place by virtue of the school year not being full but the infant class size regs will in effect stop any more admissions.
As a parent I would be infuriated by this, the school have altered the class sizes to suit themselves (saving teacher's salaries) but by the same token have stopped children getting into the school.

noid Tue 31-May-11 21:47:25

DS1 is in a mixed Reception/Y1 class in a small school. It's lovely - the Y1s get a more gentle transition from the EYFS and the Reception children can be stretched if they need it.

twonker Wed 08-Jun-11 23:31:22

admission. what an interesting comment you make. There is a lot of manipulation going on, and we don't see it in context.

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