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Mixing up classes...why o why?

(53 Posts)
Smallstuff Thu 30-Jun-11 20:11:22

DS2 is moving to Yr2 next year. Our school is split site so he also has a move of site to the 'upper site'.
Today (the school was open) we get the letters saying which classes they will be in next year.
Its the beginning of a 3 day weekend (training day at school tomorrow).
The classes have been mixed up. All his close friends are in the other class.
I don't pick up on Thursdays so could not canvas around the playground for any other names of his next nearest friends.
I don't have contact details for those children's mums.
So I now have a child beside himself for 3 days waiting to find out who from his current class is with him that he vaguely gets on with.
There are 4 of them at school that are inseperable. And have been since pre school. The other 3 are in the other class. The kids were not asked to name anyone they would like to be with. I just can't see why they would not put him with at least one of them! Do they not know my child!
The school likes to mix them up 'to build character and friendship making skills' he is 5 FFS...he doesn't need his character building...
Is is me? Why does it have to be done this way.
Do you think I would be unreasonable to call the school tomorrow on a training day to ask for a class list?

madwomanintheattic Thu 30-Jun-11 20:13:54

it's quite common to do this after reception. no big deal. ds got left with no friends at all, but he made new ones. <shrugs> there's still playtime he can play with last year's friends.

Hulababy Thu 30-Jun-11 20:17:36

I am not sure they'll give out a class list tbh.

Many schools mix classes. It is often to balance out classes where some friendship mixes and some clashes need sorting out. Normally they do try and keep children together with at least one of their closest friends, unless the friendship is causing issues within school. But sometimes I guess the odd child may get put away from their friends as an oversight.

I work in a 3 class intake infant school and we don't mix classes. However, this year, in Y1, we really wanted to. And we tried out several mixings over a series of weeks. Two out of the three classes desperately need mixing up. However, it seems there was an issue, and the head teacher backed down and didn't mix them. The teaching staff are disappointed and tbh longer term, esp for two of teh classes, I am not cinvinced it is the right decision to not have mixed.

pointydog Thu 30-Jun-11 20:30:05

I don't think there are benefits to changing classes every year or so. Certainly not any that outweigh disadvantages.

I've only known it to be done because school role is falling or else it's at a level where the LA will not fund the extra teacher needed so that classes will be stable, yet smaller.

Smallstuff Thu 30-Jun-11 20:35:08

Why wouldn't they give out a class list its not confidential is it? I am not saying mixing is a bad thing per se. Its just leaving parents with kids in limbo over a three day weekend seems a little unfair.
He is not moving from reception but from yr1 to 2 and to a new site as well. So much disruption that it would have been nice for him to have at least 1 close friend with him...
I know he will make new friends... as well as dealing with a new year, new teacher and a new site.... guess my 5 year old does need his character building!!!
The role is exactly the same I think the HT just likes to mix them up....

plus3 Thu 30-Jun-11 20:37:30

Our (end of) year2 class is about to be mixed. They have been together since reception, and even the teachers say it is a shame to split them as they are a super class. They are, however the older half of the year group & are being mixed for the right reasons. Previous years have always coped!grin

IndigoBell Thu 30-Jun-11 20:45:42

It is good for kids to be mixed up.

My school does it as and when needed - ie they don't have a policy. They look at the classes and the kids and choose how much to mix them up.

You don't know - they may have deliberately removed him from his friends because they talk too much during class smile

Not knowing your kid, this would actually be my first assumption.

mrz Thu 30-Jun-11 20:47:24

Yes it could be classed as confidential because it contains the names of other children ... mad I know but we once had a parent complain that we gave lists for party invitations

Smallstuff Thu 30-Jun-11 20:56:49

Indigo.... It's a reasonable assumption and I didn't say in my OP for fear of sounding big headed but he behaves very well and at all parents evenings both of his current teachers have nothing but glowing reports at how attentive he fact last time one of them said "it's so nice to have at least one child you can rely on to be hanging off your every word".... So disruptive I think not!!! blush plus his mates are not all at the same level academically so it's not cos they need to split the levels up IYSWIM...

Re confidentiality Yep it is mad isn't it as I am invited into their class on Wednesday pm to visit them in situ and then can see who they all are for myself!!!!

mrz Thu 30-Jun-11 21:05:00

Working it out for yourself is different from the school providing a written list

Smallstuff Thu 30-Jun-11 21:08:37

Maybe I could mention names and they could say yes or no!?

mrz Thu 30-Jun-11 21:17:17

It would be very unprofessional

LadyWithNoManors Thu 30-Jun-11 21:20:19

Your DS will be fine and will make new friends very quickly.
You on the other hand seem a little hysterical.

Smallstuff Thu 30-Jun-11 21:22:05

You are probably right... Just needed a kicking tonight it's really helped....

Rosebud05 Thu 30-Jun-11 21:30:08

It will be okay but, tbh, I can understand why you're upset. I would be too.

One thing to bear in mind is that pupils, teachers and parents often have different 'maps' of a particular child's situation in the class, who's close to who and what personalities will never interest each other.

I guess all you can do is try to make the weekend as fun and distracted as possible and find out more next week. It's not great timing on behalf of the school but that's probably indicative of the fact that they don't regard the decisions as momumental and expect a fall out.

Smallstuff Thu 30-Jun-11 21:33:52

Thanks Rose... I am planning on saying nothing about it this weekend unless he raises it to try to keep it low key... Hence venting on here!! He was very upset earlier and I just tried to play it down as much as poss...
If I was a cynic, which clearly I am not, I'd say the timing was for the school to avoid any fallout for 3 days! But your take is kinder!!!

pointydog Thu 30-Jun-11 22:33:37

So what is the evidence that mixing classes is a good thing to do?

dietcokeandwine Thu 30-Jun-11 23:20:07

pointydog I think it's more in terms of looking at the bigger picture, when the children transfer (either to secondary from a 4-11 primary, or to a junior school from a 4-7 infants school).

If they have been used to having their classes 'mixed', this might ease the transition to a larger school where they will not know everyone in their class.

If they have stuck with the same group of children for 3 (or 7, if it's a primary school) years, they might settle so far into a 'comfort zone' that they could find it that much harder to adjust to a new, bigger school where they do not know everyone in their class.

Obviously - as with so many other things - this does depend on the child, but I can see how the argument makes sense. All our local schools have a policy of mixing classes every year or so, and it's for this reason. DS1 is about to transfer from his small infants school to a much, much bigger junior school (there will be 8/9 children from his current school in his class of 30) and I am really pleased he's had the experience of mixing classes before starting there. I just feel he is more likely to make the transition happily having had this experience.

IndigoBell Fri 01-Jul-11 06:21:43

Mixing up classes means:

* School can continually 'rebalance' the classes to help the teachers

* School can separate kids who would benefit from being separated

* Kids make new and more friends

* Kids make friends with everyone in their year group

* Kids get used to change (one of the best skills in the world they can gain)

Goblinchild Fri 01-Jul-11 06:32:53

We mix classes up, but we also have to consider the number of SN children, the boy/girl mix and the number of EAL needs within a class.
Mixing enables a fairer balance across the year group.

Bonsoir Fri 01-Jul-11 08:35:47

There are pros and cons to mixing classes every year. My DD's school (five classes per year group) does this every year and, in that particular school where there is a lot of turnover and a pretty heterogeneous mix of cultures, I think it is the right thing to do. But that doesn't mean that children never get separated from their friends and have a hard time.

savoycabbage Fri 01-Jul-11 08:45:48

At our school, the teacher asks if you want your details on a class list and you say yes or no, then they give them out to the whole class. It's great as you have everyone's number and e-mail so you can contact them without feeling awkward.

Our school mixes the classes every year. I was a bit worried but she was fine and her best friend now is someone she had never met until year one.

ihearttc Fri 01-Jul-11 10:30:57

I was in exactly the same position this time last year. DS1 moved from reception to Y1 and in was in a group of 4 friends and all the others went in 1 class and he went in the other one. I was actually really upset (newly pregnant so a tad hormonal as well lol!) and so was he. I spoke to his reception teacher who said they'd done it for a reason and it would all become clear and basically I needed to trust them.

Fast forward a whole school year it's the best thing they ever could have done for him...he has made a whole new set of friends (whilst still keeping the old ones as well) and has had a fantastic year. He had an amazing teacher who "got" him if that makes sense and he has enjoyed every single minute of it.

Scholes34 Fri 01-Jul-11 13:32:13

Two of my DCs have been in classes that were mixed and re-mixed in the first three years and it was greatly beneficial in getting to know and make friends with the whole year group. Generally, if anyone gets upset, it's the parents, rather than the children, as they don't like the fact that their own friendship groups might shift because of their children's friendship groups. Generally, there's a whole load of new friends to be made and it's a positive experience.

With regard to class lists, we, as parents, have always compiled our own, and the school has then distributed them via book bags. Still using a Reception list compiled ten years ago.

Ephiny Fri 01-Jul-11 13:37:49

I would have thought playtime/lunchtime and before/after school would be the times for playing and chatting with friends (and they'll all be together then, won't they?). Surely during class time they should be actually learning stuff, rather than socialising? Quite possibly better not to have best friends in the same class from that point of view, it removes the tempation to talk and mess about!

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