Mixed classes(12 Posts)
I'm a bit concerned about this but I don't know if I should be or not.
DD starts reception in September. I have received a letter from the school stating that there are too many children in the year for them to have the usual 2 reception classes. Instead, there will be 2 reception classes of approx 30 children each plus another mixed class consisting of approx 15 reception children and 15 Year 1 children.
DD will be in this mixed class. I don't know if this will put her at a disadvantage or not. Does anyone have any experience of this?
Thanks in advance
It is fine. It's dead easy to differentiate, especially at this age.
Is she an autumn birthday? Reasonably confident? The school obviously think she can cope, she might even do better with older children around her.
Oh and you are right to be concerned as she is your daughter and it's always good to take an interest. But there is no need to panic in this situation IMO.
Thank you for the reassurance Panzee. Yes, she is an autumn baby. I'm sure she'll be fine but I do worry about these things!
My son is from a very small school so all the classes are mixed, I find that mostly it a good thing, he works at his level so sometimes with his age and sometimes with the older ones. Only down side is that if your child works at a higher level sometimes teachers can forget they are younger emotionally.
I think you need to find out more about the way the lessons will work and seating plans etc.
I was in a mixed reception/year 1 class (small village school). Because I could read when I started school I was put on a table with all year 1 pupils. It was horrible, I wasn't socially ready for it and they hugely resented me being there.
I'd want reassurance that the majority of the work, and the seating arrangements, will be year group based.
Yes, my DS was one of only two reception boys and five reception girls moved up to a year 1 class after a few weeks initial 'assessment'. He was actually one of the younger ones but was deemed bright and more emotionally suited to this than some of his peers.
I worried myself sick about it and socially it was tricky, most of the other reception children thought this group of seven were year one children! Despite promises of their mixing with the others every afternoon this was a bit hit and miss, and visits to the reception class in the afternoons became fewer as the year moved on..
...however he is now in year 3 and tbh it has done him no harm at all. Certainly academically he found year 1 and the classroom set up a breeze whereas some of the others struggled. I wouldn't worry too much, but would ensure the school stick to any pledges of ensuring your DC mixes with the other reception children regularly.
I'd want reassurance that it will be a 'proper' Reception class with learning through play, EYFS-based curriculum, good free-flow opportunities to access outside activities, a teacher with experience teaching reception age as well as KS1 children...
IME, a mixed Reception / Y1 class can go one of two ways (unless it is very carefully planned, and if this is a new departure for the school then the planning may not be particularly brilliant). It can either be a 'Reception class in which there is extension / differentiation for the Y1s', or a 'Y1 class, laid out more formally, more directed teaching, very little learning through play, in which some older / more able Reception children are accommodated and asked to conform to the norms of'.
If it's the first, i would have no qualms about having a Reception child in the class, especially if they are able and likely to enjoy the access to more formal / advanced learning some of the time [very able DS was in such a class for reception and benefitted from it]. In the second, I would have serious doubts, even though you as a parent might see it as 'better' because it LOOKS more like what you expect school to be IYSWIM?
Hmmmm, a mixed picture then. I feel a bit better after speaking to my DM though - apparently I was in a mixed class throughout my time in infants. I have no recollection of this! I have 10 GCSEs, 3 A levels and 2 degrees so I don't think it did me much harm!
I think that there is a difference between a 'we always have one or more mixed classes' scenario, in which the school and teachers are accustomed to making it work well, and an 'oh my goodness we have an emergency mixed class on our hands' thing.
Yes, our school almost always had mixed YR/Y1 and Y1/Y2 so it was the more mature Y1s who were split to go with Y2. All of reception were in the room with the home corner and access to the reception play area.
I would want to check that a stop gap YR/Y1 class still ensures the reception children get those opportunities.
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