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When will school know the structure of classes for September?

(12 Posts)
InternationalHouseofToast Fri 15-Jan-16 14:03:28

DS's school has some bulge classes which have results in mixed year classes - for example 3 classes, all a mix of Yr1 and Yr2, when DS was in Yr 1.

At present, the school also have this arrangement for Yr 3 / 4, so 3 classes each with a mixture of both year groups.

I'd like to ask the school whether this arrangement will continue in September, when DS will start in Yr 3. Can anyone who works in a primary school give me an idea of when they're likely to know?

The school has portacabins coming in during this year, as additional teaching spaces, so it may be they use those to help split out these mixed year classes; I can't presume that they will just do the same as they are this year.

If DS's school do look to keep the mixed year structure for Yr3 / Yr 4 in September, I'll need to look at other local schools to see if any of them don't use these classes, but again I can't ask other schools about spaces in a Yr 3-only class until they know how they'll be structuring their classes for September.


JWIM Fri 15-Jan-16 14:08:38

Probably not until the second half of the summer term when the Head/SLT will know what their staffing will be. Teachers have set dates by when they must resign, for teaching staff this is the end of May.

It is unlikely that the class structure, however the year groups are placed, would have fewer than 25-30 children per teacher just on a cost basis.

Why would you need to look at another school because the 3/4 class structure is repeated for next year? Is it not working successfully?

Finola1step Fri 15-Jan-16 14:11:37

Well in theory, the Head should already know as it should be part of their strategic planning for the school. But whether they wish to tell you is another thing.

They may say that the have to wait for the teacher resignation date at the end of May before making final decisions but this should really be about staffing, not structure.

I think it would be reasonable to make a request regarding the structure for the year group as a whole next year. They might give you a rough indicator but not definite decisions at this stage.

InternationalHouseofToast Fri 15-Jan-16 16:18:05

It's a problem with him being behind his peers, and how support for him cannot be arranged within mixed year classes by this school rather than a problem with class sizes per se.

Ds struggled badly in Yr 1, which we put down to a combination of a crap teacher (since left) who couldn't differentiate work for the Yr 1s, and being an August baby; he was in a class with kids 22 and 23 months older than him. By the summer term he was developing "headaches" and "stomach aches" in the hope of getting out of school. Age 5.

He's come on well this year, as there are just Yr 2s in his class and a new teacher, but he is still apparently "significantly behind" where they'd expect him to be and the SENCO is now involved. I can't put a child who is so far behind into a class with nearly 9 year olds and watch another teacher have a bash at differentiating the work to accommodate the brighter of the Yr 4s and DS at the other end of the range. The poor kid will have no self esteem left.

The better of the other schools near us definitely have split year classes (it's a village school with tiny classes so they put 2 years together) and I suspect the other two school in the area do similar as we've had loads of new housing put up with no new school so everything's full to bursting. I need to ask them so I know what choices(!) we have.

Wellthen Fri 15-Jan-16 17:43:16

When they know final numbers for September they will have a good idea of what they want to do. Deadline for applications was today so...after half term at a guess.

But as a pp says, they may not wish to inform you.
If it would cause you to move schools I would be looking at other options now as the head may not tell you until the final term. Book an appointment with them after half term and explain your concerns - it would be sad to move him based on just mixed classes. His next teacher may work really well for him. Plus we're not even half way through, he may come on a lot in the next few months. I teach a similar age and some of my low attaining boys have really come on recently as I think they have just matured and are ready for ks2 work.

InternationalHouseofToast Fri 15-Jan-16 19:58:44

Thanks Wellthen, that's what DH thinks. He feels it's the system that's at fault not DS - DH couldn't read at 6 so he has no truck with our school system judging DS for not being able to do so. Which is admirable but still leaves a little boy struggling along.

I'll wait until after half term and get in touch then. That ties in with Senco meetings as well so we'll have a clearer picture by then.

RustyBear Fri 15-Jan-16 20:11:01

Primary allocation day is 18th April, so the school won't know final numbers for September until well after Easter.

Finola1step Fri 15-Jan-16 20:12:57

I have to say, I am bemused by how the school organise their classes. I taught in a school for many years which had mixed classes. The school had to offer 45 places rather than the standard 30 or 60. When I first joined, there were 3 classes of mixed Nursery and Reception, three of mixed Year 1 and 2 then so on right up until Year 6. It was a nightmare!

The school quickly changed to its current system based on age. So the youngest Year 1s in a straight Year 1 class, the oldest Year 1s and youngest year 2s in a mixed class. Then the oldest Year 2s in a straight Year 2 class. All the classes get mixed up every year. It is by no means perfect but it is probably the best way of organising a difficult number of children.

So when looking for schools for your ds, don't reject schools with different numbers in each year group straight off. But it does sound like the system your ds' school has will not benefit him long term.

Purplecan4 Fri 15-Jan-16 20:14:55

At our school, that sort of thing is finalised at half term of summer term.

BackforGood Fri 15-Jan-16 23:42:49

Another who has experience of this not being settled until in to June. However, your meeting with the SENCo at least shows that he is on their radar and they are already making efforts to support him. That will be taken into account with class allocation I'd hope.

InternationalHouseofToast Mon 18-Jan-16 10:38:23

Thank you all for your comments. Finola I'd be happy if they had the set up you describe in your middle paragraph: a Yr 3 class, a mixed Yr 3 / 4 class and a Yr 4 class, but they have never used that structure and I suspect aren't likely to change just because I ask about it.

Finola1step Mon 18-Jan-16 12:53:13

I agree. I suspect the put all the year 3 and year 4 children into mixed classes because the it is seen as "fair" on everyone. So parents can't complain about their child in a mixed class because all of them are. Doesn't help you though.

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