How are classes formed - random? By age?

(22 Posts)
Mamabear12 Thu 12-May-16 22:06:59

I'm curious if anyone knows how the classes are formed. Is it random? Some people said they noticed a lot of summer girls and older boys in one class and in the other older girls with Spring summer boys. Do some schools use age to separate classes? Or is it completely random? My daughter will start reception in September. So it will go from 30 in nursery to 60 in reception.

SavoyCabbage Thu 12-May-16 22:14:57

It is up to the school. Someone split them by age. Mostly it's just random but they might take other things into consideration such as dc who go to the same nursery and things like that. I group children for an activity for my job and I always try to make sure that there are a few dd in the same group who don't have anyone from their school with them.

BackforGood Thu 12-May-16 22:53:21

Totally up to the school.
If they already know 1/2 the dc then it gives them a headstart. Many schools won't know any of the dc so it will have to just be split on facts they do have, such as a spread of ages, and fairly even boy/girl split if numbers allow.
They will usually also try to ensure things are even (across the 2 classes) , in terms of dc that are known to have special needs or disabilities at this stage, equal in terms of boys/girls. Sometimes they will play to the strength of a particular teacher - someone who has a special skill or more experience with a certain need.
they will then take account of how many twins / triplets they have (usually putting them in different classes, but could, specifically put them in same class.)

AllPizzasGreatAndSmall Thu 12-May-16 22:54:34

Ours are put in classes by age when they come into reception; the teachers of the classes can then tailor to the age/development of their class better.
The classes are then mixed up when they go into year 1 when the teachers attempt to get a balance of age, sex, ability/sen, behaviour etc.

TheTroubleWithAngels Thu 12-May-16 22:55:10

Different schools do it differently. Generally you try to have a balance of boys/girls, high needs, friendships.

I think age alone is a lazy way to separate children tbh.

AllPizzasGreatAndSmall Thu 12-May-16 23:24:58

Generally you try to have a balance of boys/girls, high needs, friendships.

How can schools know about friendship groups before the children have even started? They can't just be put with the children their parents want them to be with.

SEN/behavioural issues often only become apparent during the reception year.

angelcake20 Thu 12-May-16 23:32:19

About 2/3 of ours come from the nursery. A lot of effort goes into trying to achieve a balance (2 form entry) of sex, age, ability, behaviour etc. Parents of twins are asked if they want them separated (most do) but I don't think any account is taken of current friendships. They are not usually mixed again until end of year 2, though have been on a couple of occasions when it has become clear that there is not a balance and they have been remixed after Reception.

mrz Fri 13-May-16 07:17:35

Ive taught classes organised by birthday, alphabetic order (surname), school admission number, nursery recommendation etc etc etc.so many different ways

Mamabear12 Fri 13-May-16 07:48:26

Interesting! Thanks for your feedback. I can't wait to find out who is in my daughters class from nursery and friends who have a spot for reception. Want to start making play dates so my daughter gets to know a few reception kids better. Hopefully they will split the nursery class somewhat equally so she will know half the class. I know she will be fine and used to not knowing people in her class (she has been in 3 different daycares from age 13 months due to moving locations). But I always like to prepare if I can 😃 We won't know until July though so long way off!

Hersetta427 Fri 13-May-16 08:38:36

Ours is a split of gender and ages. When my daughter joined she didn't go to the Nursery class at the school so she was put with the other 2 children who went to the school nursery she attended. My son did attend the school nursery and his only 50% of his nursery class ended up in his reception class.

Witchend Fri 13-May-16 10:01:37

Depends on the school.

Some will consider carefully to mix up/keep together children from local nurseries.

Some do it by age, either an older class and a younger class, or the way our infants did, which was to have a list of boys in age order and a list of girls in age order, and go down the list putting them in alternative classes.

Some may let you choose a friend.

Some do it alphabetically.

You can try asking your school, but my experience is that they tend to not want to say.

If I was doing it then the first thing I would do is separate any children with the same name. 4 Olivers and 4 Daniels in one class and none in another. Much easier for the teachers!

Tuiles Fri 13-May-16 10:06:41

When both of mine started school there was a transition form via nursery where we could note friendships with any other kids also starting the school (not necessarily from the same nursery). In my sons case I was also able to note a clash with another boy - they were drawn to each other but it always ended badly. Fortunately they were put in different classes.

Cleo1303 Fri 13-May-16 10:43:34

We had three reception classes of 20 each - 10 boys, 10 girls and it was done on the basis of age when they started. From Year 2 the classes were swapped around every year but were always mixed ability. Twins could be separated or kept together depending on what they and their parents preferred so one might be in a younger or older class than the other.

By Year 2 they were all moving around quite happily within the whole year group.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Fri 13-May-16 16:37:55

There will be information from pre schools about which pupils are a good mix and which would work better if in different classes. Friendship groups are important, especially for children who are less gregarious and they will try to get a spread of ability.

Mamabear12 Fri 13-May-16 19:51:21

Foxyloxy, when you say there will be information from pre schools. How do they get this information? Do they ask? Do pre schools send the info? I'm just curious. My daughter is in the nursery attached to the school so I'm sure they will give the feedback for her group. But would be surprised if they go find out all about the other incoming kids!

LittleNelle Fri 13-May-16 19:54:55

All the pre-schools/nurseries send information, and the teachers will probably try to visit if several children come from a particular setting. Reception teachers will call nurseries to discuss any children if concerns are raised.

Ilovewillow Fri 13-May-16 19:55:36

I think they are probably all different but in reception ours were roughly 50:50 boys/girls in each class with a mix of birthdays. Our school did try and out children who went to nursery together in the same class so they knew someone on day one.

Cleo1303 Fri 13-May-16 23:06:56

Our school was done almost always strictly on age. A few children knew each other from various nurseries, but only one or two in each class if any at all. Others had older siblings at the school and knew each other socially, but it was still done on age. There wasn't a nursery at the school - all the children joined in reception.

I think this thread shows that schools all do it differently.

OP, it sounds as though your daughter is going from nursery to Reception to the same school? In that case she is almost certain to know some children from the nursery.

MrsKCastle Sat 14-May-16 13:18:28

Our school decides classes after meeting the new intake at induction sessions. Mostly it's about trying to keep the classes balanced e.g. looking at age, boys/girls, SEN. Also existing friendships from nursery/home. Sometimes siblings e.g. if one of the reception teachers has taught an older sibling and therefore has a good relationship with the family. It's not an exact science but generally works out ok.

fatowl Sat 14-May-16 14:00:26

I've been involved in forming classes.

We need to keep a balanced mix of ages/gender/ethnic origin/abilities and SEN.
It's a fine balancing act, and we'll never please everyone.

OP, I honestly wouldn't worry too much. The dynamics in the group will shift so much in the first term, friendships develop independently and rapidly despite what parents try to engineer through playdates.
Relax, really!
Or work on social skills to help her make friends -eg games she can invite other to join in etc

Mamabear12 Sat 14-May-16 19:13:44

I'm not worried. Just curious 😃 And I like to be proactive if I can for the play dates mainly bc I like to see her making friends in the class. I know she will be fine bc she has a magnetic personality. Makes friends easily etc. It's more of my personality that likes to set up play dates and put the extra effort to make sure she knows more in her future class etc. Plus she has some good friends going to reception next year (not in nursery now) so I'm curious how they pick classes etc. But it seems every school is different so I'll just have to wait and see!

toobreathless Sat 14-May-16 20:03:36

No idea here. DDs class has a spread of birthdays and is almost 50/50 girl/boy.

They do have more 'very able' children (DDs teachers words) and have two tables being taken out for extension work with the other two classes sending one table out each. I think this is just luck though.

DD started school knowing no one- which was fine. I did get approached by one father wanting to swap his sons half day with my DDs because as she knew no one it wouldnt matter when her settling in session was. Gave him short shift.

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