Mixed year group concerns(6 Posts)
I have recently moved my DD aged 8 due to her old school being too big and hectic and not being happy of their strategies for managing her ASD (recent diagnosis). After much research I found a smaller school near where I work and made the difficult decision to move her. Class sizes are smaller in the new school and there is lots of outdoor space. Head has been sympathetic (unlike the last one) and generally the move has proved to be the right decision.
DD is due to go up to year 4 and she has told me today that some of the year 2s are skipping a year and will be in her class. So I assume this will be a mixed 3/4 class. The headteacher had warned me this was a possibility but school policy was against mixed year groups and there were no plans for this to happen. I am in regular contact with SENCO and class teacher and this has not been mentioned.
I'm concerned that the class will now be 50% bigger and the teacher is going to have to differentiate between 2 year groups. I don't know what the basis for putting DD in the mixed class was. Lack of maturity or lack of academic ability I guess. She's bright and her literacy ability is good (hand writing poor but she's got ASD and is left handed). She reads extremely well and is good at creative writing. Maths is a struggle due to her slow processing.
DH thinks I am worrying about nothing. Is he right?
He's right. There will be little difference between a bright y3 and less bright/average y4 so the ability spread of a mixed year class won't be that much bigger than a straight year class.
The only negative may be that they miss classmates in the other year when they move up next year.
My DD was in a mixed year 3/4 class as one of the bright year 3s. Academically she excelled, but she's a summer born child & not a very confident or mature child so her self esteem suffered. In the end I had her moved to the single year 3 class during the final term of that year. This was done after a lot of thought & discussions with her old class teacher who agreed it was in DDs best interests. DD was adamant she wanted to move class; unfortunately, the HT was reluctant to move her because he didn't want other parents to be concerned that there were issues with the class. The other year 3 pupils were all fine, it was just my year 3 daughter who struggled. Some of the year 4 children felt inadequate compared to the year 3 pupils & I know this first hand as I used to help out in class, was a school governor plus the pupils would tell me!
If it's done well then mixed classes can work. The problem is that our children are all different & sometimes they cannot cope. I would talk to the school & make sure your DC feels comfortable with how things are going to be. Don't make any knee jerk reactions or panic as its likely to turn out ok. Wishing you & your DC all the best.
Mixed classes work brilliantly in our school. And teaching wise there is very little difference in trying to plan for two year groups rather than one. I'm sure the teacher is quite capable of managing.
School budgets are now so tight there is no way schools are going to be able to run small class sizes any more. I'm sure there are still some out there managing to do it but, more and more, schools will be making grouping children so the classes are full.
I think you are lucky if the class is only 30 in KS2 TBH.
My Dds went to a small village school with mixed year groups all the way through and was never a problem. Teachers are a fantastic bunch and can differentiate work. Unlike secondary who in mixed ability seem to work to the lowest common denominator.
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