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Does this sound right to you? Split class.

(13 Posts)
farmerswifey2 Tue 03-Jan-17 09:57:02

We're in Wales, and here children start the term after their 4th birthday. This means each year group has a January intake (for those turning 4 between September 2015 and December 31st) and a summer term intake (for those turning 4 between January and April), then everyone else joins in September. My daughter is August born so joined the class in September 2016.

The cohort has been together since September and my daughter has made friends across the class. Normally they would move up through the school as a year group.

However, taking my daughter in today I have been told that the first intake (those turning 4 between September 2015 and December 31st) have moved up to Year 1 - This is about half the year group. Although they will still be classed as being in the same year group as my daughter and still doing the same work.

Apparently, owing to class size this will happen every year. The year group will be together for one term only with children moving up the term after their birthday rather than together in September.

My daughter has made really good progress with friendships since starting school, but today she was so upset to see half her friends were no longer there. Surely this is detrimental to forming friendships.

What I suppose I'm asking is; Is splitting classes for part of the year normal and if so how does it affect the children and their ability to form bonds with their classmates.

Euphemia Tue 03-Jan-17 10:24:21

I'm in Scotland so the system is very different, but I've seen similar problems when a year group is split to make a new composite class.

For example, pupils who have been in P1 together are split between a P1/2 and a P2/3 the following year.

It's almost always done by age here. So the older P2 children will be in the P2/3 class and the younger P2s in the P1/2.

It's hard to find a fair way of doing it. At least age is easy: it can be measured! "Friendship" is so intangible, so fluid. At that age they're friends one day, sworn enemies the next!

We've recently made a split based on relationships rather than age, but that was a very unusual case involving a looked-after child.

I think you just have to accept this as the reality of the system, and keep friendships going out of school.

superram Tue 03-Jan-17 10:31:38

Our school in England takes everyone is September. However, they mix all the classes after a year-I was worried about my dd at first but it actually worked well.

bojorojo Tue 03-Jan-17 11:34:21

Schools usually mix classes to manage numbers. I assume that the intake has increased or they have had to reduce staffing because of financial constraints. If they did not do this before, were the classes smaller than 30? If so, this may have been an expensive model and can no longer be afforded or more children have been admitted into the school than normal because of a bulge in the birth rate. Or the school has changed the PAN.

Also, at 5, children do make friends fairly easily and she does have some left. They have not all gone. Therefore, spin the positive with her. She is not alone. She is working with other children in the class that she does know and is firendly with. The other children have not left the school. They are still around but often firm friendships do not necesarily form at 5 years old. She will recover and be happy with the friends in her class and probably make some new ones. At least she did not have the whole of Christmas to stew about it.

admission Tue 03-Jan-17 12:03:28

Legally the admission arrangements are that pupils have to start in reception the term after their fifth birthday. However the normal process is that pupils start in the September after their 4th birthday, and that there is a waver that allows parents to put off their child starting until the spring term or the summer term if they want to. What you are describing however is much more of a set schedule than is usual and I wonder whether this is the school making their own arrangements.
This is probably all about infant class size regulations that limit an infant (foundation stage in Wales) to 30 pupils per school teacher. What I suspect is happening is that there will be a mixed reception / year 1 class as well as a reception class.
Which LA are we talking about? If you want to PM me I will look up exactly what the admission arrangements say. I am assuming here that we are talking about an LA maintained school and not a Church In Wales school or independent school.

PerspicaciaTick Tue 03-Jan-17 12:09:37

At my DCs' school, classes are split and mixed every year. It has really helped to build friendships and relationships because the children know everyone in their year group (and the year groups either side) really well. There is plenty of time for continuing friendships with children in other classes during playtime and mixed class activities.

bojorojo Tue 03-Jan-17 12:39:02

The new children, arriving this term, must have increased the size of YR to over 30. Therefore the older YR children are being mixed with, possibly, the younger ones from Y1. As a mum of two summer born children, I would have hated them, as Y1 children, to be with YR children as the curriculum is different and they would have hated it.

KanyeWesticle Tue 03-Jan-17 12:40:39

You have to help her think positive. They still have their mean "friend" time together - before and after school, at breaktimes and lunchtimes in the playground or canteen.

farmerswifey2 Tue 03-Jan-17 17:01:32

Thank you all for your comments. I will be sure to put a positive spin on this for DD.

I, however, am not convinced. How can they be sure each child receives the same education (and doesn't miss anything) with three different start dates to each year (some children in September, some in January and some in April)?

Euphemia Tue 03-Jan-17 17:42:19

Maybe they find that children are ready to learn when they come to school? Whereas when everyone starts at the same time of year, the huge age range means that some children are just not ready for school?

bruffin Tue 03-Jan-17 17:45:42

used to be normal when dc started 15 odd yrs ago and was normal when i started in 60s.
dd didnt like it because the class got bigger and therefore got less attention

admission Tue 03-Jan-17 18:09:22

I am not at all sure how this is operating as the admission authority has to carry out the admission process and therefore allocate all the places at a set time fro admission from September on wards. From what you are saying the school then appears to be admitting the pupils into reception year in a phased scheme over the year. If the pupils are more than 4 they have a right to be in full time education, so how is this happening?
Are they in fact admitting earlier than age 4?
Send me a PM with the LA and school and I will check out exactly what the admission arrangements are and whether the school is following the rules or not.

farmerswifey2 Tue 03-Jan-17 18:15:20

I could understand if this was happening for reception/Y1only - But from what I was told by the classroom assistant, this is the way it is going to be for their whole primary school education.

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