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Mixed year 1/2 classes - pro's and con's

(8 Posts)
schoolquery12 Thu 17-May-18 09:50:48

Hi, I'm after some advice from anyone who has understanding or experience of mixed year group classes please.
My DC is currently in yr R at what was a 1 form primary school, last Sept they took in 45 into yr R due to huge over-subcription and will continue that going forward. Throughout this year the school has also been taking in drips and drabs of additional yr 1 children (currently at 38 I think). There are currently 2 year R classes and 2 year 1 classes so have been benefitting from really small class sizes this year.
The plan for the reorganisation of the school has just been communicated to parents and going forward there will be 3 classes of yr1/2 children, and as the increased cohorts move up the school 3 classes of yr3/4 and yr 5/6.

So I'm curious how do mixed yr 1/2 classes work? What are the positives of teaching across 2 year groups, potentially 2 years age gaps and presumably a very wide range of abilities?
I understand there's a big jump from play based yr R to expectations in yr 1 anyway let alone yr 2 so wondering how that is managed for the younger children?
Is there anything we should be asking the school about this move? I'm hesitant about the change because I don't understand how it could work, because it's a new 'venture' for the school and because existing friendship groups and classes are going to have to split when there isn't much interaction between them at the moment so I'm trying to educate myself as much as possible!

Sorry it's long and thanks in advance for any input.

OP’s posts: |
Rockandrollwithit Thu 17-May-18 10:06:53

I think the work the same as any other class.

I once taught Year 6 and had a range of ability spreading from reception level to a few who were working at secondary level. Just because children are the same age doesn't mean they are the same level.

Curriculum wise, I think they will have a cycle of topics over a few years so that children don't repeat the same things in Years 1 and 2.

Try not to worry about it. A decent teacher will be able to handle this with no issues.

NotAnotherJaffaCake Thu 17-May-18 10:08:54

Loads of schools round here have mixed year groups because the schools are small. If the teaching is sound, they are great, if the teaching is not good then you have bigger things to worry about than mixed year groups.

Some of the consistently great schools in our LA have mixed groups. Doesn’t worry me.

RainbowFairiesHaveNoPlot Thu 17-May-18 12:51:39

Would only worry me in that I have a sibling pair who could fall into both sides of a mixed age class and I don't want them in class together - one steamroller personality who'd spend her entire time worrying what her sister was doing and one daydreamer who'd let her sister do it all for her.

Other than that doesn't bother me at all.

BubblesBuddy Thu 17-May-18 17:53:42

I think this system is fairer then just having just one mixed age class and the other two classes in their correct cohort as some schools do.

Competent teachers are what you need. Clearly there will be a range of ability but the main issue is that the work must be differentiated appropriately. The year 2 and year 1 curriculum must be taught. A year 2 child should not be repeating Y1 Work because it’s easier to do this. Therefore keep an eye on maths and English when they get into Y2. A good school will give you a curriculum overview for each year so you know what they should be covering.

mrsFruitLoops Thu 17-May-18 20:47:03

my dc have mixed age classes.... they work fab.

The children do the same work but to their ability.... such as fractions, yr1 may be doing only half and quarter, but the yr2 will be doing thirds and so forth....they have the same input at the beginning but then split off to their different tables to do their own work.

The children also get to spend time with different age groups.

TiredAndStressedOut Thu 17-May-18 20:56:36

I'm not a fan of mixed classes. DD (Y4) is in a mixed 3/4 class and some of her friends are in the 4/5. She won't learn what they are learning, in their exposure to the Y5 curriculum, until next year when she's a Y5.

She will also never be in a Y6 class because of her birth month. She will be in the 5/6 so losing out from peer support and friendships. A cohort of 37 and class sizes of 32 means she will only be 1 of 5 her own age when she gets to Y6.

Her school is 3, 3/4, 4/5, 5/6, 6.

All because she's summer born.

Wait4nothing Thu 17-May-18 20:59:19

As a teacher who has taught mixed classes I’d say the best thing about this is they are planning 3 mixed classes. It has always worked when all classes are mixed (as it becomes the norm) and hasn’t worked when most classes are pure year group with only one/two mixed classes.

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