Mixed year classes for the older kids

(12 Posts)
stressbucket1 Fri 13-Jul-18 19:13:56

Hi DD1 will be a year 2 in Sept and has been placed in a mixed yr1/yr2 class. I have no experience of these but just wondered how they pan out. How are they managed so that the older kids don't feel bad being taught alongside younger ones? There Is a lot of talk amongst parents at the school about kids being moved up a year and being held back a year. I know that's not the case but it adds to the feeling of negativity for the older children in the mixed class.
Also do they tend to keep with the same pattern? Do some children go through the school without experiencing a mixed class? Is it always the same children that get the mixed classes?
Thanks for any advice/ experience

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MissesBloom Fri 13-Jul-18 21:27:35

Our whole school is mixed age groups. The head told us they basically teach each class a range of 3 years. The kids are split into groups by their ability level rather than age.

Before Ds started mixing ages I thought it was great, until I realised it means every year all the kids and parents start to panic about their kids being split from their friends and having to make new friendships over again.

Tbh I don't love it

stressbucket1 Fri 13-Jul-18 21:44:29

Thanks for your reply. Spliting from friends is a problem too. This year she has been in just yr1 class and reception was the same. It's fine when they are in the main class with all their year group but can't help but feel the kids that end up in the split class have less friends with them and get a poor deal. Will just have to see how it goes next year. It has stressed me out this year at her age they are still getting to grips with their friendships it seems a bit cruel to split them up.

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MissesBloom Fri 13-Jul-18 22:07:35

I feel the same.

So Ds was in the younger reception class (Ash) , and now he's in Yr 1 now but mixed with some of the slightly.older kids from what was the older reception group (beech) .. Next year they mix with a different set of kids and then original mixer kids go back. One of the mums was saying that her Ds had to start from scratch with new friends, only for this year to go back to the old class who he was no longer playing with. It's so disruptive.

To be fair I knew the system and still sent Ds there but I definitely regret it now I've seen how it works.

I'm sure it works for some kids just fine especially if their friends birthdays are very near each other and either summer born or beginning of the school year. Just feel. For the kids born in the middle months never knowing if they'll be split every year sad

stressbucket1 Sun 15-Jul-18 22:24:26

Bumping. Any more advice or experiences?

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BringOnTheScience Sun 15-Jul-18 22:43:26

I used to teach mixed 3-4. Loved it. We had a 2-year cycle of topics. Maths & English is taught so that all make progress. They would have their year targets in their books as well as personal ones.

Many, many schools have mixed year groups for reasons of budgets and/or space. It does work.

GuestWW Mon 16-Jul-18 03:06:50

Our school is so small it has only three classes, R/Y1, Y2/3 & the 'top class' Y4/5/6. Both DDs have been through the system and it seemed to work pretty well. Rather than being split from friends my issue was siblings ended up in the same room a lot.

The teachers were well-versed in teaching to the levels, it was great to give some kids a stretch and also the older ones often helped the younger ones which reinforces everyone's learning. So overall it was a system that worked well.

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MilkRunningOutAgain Mon 16-Jul-18 20:22:57

I’ve experienced mixed classes twice with my DD. The first time was when she was in yr 1, her year group was split so 32 kids were in a yr 1 class and 8 were in a mixed yr r / yr 1 class. My DD was in the mixed class. It was not a good experience for her socially, many kids in the pure yr 1 class referred to those in the mixed class as babies and she was told , and believed, that she was stupid. Academically she actually did very well that year and progressed loads, but the dent to her self esteem took many years to improve. Then, when she was in In year 5 and 6 there were three mixed classes for both years, and each class was 50/50 year 5 & yr 6. This worked well, with no problems at all, apart from splitting up friends a bit.

On the whole I prefer classes not to mix, but if the arrangement is even handed and the teachers differentiate well, it can work.

BubblesBuddy Mon 16-Jul-18 21:12:00

We have avoided it but in my work I have seen problems and also good examples.

Poor examples are hiving a few children off and leaving the bulk of the class intact as Milk describes above. No KS1 class should have 32 in it. How did that happen? Allowing that to lead to children being in with YR children is not acceptable for the reasons described.

However, if a school has to mix, mix everyone. So 90 (45 in two year groups) is three mixed classes. It shouldn’t be a Y5, a Y6 and one mixed class.

Keeping a few back because they are summer born in just not on. Some of those children might be more ready for Y1 than their peers who are 6 months older. If all of YR and Y1 are mixed then so be it. The baby tag will stick for those kept behind and it’s utterly wrong not to think about the self esteem of the children.

First class teaching is vital for mixed classes. Widely differing attainment and needs can be difficult to address and lesson planning is key.

stressbucket1 Mon 16-Jul-18 21:37:58

Thanks everyone. Yeah milk that is the kind of situation we are in next year but yr1/2 mix. It is a worry for me and I feel for the kids that are separated from the main year group. Feels like she is at a disadvantage now and I am worried that her friendships will suffer. Anything I should look out for that I could nip in the bud? Argh I will just have to keep a close eye and hope she is ok with it xx

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Childrenofthesun Mon 16-Jul-18 21:47:01

I taught a mixed 1/2 class and found it quite challenging. It was a one-off due to funny year group numbers so we didn't have the same level of experience as schools where all classes are mixed. IME the most challenging bits are phonics, as there is a big gap between Y1 and 2 pupils, and maths as the curriculum is based around year group banding. Writing, topic etc were fairly easy to differentiate and it didn't seem to affect the children socially - both year groups mixed well.

Childrenofthesun Mon 16-Jul-18 21:48:32

Sorry, I didn't answer your main point. I would not worry about the older children missing out, rather I think the younger ones have to keep up.

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