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mixed age classes, not happy.........

(11 Posts)
nickminiink Sat 09-Jul-11 08:56:14

Hi, just been told my 10 year old son will be in a mix class next school year. He's just finished yr5 and now will be in a mixed yr5/6 class. He is already 2/3 yrs behind his peers proven by his latest school curicculum levels. My main worry is I feel my son will fall further behind and not be pushed as he falls behind the new yr5 class. This will shatter his fragile confidence to see these non SEN younger kids overtake him. He had formed good freindships with his classmates and now half his close mates are moving to another class. This final year is crucial before he moves to secondary, but I feel this is going to put him further behind, deflate him and a year battle on my part to get more help wasted. Just after your opinions and experiences, as I can not see how this will benefit my son who is so far behind already.

TotalChaos Sat 09-Jul-11 08:59:36

No relevant experience but opinion wise, your concerns sound very valid. so is there a non-mixed year 5 class he could go in? have school said the reason for putting him in the mixed class?

nickminiink Sat 09-Jul-11 10:04:19

Hi totalchaos, it's the whole school being mixed, my daughter non sen is now in y3/4, so its not just my sons class, so no yr5. To be honested I want him to be pushed in y6, and not feel he's doing y5 again. No we were just told yesterday no reason given. I am of course speaking to the head on Monday, Sen is the minority so not expecting miracles, I have fought for everything with little support from the school. Kind of get the impression they have moved the academics out of his class leaving SEN kids and under achievers together, or that's me being paranoid.

TotalChaos Sat 09-Jul-11 10:22:16

btw I got a bit muddled, thought he was in yr 4 currently, not yr 5, wasn't suggesting he go down a year! so what class are his friends moving to then, is it another mix year 5/6 class?

nickminiink Sat 09-Jul-11 10:56:53

That's ok I thought that, my son is quite popular and get on with all the class so he is still with some friends but all his high achiever mates have been moved to another y5/6 mixed class. He's upset as he seemed spurred on by them good support network, oh well guess it prepares him early for the secondary transition. Back to fighting with the school

sneezecakesmum Sat 09-Jul-11 21:39:56

I am not in favour of mixed age/mixed ability classes at all. To me they are a cop out for poor teacher pupil ratios.

My DS started at a conventional school and did very well despite his behavioural problems (ADHD). He moved to the above type school - I should have been forewarned by his old teachers very lukewarm, guarded opinion! The drawbacks are, for any child let alone a SEN child, a difficult juggling act for the teacher trying to teach mixed ability children together, of necessity having to put them into small unsupervised groups, teaching some children while, frankly, neglecting others. His new teacher told me she had to check my DSs age again in the heads office because he was so advanced in his reading and numbers. By the time he left that school (taken out for a more conventional setting, he and DD were behind with their reading!

This system works for no one, including the teacher. If your DS has an option to move take it, but this will upset his social groups so do what I failed to do until it was too late (no teaching experience so unaware what a crap job they were doing for the DCs) and augment DSs schooling with home study, possibly even tutoring if its possible?

TotalChaos Sat 09-Jul-11 21:52:13

DS was in a mixed aged class for foundation stage, so there were 3, 4 and 5 year olds - but staff ratio was v good, 2 teachers and 2 tas for 30 children, so it worked really well and DS came on in leaps and bounds that year. agree with sneezecakesmum tho, that if it's not well thought out then it could work out badly.

CherryMonster Sat 09-Jul-11 23:59:53

my ds has been in a mixed year class this last school year. he was the youngest child in the class, and has dyspraxia and ASD. he is in a mixed year 5/6 class, and has gone from being approx 3-4 years behind his peers to being about 18 months behind them. his reading and writing have improved significantly to the point that, if he progresses as well this year we will no longer be looking at special secondary school for him, but mainstream with some help (he has a statement for 13.5 hours a week)

tabulahrasa Sun 10-Jul-11 00:49:19

The range of ability in any class is huge, it's no bigger just because that happen to have been born a few months into an arbitrary year. If the teacher struggles, they'd gave struggled with a straight class tbh.

Are composite class sizes capped in England? In Scotland composite classes are smaller, which gives a better teacher to pupil ratio.

Both have mine have been in composite classes at different points through school, it's always worked fine, in fact DS preffered it precisely because he was in a smaller class.

auntevil Sun 10-Jul-11 10:00:38

I think its change that is the most worrying aspect. As from the previous posts = it could go either way, it's the not knowing. Most of out DCs have non typical responses to change. Has anyone bothered to sit him down and answers any questions that he has about the new order of things?
Finding similar problems here. 2 classes moved into 1. DS was in a class of 17, now 33.
Ask questions as to how the curriculum will be differentiated - or not - between the classes.

Triggles Sun 10-Jul-11 10:34:14

Presumably though, 1/2 the students in the class will be year 6. It's not like he's being moved by himself into a year 5 class. I understand your concern, but it's not like he's being held back or anything - 1/2 the kids in his class will be year 6, and so he still has year 6 peers around him.

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