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Can a class be too small to teach?

(32 Posts)
lovemeorleaveme Sat 11-May-19 15:55:15

What are your opinions on very small schools/class sizes to teach? I'm talking 7 children in one class of mixed years?

OP’s posts: |
Fizzyhedgehog Sat 11-May-19 18:49:05

Our RE teacher has a class of 5. She doesn't seem bothered.

fedup21 Sat 11-May-19 18:50:30

Lovely to teach!

Fallulah Sat 11-May-19 18:50:50

I had a GCSE class of 9 once - it was too small. Core subject where discussion was key and there weren’t enough of them to create a buzz or bounce ideas.

reefedsail Sat 11-May-19 19:48:32

I currently have 7 and think it's fine. 8 is my ideal.

I hate less than 4.

I teach in SEN though, so there are other considerations in the mix.

GHGN Sat 11-May-19 21:06:05

Core subject, class of 4 at A Level instead of 24 like my previous school. They are all at a similar standard so nothing to complain about.

Littlefish Sat 11-May-19 21:12:03

That would bore me rigid. I taught a class of 12 for a year and that was bad enough! Anything less than 16-20 at primary is too small. The social opportunities are just too limited and it's all too intense.

DobbysLeftSock Sat 11-May-19 21:15:25

Taught a level english language (yr13) to a class of three once. But only 1 of them regularly turned up. God that was boring.

EvilTwins Sat 11-May-19 21:19:01

I had an A Level Theatre Studies class years ago that started off with 4 then one boy left. It was a nightmare for practical work and pretty dull for the rest of the time.

lovemeorleaveme Sat 11-May-19 21:29:11

This is for KS1.

OP’s posts: |
lorisparkle Sat 11-May-19 21:58:43

In my current class I have 7 but think 4 would be the ideal for a small number of the pupils however they have severe learning and behavioural difficulties!

In mainstream I think it would be tricky - I think the children would find it too socially intense.

AppleKatie Sat 11-May-19 22:02:15

I’ve taught anything from 30 (KS3) to 1 (KS5) and everything in between.

Tbh smaller is always better in terms of quality input and focussed discussion. It leads to better results.

I agree with everyone else though about social pressures and intensity being the issue. I imagine this is more pronounced in KS1 than it is at upper secondary level.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 11-May-19 22:03:39

I have taught 10 in a small rural school. Just a completely different style of teaching. Once l adapted it was fine.
My highest number was 40 in the 1980s and everything in between.
It does take a while to find out how it works best and then it's like you have never done anything different.

CraftyGin Sat 11-May-19 23:16:11

My smallest class is 7 and largest 11.

If I had an ideal it would be 12 - so 6 groups of 2 for science practicals, and 3 groups of 4 for discussion groups.

Rosieposy4 Sat 11-May-19 23:30:57

Bloody hell crafty, those are small classes, assume you are indi
My smallest classes are in KS5 where I have 18,18 and 17 ( though i did have 27 one year in y12)
Largest my top set y7s 32 of the little darlings. They are amazing though and a really great group.

BackforGood Sat 11-May-19 23:45:24

I suppose it is what it is if you live in a very rural or isolated community.
I think there'd be a lot of disadvantages but probably some advantages too.

What are the circumstances that you are talking about ?

Partridgeamongstthepigeons Sun 12-May-19 04:09:12

A level music often has 5 or less in it-3 is common and is good. Hard going when you have 1 generally.

Littlefish Sun 12-May-19 07:06:24

I think it also depends on how many year groups your are talking about in a mixed age class.

teaandbiscuitsforme Sun 12-May-19 07:06:40

Are they a mix of Yr1 and 2 or one year group? Just wondering if you've got another ks1 teacher to join up with for some lessons!

7 would certainly be quite intense, from both their and your point of view. Personally I think I'd go for a continuous provision approach with a mix of 1:1 and whole group teaching. I'd imagine the yr1s would get very tired if they didn't have some 'downtime' as they wouldn't have a moment to escape your attention.

I've got 19 Year 2s next year and that feels very small compared to my current class. 7 seems tiny but I think you'd just have to adapt your teaching and be a bit more flexible in your approach.

TheDrsDocMartens Sun 12-May-19 08:12:02

I’ve seen Language classes of <3

Tobermory Sun 12-May-19 08:14:34

I’d take that 7 over my class of 34 any day of the week grin

Aspieteach Sun 12-May-19 08:22:39

I teach primary and have only had classes of between 30 and 35. I think 20 would be lovely. I wouldn't really want less than 15. I think 7 would be awful for mainstream ks1: not enough to bounce ideas around in discussions and too restrictive for the children when developing friendships. I also think that the classroom would be too quiet and freak me out a bit.

Woodenhillmum Sun 12-May-19 16:37:35

I've had a morning class of six reception children in a rural school and yes I think it was too small a class. I felt I was too intrusive in their play although it did improve as they gained confidence The morning dragged too !

PumpkinPie2016 Mon 13-May-19 20:13:17

I have 3 in my A-level group. Thankfully, they are a brilliant group and it's been really good. I have 12 in the lower sixth group which is a nice size - small enough to be able to give sufficient individual attention but big enough for discussion.

Lower down, I have had a bottom set of 10 which works well because they were so weak and needed a lot of support. Equally I have classes of 30. For the most part, around 20 would be good.

yoursworried Tue 14-May-19 16:18:38

I have 3 in my current year 10 and have had two years of 1 at A level. It's so boring and there is no way you can get any kind of buzz or decent discussion/group work.
Accustomed to small numbers at A level but I don't like less than 10 at GCSE.
My Ks3 groups are 16 which is quite nice

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