Every year we organise our classes based upon the numbers in each year group, these can vary considerably year on year which means that careful consideration has to be made about the best structure for that year.
The process cannot take place until the school receives the new reception intake in May. Each year we have to look closely at every year group, consider the numbers across the school and work out the best option for each class. This is never easy with 7 year groups (Reception to Year 6) and only 6 classes. We always have to split groups in some way. We base the decisions on several factors including age, maturity, ability, progress, friendships and any particular need that a child may have.
We are fortunate in being able to allocate a TA to most classes with priority given to the youngest children. All of our TAs are experienced and of a high quality. They work as a close team with the class teacher and have a direct impact on the learning and progress of the children. We aim to inform parents of the new classes during the summer term consultations so that parents can discuss this with teachers or headteacher if they wish. When a year group is split we always ensure that the learning opportunities for parallel groups are closely linked and that the children have lots of opportunities to play and learn with their friends. Shared trips, group work, topics and playtimes are some activities that ensure this happens.
Class teachers and TAs from Key stage 1 classes plan and work as a close team as do the teachers and TAs in Key Stage 2 classes. The Pre-school team also plan and work closely with the reception team. The children move between classes for some lessons such as daily letters and sounds, this again ensures that individual needs are being met. Family groups meet regularly with their teacher and take part in structured play activities at lunch times.
Children progress at different rates and have their own individual needs this doesn’t always reflect their chronological age, in such cases mixed year groups are of a great benefit for all pupils. Another benefit of being a small school is that all the adults know the children very well, they are taught as individuals and their personal needs can be easily met. The children across all classes and year groups also know each other very well and spend time together on a regular basis playing, supporting and learning. This becomes evident on sports days when the family group teams compete together and support each other.
If our school continues to grow we will be able to maintain 6 classes, so please continue to recommend us!