St George’s, thankfully, is a popular school that is full, and often oversubscribed. As a result of local building work, Governors decided in 2017 to increase our admissions number to 45. We did this to accommodate more children from the local community, yet maintain the tremendous intimate atmosphere that the school is built on. We increased the admissions number to 45. This means that we continued to have mixed aged classes in the school, but they were much more easily manageable than the previous intake of 35. May I recap here…. School is “maintaining” mixed aged classes – the reputation of the school is built on mixed aged classes.
The beauty of an intake of 45 is that children naturally fall into groups of 15. We do this at St George’s based on age, and we do it in conjunction with parents, so that you are happy with the min group of 15! In the early years of school, reception and year 1, mixed age classes are undoubtedly advantageous as they enable us to give the younger children extra time in an environment that is more suited to their needs - similar to what happens in the Scandinavian countries, where children only start formal school from the ae of 7. That said, at all times, your child will be taught the correct curriculum. I promise you that.
The 2014 curriculum lends itself beautifully to mixed aged classes, indeed at the last census, the majority of children in the country were taught in mixed aged classes. Accordingly, let us please ignore any rumours of mixed aged classes having a negative impact on a child’s education and progress. They don’t.
Therefore, school may look like this one year. (where Y stands for youngest 1/3, M, middle third, and E for eldest third)
Class 1. 22 reception children
Class 2 23 reception children
Class 3 Year 1M Year 1Y
Class 4 Year 1E Year 2Y (15 reception children 15 year 1 children - a mixed aged class)
Class 5 Year 2M and year 2E children.
Class 6 Year 3E Year 4M (15 reception children 15 year 1 children - a mixed aged class)
Class 7 Year 3Y and year 3M children.
Class 8 Year 4Y and Year 4E children
Class 9 22 year 5 children
Class 10 23 Year 5 children
Class 11 22 year 6 children
Class 12 23 Year 6 children
The advantage of grouping children into groups of 15 is twofold. Firstly, they meet 45 children of their age; that is lovely for when they go to high schools!
Secondly, as they move around the classes they move always as a group of 15, so whilst they meet new children, they do so in the confidence that they will have 14 other friends with them!
Please do not worry about mixed aged classes; some parents actually love them, some do not mind them, but some parents worry about them. Please don’t. The groups are not organised on ability. No child is advanced. No child loses out. All children are taught their age appropriate curriculum – if indeed this is appropriate! Whether a single aged class, or a mixed aged class, some children fly, some need consolidation, and whichever class you child is in this will always be the case. I promise.