The mixing of year groups is normal practice for a school of this size. Our reason for deciding to mix classes throughout school is to improve relationships, so that over a child’s journey through Early and Primary Years they would be mixed on average three times and be given the opportunity to connect and re-connect with all of the children in their year group, building strong, positive connections. By ensuring an equal spread of the above areas within each class, we aim to create well-balanced classes with the best learning climate for all children. We also have the opportunity to readdress imbalances that have occurred as some children have left SISD since the beginning of the pandemic.
Reasons for Mixing Classes
We have previously seen the positive impact of mixing classes in the past.
We feel that regular, routine mixing of classes will help the children’s relationships, help to balance the classes and limit any ongoing friendship issues within classes which is not conducive to learning.
Allowing children to develop better resilience and develop broader friendships in a safe and comfortable environment.
We feel that by mixing the year group, the children will have the opportunity to make friends across the year groups and see themselves as a year group team rather than just a class, thus building a stronger school community and pride in our school.
Benefits for the children
To create opportunities for children to learn and play with a wider variety of peers.
To enable greater social interaction between children as they move through the school.
Better resilience in developing friendships in a safe, comfortable environment – arguably even more important in the older year groups when they will be moving to secondary school soon and be taught in various groups.
Being part of a year group team and not just a class.
Building more relationships and connections with children in their year which will benefit them throughout their whole school journey and in the wider community.
Enabling new children to settle better into school.
To promote a greater sense of community in a large primary school.
Strengthening the whole school community as families will also have the opportunity to develop relationships with other families within the year group.
The arrangements for class mixing are based on the professional judgements of Class Teachers, the Grade Coordinator and the Primary Leadership Team.
We will always consider what is in the best interests of individual children and classes as a whole when making decisions.
We will communicate the criteria for class mixing in an open and transparent way.
We will always consider the happiness and welfare of the children and will take into consideration existing friendship groups when we create new classes.
Deciding new class lists
We want children to make maximum academic progress and develop well socially and personally and we do not want to put any child in a position where they have a setback.
Each year the current class teachers who know the children very well, will work together to draw up the classes for next year. These will be finalised with the Grade Coordinator, the Counsellor and the Primary Leadership Team.
There will be consistent criteria for teachers to consider in order to harmonise the classes for the maximum benefit of the children:
Children’s views on friendships
Teachers views on friendships
Range of educational, social and personal needs
Age and level of maturity
Balance of Gender
Balance of Special Educational Needs
Balance of English, French, German language ability or as additional language
Balance of Ability
Family relationships such as in year siblings/staff children
Including the children in the decision
The children’s opinions are important to us at SISD so we will involve the children themselves in our decision.
We will ask them which friends they would like to stay with and ask if there are students they wish to be apart from.
It is not our intention to separate good friendships and, of course, the children will still be spending valuable time together out on the playground at break and lunch times.
The children’s responses will be taken into account when we decide the class lists and every child should have some close friends in their new class.
Some children already have friends in the other class and may request the opportunity to work with those friends.
The class teachers/Grade Coordinator will talk to the children beforehand to explain the process and to reassure the children of any worries they may have.