Mixed Classes at Winchcombe Abbey
Each year, the Senior Leadership Team consider the organisation of our classes for September, with the aim of enabling the best outcomes for all children. Through discussions with teachers and Phase Leaders, class lists are compiled to create the best combination possible.
We believe there are many positive outcomes to mixing classes each year, including:
- Providing opportunities for pupils to learn and play with a wider variety of peers
- Ensuring the learning needs in each class remain balanced in response to pupil development
- Promoting a sense of community and belonging across the school
- Enabling greater social interaction between children as they move through the school
Decisions on class organisation are based on the professional judgements of Teachers & Phase Leaders, with support from the Senior Leadership Team. Throughout this process, the best interests of pupils as individuals are considered, as well as the needs of a cohort as a whole. This includes ensuring a balance of academic needs of pupils, friendships, personal and social needs, as well as gender representation in each class. Our classes are always mixed-attainment and are not organised by setting through ‘ability’.
Over the course of their school years children have a range of friendship experiences, some of which are very fluid and others much more long-term. Therefore, as we prepare to draw up class lists each year, we use our observations of the children in the classroom and at play to inform decisions.
Once children know their new classes and teachers, we start the transition process. Transition aims to support children with the move to a new year group and pupils will have the opportunity to spend time with their new class towards the end of the summer term. We also ensure a detailed handover occurs between current and new class teachers. Some children find transition particularly difficult and teachers can prepare a more personal transition for these pupils.
We would be grateful for your support during these transition periods each year by speaking to your children about mixing classes in a positive way.
Teaching in Mixed-age Classes
Pupils receive the same teaching content as their peers regardless of whether they are taught in a single year-group class, or a mixed year-group class. Teachers in mixed-age classes ensure that cohorts are separately taught the English, maths and PSHE content appropriate for their year group. All other subjects are usually taught as a whole class, in line with our curriculum design which follows the National Curriculum in plotting out content across a Key Stage.