FAQs Mixed Year 4 / 5 Classes 2021-22.
KENSINGTON JUNIOR ACADEMY
FAQs - Mixed Year 4 /5 Classes 2021 - 22
How will two year groups be taught alongside each other in one classroom?
All children develop at different rates and it isn’t automatic that the oldest child in a class will achieve better than the youngest child. Children will be taught to their individual academic needs and not simply to their age. Teachers will choose work appropriate to the standard a child is working at, ensuring that all needs are catered for. In the majority of lessons, the children will start the session together with the teacher targeting questions at individuals or groups of children at an appropriate level. Children will then be provided with appropriate tasks to consolidate or practise what they have been taught, with the teacher and/or teaching assistant working with children who require additional assistance or who need to be challenged to explore concepts in greater depth or learn something new. On occasion, groups of children may work separately from whole class in order to facilitate this.
How will teachers plan, ensuring coverage of both the year group curriculums and preventing repetition of content?
With the exception of Maths, English and Science, the curriculum content isn’t split into separate year group content, rather, there is an expectation for the end of the key stage. Subject Leaders have developed a progression of skills for children to work through in each year group. In the case of Maths and English, the two curricula are completely aligned, with the majority of objectives being matched with a similar but slightly trickier objectives for the older year group if appropriate. Ensuring coverage of national curriculum objectives for both year groups in the same classroom will therefore continue to be facilitated by normal classroom practice, and the teachers will plan for the pupils from each year group to aim for their age-related expectations.
How will we ensure the highest academic expectations for all children?
Both national and local data for performance of children at the end of KS1 and 2 suggests that being placed in a mixed age classes has no negative impact on children’s academic achievements. This is supported by educational research, with some studies suggesting that children often perform better when placed in classes with a bigger age range. A mixed age classroom means that the children will have greater flexibility to learn with children of their own standard. Children who find aspects of the curriculum more challenging will be supported in the same way they have been in single year classes. Children working above the expected standard will be provided with work which both deepens their understanding and moves them on to explore new concepts. As part of our curriculum, learning will continue to be focussed on explaining reasoning and problem solving both of which extend children’s understanding without them having to access a separate curriculum. Rich texts will be carefully chosen ensuring that they are easy to learn but contain the relevant sentence structures and vocabulary to ‘stretch’ children at the appropriate level.
Will my child still be with their friends?
Before beginning the process of putting together the new classes we will ask the children to identify a small group of friends they would like to stay with. This will be taken into consideration, and our aim would be for all children to have at least two close friends with them in their new classes. Some children will already have friends in the other class and have requested the opportunity to work with those friends. We see this as a great opportunity for children to widen their friendship groups without losing their current friends.
Will my child be with their current teacher?
No child will be with the same teacher as this year. Each teacher brings a different personality and character to their classroom and it is important that children are given the opportunity to experience somebody new. The new Year 4/5 team includes some very experienced and knowledgeable members of staff who will each have some specific experience of the year groups and the children coming into them.
Will the classes be decided by ability?
No, the three classes will completely mixed-ability, just as they are now.
How will we create the new classes?
We will consider a number of factors when creating classes for next year. In order to ensure equity of provision for all children, we will be creating three mixed-ability Year 4/5 combined classes. In doing this we will consider pre-existing friendship groups, the abilities of children and any other social or emotional concerns. This will be done in close liaison with current class teachers who will have a strong understanding of how different groups of children work together.
How will we manage assessment in a mixed year group class?
Although in mixed year group classes, in Maths and Writing each child will be assessed against their relevant age group objectives. This will allow us to track and identify how each child is progressing towards their predicted outcomes for the year so that we can respond accordingly.
What you can do now if you still have more questions?
We appreciate that in some cases you may have some more specific questions about your child and would encourage you to come and talk with us as soon as possible. We have complete confidence in making this new class structure work and want you to be as positive about this as we are.