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Mixed Aged Classes

Mixed Age Teaching


What is Mixed Age Teaching?

Mixed age teaching is when two or more year groups are combined to create one class of children. This is especially common in small, rural schools where the pupil intake numbers are less than the usual class size of 30, in a year group. At Old Cleeve C of E First School we have 4 classes to accommodate 5 year groups of pupils from Reception to Year 4 with approximately 104 pupils in the school. 


What happens when a child goes into a mixed age class? 


  • They make good progress
  • Have individual attention
  • Maintain friendships
  • Make other friendships
  • Play together
  • Work together in smaller classes
  • Experience another year group.
  • Children are not kept down or held back in their learning


All children access the correct curriculum for their age, year group and stage of development 


What are the benefits to mixed age teaching?

There are however many proven benefits to mixed age teaching, such as:

  • There is a greater focus on individualisation
  • This results in better differentiation
  • Pupils form wider friendships
  • Pupils relate to broader groups of other children
  • Younger pupils get the benefit of experiencing being the oldest in their class and the responsibilities that go with this
  • There is greater flexibility of learning opportunities


What is the whole school approach?

We work hard throughout the school to ensure that all children in a particular year group maintain their group’s identity. Opportunities are created for all children in the year group to work together, take part in workshops and trips together, sit together at dinner time and play together. We hold a transition day for the children to meet their new teachers and spend time preparing them for the changes that will happen in the Autumn term.


Why split classes on age?

It is the most transparent method when splitting year groups and ensures that additional factors cannot influence a decision.

As a Trust we chose not to go with ability and friendships as these can be fluid.


How do I know my child is making progress?

The class teacher assesses your child using formative (continuous) and *summative (at least termly) assessment. The information from formative and summative assessment enables the class teacher to plan for each child's learning. 

Every term, for each child, a report is released to parents/guardians about their child's attainment. 

If the class teacher has concerns about a child's progress the parent/guardian will be contacted.



What are the teachers’ responsibilities when teaching mixed age classes? 

All teachers are responsible for the individual development of every child in their class. Mixed year group classes do not change this responsibility. At Old Cleeve First School the teachers are proficient at adapting the curriculum to meet the pupils’ individual needs across the curriculum. 


In mixed year group classes the teachers take the objectives and plan a programme of study to teach these objectives effectively across the ability range of the class. At times pupils will learn through the same activities but at different levels of knowledge and understanding.

At other times the children will learn subjects that are specific to their needs.


At all times the teacher evaluates, through formative assessment, each individual child’s knowledge and understanding and then plans learning accordingly. 


*An example of summative assessment is the Year 1 Phonic Screen or Year 2 SATs.