Information for parents
As enrolments grow and change, we may need to create composite or split classes whereby children from two or more year levels are placed in the same class. This needs to occur as a result of being funded on a per student basis calculated at census in early Term One each year. We receive a total amount of funding for the overall number of students which means that we must make sure that each class is an appropriate size to accommodate the number of teachers we are funded for.
How are classes formed each year?
The Principal and the staff take into consideration the student numbers and individual needs in each year group, the recommended class sizes for each year group and the total number of staff the budget can afford. Various scenarios are examined by staff based on the needs throughout the school. The final decision is made by the Principal.
How do teachers cater academically for more than one grade?
Teachers are skilled at delivering the required curriculum. In addition, teachers must adapt the curriculum to suit the needs of individual learners within the classroom. A split grade usually has very little extra variation in the needs of learners that a straight class. Each year the curriculum builds on the curriculum from the year before so, to cater for the needs of students, teachers are consistently teaching above and below that year’s curriculum to ensure there are no gaps in learning. A split class allows the students to hear the skills delivered for the other year level meaning that the older students get a review of the previously taught content, and the younger students get a preview of what’s coming up in the next year level. Research by Professor John Hattie into the effect size of factors that influence achievement, show that composite classes make no difference to the academic outcomes of students. In fact, the factor that makes the most difference is teacher quality which we have invested a great deal of time to recruit the most skilled, passionate educators that will make a difference.
What about socially?
Children benefit enormously from having friends outside their year group. It allows them to develop a wider group of friends which gives them more options in the playground, greater connections across the school and can benefit them within the wider community. It helps them build social skills which has long term effects for building resiliency. Children in composite classes have many opportunities to collaborate and learn from each other. Older students can take on more mature roles, mentoring the younger students and providing behavioural and academic models.