We have 13 Classes from Foundation Stage to Year 6. Currently the classes are organised into two Foundation Stage classes, two Year One classes, two Year Two classes, two Year 3 classes, one Year 4 class, one Year 4/5 class, one Year 5 class and two Year 6 classes.
Most classes have LSAs working with them in the mornings to support groups according to their needs and the areas being taught.
Some of the larger classes in Key Stage 2 also have some LSA support in the afternoons.
We are fortunate in having 6 classrooms in the Acorn Building which provides spacious accommodation for 150 children (maximum number). We are able to have single year groups in this part of the school with class sizes up to 25 pupils. This gives the youngest children a fantastic start to school life.
Our Key Stage 2 children work in newer part of the school which was built in 2005 to replace mobile classrooms. The Oak building has 6 classsrooms and a smaller learning base which has to accommodate 200 children (maximum 50 in each of the four year groups).
The organisation of Key Stage 2 year groups and children is not easy, various options have been tried in the past and the current structure is yet another option. Parents and governors have discussed the possibility of a further classroom in the past, this would mean pushing our admission limit up by another 30 children in total.(The Local Authority looks at the number of available classrooms in a school and multiply by 30 to reach a total admission limit).
Another classroom would add pressure to the space in the hall and corridor areas. Our playground space, particularly over the winter months when the field is out of action, is used to capacity with current numbers.The Governing Body have agreed that another classroom is not an option.
We have organised Key Stage 2 to suit the needs of the children in the best way possible given the available space:
Year 3 is an important year as children transfer from one Key Stage to another, and in our case to another building. With this in mind we will aim to keep 2 classes of 25 Year 3 children, We see this as the Transition/Induction (into KS2) Phase.
Year 6 is an important year as children are preparing to transfer from our school to Ivanhoe College, have key end of year assessments and pupils are also 'growing up'. With this in mind we also felt it important to keep these classes as single year groups. Currently we are using the smaller learning base as a classroom but will keep that particular class size to 20 (maximum) together with Year 6 classroom which could have a maximum of 32 children in it. We see this as the Consolidation/Transition (to KS3) Phase.
Year 4 and 5 are also very important as they are the key yearswhen children have settled to the expectations of life in Key Stage 2 and still have a little while before they enter Year 6. We are keen to keep single year groups as far as possible, in the past there has always been some mixing of year groups but we want to keep any mixed year groups in the school to a minimum. We have 100 (max) children in these two year groups to be accommodated in the remaining 3 classrooms. Having a single Year 4 and Year 5 class with one mixed class of Year 4/5 seems the best solution at the moment, however class sizes are large at around 33 pupils in each.
We have given extra teaching support to the mixed class for two days per week and all 3 classes have more LSA support than other classes in the school. We see thisas the Challenge/Development Phase.
Children are ability taught in Year 6 for Maths.
Literacy is taught as part of a more creative cross-curricular approach, trying to link it to other subjects to make it more meaningful to the children. We believe that continuity and consistency with good pupil-teacher relationships based in registration classes is the best way to teach all subjects including the basics.