Our school has four classes which means that some of our classes consist of mixed age-groups. The organisation of our classes may vary from year to year depending on pupil numbers and cohort needs. The Executive Headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team are responsible for class arrangements.
A mixed age class is one in which there are children who are from more than one year group within the same classroom. In most cases, a mixed age class will comprise of pupils from the same Key Stage.
The current class structure at Bodiam is as follows:
- Year 1 & 2
- Year 3 & 4
- Year 5 & 6
In all classes, whether mixed age or not, there is a wide range of ability and the staff at Bodiam are especially experienced and highly skilled in teaching to a wide range, ensuring that every child makes accelerated progress from their starting points.
Research evidences that mixed-age classrooms are beneficial for young children's development. Not only do children out-perform peers of the same age academically, studies also show that they thrive socially and emotionally. Mixed-age classrooms generate a family of learners who support and care for one another. They are socially and psychologically healthy spaces because they promote friendship and provide extended contact with adults and peers of varying ages. Children in these classes show a notable increase in self-esteem.
Older children have the opportunity to serve as mentors and take leadership roles. These children model more sophisticated approaches to problem solving, helping younger children to accomplish tasks they would not be able to do independently whilst completing their own learning. This dynamic increases the older child’s level of independence and competence while increasing the younger child’s spirit of belonging in a community of learners. Younger children will have the opportunity to extend their learning and increase their vocabulary whilst working alongside older children.