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Prep/grade 1 mixed class

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#1 tel2

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:01 PM

Hello there  

Next year will be my DD's FYOS. We were originally told that it will be one prep only class. However today we were told that enrolments have increased and now in addtion to the prep only class there will be a mixed prep/grade 1 class to accomodate the large enrolments.

Has anyone put their prep child in a prep/grade 1 mixed class ? If so how did it go ?

#2 JuliaGulia

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:06 PM

3 of mine have been in mixed Prep/1 classes.  I think it's fine.  Generally, the older kids help the Preps to settle in, and I find the teachers separate them when necessary.  It's also good for those children who start school well ahead academically as they are able to mix with children who are more their peers.

#3 liveworkplay

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

Not a fan of composite classes at any level.

#4 Mocha Coffee

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:28 PM

Yes, it was great.  Very happy despite initial disappointment and concern.

#5 Chelli

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:39 PM

One of my DDs was in a Prep/1 class when she was younger and she coped really well with it original.gif

#6 *Ker*

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:40 PM

DS at prep was in a prep/1/2 composite class, year 1 was prep/1 and year 2 is in a 2/3/4 class.

DD has been in prep/1.

The only one I didn't like was the prep/1, when he was the older part of the composite. The teacher didn't challenge him enough in maths (he is advanced in maths), and he didn't get enough help in English which he is not so good at. I think that was mainly the fault of the teacher though.

Otherwise, I love the comp classes. I have asked for him to be in a 3/4 next year, when he is grade 3.

#7 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:40 PM

My DD1 has been in a K-1 this year in her FYOS.

It's been good for her. She's pretty clever and has benefited from being in a reading group with the top couple of grade 1 kids and has been doing a lot of their maths work and stuff.

We were given the option of a straight K or a K-1 and asked for the K-1.

The only thing is that she's missed out on forming a lot of relationships with the other kinders but that will change next year when they mix them all up again.

#8 Feralmummacat

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:47 PM

DS1 has been in a mixed Prep/grade 1 class for his FYOS.

I agree with PP that the year 1 kids help the Prep kids. DS1 has really liked it.

I was nervous about it as I had a bad experience when I was in year 6 and placed in a year 5/6 class. I spent the whole year bored. I even remember eating a eraser in protest as I was bored and wanted more work.

I think it really depends on the teacher. My old teacher it was too much work to set one lot of work for the year 5 and another for the year 6's, while DS1 teacher is more than happy having different groups doing different activities.

#9 Lyn29

Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:21 PM

I don't have a problem with composites at any level. My children were in p/1/2 composites, without problems, and as a teacher I've taught only composites for the last 15 years.

When people have had problems it's nearly always because the teacher didn't handle the grade well, and probably wouldn't have in a straight grade either. Work should be aimed at the child's ability level, not grade level.

#10 mumto3princesses

Posted 22 November 2012 - 06:11 AM

When my twins started school they were in seperate classes. One was in a straight Kindergarten class while the other was in a K/1 class. They both did pretty much exactly the same things. The only difference we saw on our end was what you would get anyway with different teachers. Although if you spoke to DD#3 you would have heard how the Year 1's do different things to the Kindergarten kids etc.

Our school does a lot of composites. They do composites only for Year 3/4 and Year 5/6 and sometimes a gifted and talented 4/5/6 and then the rest are as needed due to numbers. DD#3 has only been in one straight class in Year 1. I have no problem with them. When DD#2 & DD#3 were in a 2/3 in year 2 last year they had a really good teacher who handled the split work really well.

#11 Julie3Girls

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:31 AM

It really depends on how well the teacher/school handles it.

Our school does a lot of composites, or "stage classes" (so 1/2, 3/4, 5/6). They do try and avoid a k/1 class if possible.  We've only had it once in the last 6 years, when my DD was in kinder.

When they do have to have a k/1, they tend to pick the kids pretty carefully for this.  The y1 kids tend to be ones that are able to work independently. The kinder kids tend to be the kids that need less settling - often the ones who have already spent a lot of time at school with older siblings, who are a bit more mature. Not necessarily academically advanced though.

The work is definitely split up more, and the k/1 class tended to get a bit more aide time, allowing the teacher to split up the groups. It was also a smaller class - only 17 in there, 20 in the other 2 kinder classes.
Also found that the kinders in the k/1 would join back in with the rest of the kinders for a lot of activities (sport, PE, special events, even things like art and craft in the afternoons at the very beginning of the year). Trying to make sure the kids in that class still got to make those connections with the other kinder kids.

DD3 was in her FYOS this year. There was almost a k/1 class, but we got a few extra enrolments at the start of the year making it possible to do 3 kinder classes.  I had discussed it with the teachers during orientation - while nothing was definite, DD3 would probably have been on the list for the k/1 class. She has 2 big sisters, and has been going to the school for drop offs/pickups, school assemblies, special events, since she was 4 months old. She knew where everything was, knew the teachers, knew a lot of kids in the older years and was socially great with them. And a bonus of being very on the ball academically. I actually think a k/1 class could have been great for her.

They can work really well, for the right kids. I know our school actually spoke to the parents of the kids going into the k/1 class, before final decisions were made.  So if it was a possiblity, I'd be chatting to the teachers about it, finding out how they run it, and giving input on whether I thought it was a good idea for my child.

#12 Becca1605

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:42 AM

My son was in a R/1 (reception - fyos in SA) this year in his FYOS. He will be in a R/1 class next year as a year 1. It was great for him and I think next year will also be great for him as he gets a chance to be the role model and show some leadership skills.  As long as the teacher is accomodating of variyng abilities (which you will also get in a straight reception class) then I think it's fine.

#13 TeaTimeTreat

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:44 AM

One of the reasons I chose the school DS will be going to next year is that the size of it means there are no composite classes - ever  biggrin.gif , so clearly I am not keen on the idea.

#14 DrFeral

Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:40 AM

Depends on the way it is done.  If the teacher is good and effort is made to made sure that the kinders and year  ones and not isolated from the rest of the year group it could work.  You need to make sure that there is adequate differentiation taking place, especially for the year 1 kids (kinder is not that challenging after all and no year one should have to sit through learning the letters/sounds etc. without due cause).

Unfortunately I've seen it done very badly.  This school had seperate open-plan classrooms for kinder, grade 1/2, grade 3/4 etc.  The K/1 didn't fit and kids became socially isolated (the year ones were effectively being repeated and missing out on all the activities done by the rest of year1/2).  Not to mention that new parents to the school were told that their kids, coming from interstate, were to be placed in this class as year 1 because they were "behind" (this without any testing)- real reason was that this class had the most spaces... nothing more.  The class lasted 2 terms as by some strange coincidence alot of the kids in this class just happened to have left. Then the kids who were left were moved to other classes (disruptive and unsettling for them).

Edited by LeSm, 22 November 2012 - 11:41 AM.

#15 yellowtulips74

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:43 PM

My girls moved from straight classes at their old school to composite classes in their new school.

The composites are a million times better, for many many reasons.  I love them!

We were in the UK for my little sister's FYOS.  The school had SEVEN P/1/2 composite classes.  There were three school terms per year and the kids would start school the term after they turned 5.  So every teacher got a couple of newbies each term instead of a whole class all at once.

The hugest problem with FYOS is that even in a straight class you have such an enormous range of ages, academic abilities, maturity levels and previous experience with formal education.  Every child has very different needs anyway.

A P/1 or a P/1/2 makes so much more sense, academically and socially.

#16 JKTMum

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:36 PM

My DD2 started school in a Prep/1 composite class and did brilliantly. She was already reading and writing before starting school so the class suited her very well, she ended up in the top literacy and maths groups with a couple of the more advanced grade 1 kids. The teacher was brilliant too, she took every child and extended them at their own pace so she had kids who were quite advanced and ones who still couldnt recognise their alphabet, but she managed to design the lessons so they all benefited.

I would say the only negative in the longer term was socially. There were only 6 Prep girls in that class, by the following year 2 of them had left due to moving away and the other 4 were put into a year 1/2 class, with no other year 1 girls joining them, but most of the grade 2 girls from their previous class also with them. By this stage DD2's closest friends were from the year level above as she spent so much time with them academically. The following year the school went to straight classes so they split the original four girls into two year 2 classes and of course her close friends went into a year 3 class. Those year 2 classes tended to have a lot of girls who were now heading into the third year together in the same class, so it was a struggle socially for the original girls to break into other friendships. Two of the girls were very close and went together into a class, DD2 ended up with the other girl who she was not close to. DD2 has only now in grade 4 finally found a nice group of girls who she has really gelled closely with and has a couple of other friends who she has never been in class with, but has become close to in the playground.

I would look at the mix of Preps and Year 1's, boys and girls to make sure it was as even as possible. Ours was definitely top heavy with Prep boys and year 1 girls, with very few Prep girls and year 1 boys.

I suppose one other thing was as someone said, the class didnt really fit as the other classes were Prep only, or year 1/2 classes. The Prep /1 was included with the Preps for the school concert (fine for the Preps but the grade 1's may have felt babyish, although they did Mary Poppins which was quite an involved routine) and while in the other 1/2 classes the kids could now use pencil cases with their own pencils/textas, the year 1's in ours still had to do the 'shared items' like the rest of the Preps. They also abandoned "P" day that year which was a dressup day that had been done in other years when the Preps only came to school dressed up as something beginning with the letter P. I felt sad about that because my other two kids had done it when they were in Prep and obviously kids in year 1 had done it the year before, but I dont think the school knew quite what to do so they abandoned it all together that year.

#17 mombasa

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:35 AM

Part of the reason we chose DD's School was the fact that they were double streamed with no composites, I don't have a valid reason for not liking composites but for some reason I wanted to avoid them.

#18 hellsmail

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:52 AM

both my kids were in a prep 1/2 class and they loved it  Had friends that they still hang out with in high school. Then when they were in grade 2 they had friends in prep.  I found that their whole Primary  school  life they had friends in all the classes at school ie cricket would be played with boys from the whole school and the older kids helped the younger ones and some of those younger kids became really good sports people from playing with older kids.  Had a primary school teacher once tell me that she loved the prep/1 or p/1/2 as it taught tolerance and showed the younger kids how school functioned.  My boy who finished yr 12 this year still is friends with some of his grade 2 mates from when he was in prep not bad i think.

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