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Composite classes pros and cons

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#1 cb2

Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:50 AM

Just after some feedback from those of you who have had your child in a composite class.

Thoughts? Good/Bad/

Are you pro or anti composite classes?


#2 mummytotwo

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:14 AM

Any class is really a composite class. As you can have 18 months difference in ages and 3 or even 4 years difference in abilities.

like any class a teacher has to plan/cater to this wide range of ability/level

#3 cb2

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:15 AM

Thanks mummytotwo I guess you are right as there can be varying abilities in a straight grade class

#4 Julie3Girls

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:23 AM

How good a class is very dependent on the teacher. And yes, I was going to say the same about every class being a composite. original.gif
My DD2 has been in a 1/2, 2, 3/4 class. Honestly, there has been no difference whatsoever.

The only negative experience was when DD1 was in a 2/3 class, because we are in NSW, working with a "stage" curriculum, and this was a cross stage class, as well as going across the infants/primary divide. So there were some issues there with the class being split a lot, teacher priorities etc. But it was really a matter of how the school ran the class - they have needed to have a 2/3 class again this year, but had two of them, with a lot of teacher sharing, and I haven't seen or heard of any of the problems we had a couple of years ago.

On the positive side, I have found that DD2 thrives in the lower half of a composite, as she does well having a bit of friendly competition, and there is a bit more of that when she is in a class with kids a grade ahead. Haven't seen how seen she goes being in the top half of the class yet!
I've also had DD1 in the top half of the class and she did fine as well.

It can widen friendship opportunities, especially in a small school. Allows them to split the kids in one grade up between more classes which can be helpful.
Gives the kids friends in the grade above and below - looking towards highschool, it's nice that my girls will get to highschool in yr 7 and will have friends in yr 8

Edited by Julie3Girls, 07 December 2012 - 06:24 AM.

#5 lovingmother

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:29 AM

It's all about the teachers They have to work with the children more.

At my child's school we have Comp Classes from 1/2 up till 3/4 every class is.

My child has excelled in the 1/2 class But a lot in the class have not.

#6 zingy

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:48 AM

My Mr 11 who is in year 5 has been in a composite class every year since year 2.

Next year it is happening again. We don't have a choice.

I have no complaints about it. It mixes things up a bit, and it means he has been able to do harder work if he gets bored. He has always been in the lower half of the composite.

Next year he will obviously be at the higher end but I think it is quite good that the 5's and 6's are all together.

We have always been very lucky with teachers, really that's what makes the difference. If they have a teacher who knows how to get the best out of them then you've won.

#7 **Xena**

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:02 AM

QUOTE (mummytotwo @ 07/12/2012, 07:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any class is really a composite class. As you can have 18 months difference in ages and 3 or even 4 years difference in abilities.

In Tas it could only be a maximum of 12 months between ages but it's definitely true about the different abilities.

My kids have both been in 1/2 classes and they coped just fine. They are however marked as being above their expected grade level so I don't know if that would make a difference?

Next year though the school is trying to cut as many composite classes as it can because they have said iit's less coompatible with the new curriculum.

#8 cameo

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:14 AM

At our school they do parallel learning so consequently don't have enough boys to make up a straight 5 or 6 alone, so they have done 5/6 composites.  This has caused the hugest uproar and many parents are taking their children out.

I can see absolutely the pluses and minuses of this.  The younger level can benefit from a bit of higher learning, children are more able to work at their own pace as their is such an age range.

However, there could be more chance of bullying with older kids in the class, the teacher has to be able to deal with a huge age range of boys in the class, boys that are not doing so well could get lost etc etc.

We won't be pulling our child out of the school but it certainly is an issue.  I don't know any schools  now (with the exception of private) that don't do composites.

#9 Maple Leaf

Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:17 AM

DD just finished year 2 in a 2/3 composite.
I requested she not be in one next year. While the work load was fine and the teacher was fantastic, DD is a "young" 7 and trying to hang out and play with some very mature 9 year olds was hard on her socially.

That was my only issue with it.

She would probably thrive being in the older grade of a composite as she seems to bond more with younger kids but I'm not willing to trial that next year. So have requested a straight year 3. original.gif

#10 Grobanite

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:23 AM

We live in a rural town and the school only has 3 teachers so we have no choice but for him to be in a class of prep,1and 2.


Ds was always able to do work higher than his grade as they gave him work to his ability not age.

When the class does work together like science it is dumbed down so the Preps understand. Like recently they put an iceblock in the sun to see what would happen and why
My Ds could have taught the lesson.

I think in a class of older kids like 3-5  like he will be in next year will be better.

#11 mumto3princesses

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:26 AM

I like them. Our school does only composites for primary. They do Junior (years 3/4) and Senior (years 5/6). Then they also do composites for infants depending on numbers. Usually its a K/1 or 1/2 but they have also done a 2/3 from time to time.

My twins were in a 2/3 in Year 2 last year and I will admit I did have my concerns at first but the teacher they had was a really good one and it all ran very smoothly. No problems at all with it.

DD#1 was in the composites for the last 4 years of primary. huge benefit for her was knowing some older kids when she went to high school that she could comfortably go up to and ask where something was etc.

DD#3 was in a K/1 in kindergarten with no problems. From a parents perspective there was no real difference in what work they did compared to DD#2 (her twin sister) in a straight kindergarten class. Except what you would normally see with different teachers anyway plus we knew the kids in DD#3's class needed to work more independantly as the teacher needed to have the year 1's doing different work. Then my twins were in the 2/3 composite together which means DD#3 will only be in one straight year class for the whole of primary.

As pp have said you will get a huge difference even in a straight year class. My twins are a prime example of that with a very big difference in pretty much all areas. They each have their strengths and weaknesses.

#12 ubermum

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:35 AM

Small school so not much choice. Next year due to numbers there will be two prep/1 classes at our school and I will have a child in each. One a prep, one a grade one.

My primary years were spent in composite classes. I am not sure how things are done now, but back then at my school, the kids who were pretty academic and capable of independent learning were put into the composite as the older kids. I was always in this group and went through with the same kids. We were often given tasks and left to get on with them. I enjoyed it and the independent learning has been a really beneficial skill for me, but it is not something that would suit many kids. The young ones in our class were always the kids that needed heaps of attention and some of them had aides to help them.

#13 peking homunculus

Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:19 AM

Composites are great. My kids love them. They get to make friends across grades and it significantly contributes to school community. In the younger grade they can be extended, and in the older grade they can take a mentoring role.

#14 cesca

Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

Our kids' school is on the small side (about 200 pupils) and I think every class is a composite.

For my DS it is good when he's in a composite with a younger year level, as he's the youngest kid in his year, so it means he gets to be smack bang in the middle of the class, age wise.

For my DD it is good when she's in a composite with an older year level, as she strives to be the best in her class academically, so loves being with older kids as it often stretches her abilities more.

I'm slightly worried about DS for next year, as he'll be in a composite Y7/8 class (that's Aussie Yr 6/7) - he's just 10 (turning 11 half way through the year) and will be in with kids up to two years older.  He is the youngest in the class.  He'll be fine academically, but not too sure about socially as he's never been the youngest of the youngest in a composite yet.

So composites are all I've ever known (with a couple of exceptions), and they're fine in general.  Nice to get to mingle with different ages of kids too.  I'm not a huge fan of having my kids only hanging out with kids the same age as them.

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