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Is 28 considered a large class?
And how do they choose who goes into a large class?


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#1 GeminiSix

Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:32 PM

DD came home earlier this week with news that she will be continuing in the same composite class (1/2) next year with the same teacher.  We were thrilled with this news as her teacher is wonderful, he is very engaging with the kids.  A handful of kids have been moved to other classes and a few others have moved in. He has told them that next year there will be 28 kids in the class, and it will be the largest class in the school.  There are 4 x 1/2 composite classes in the school.

It got me thinking how would they decide which children go into the largest class?  DD's literacy skills are advanced, maths is on track too so I was thinking that perhaps they put all the children who don't need extra assistance in together.  

I wouldn't be too impressed if my child was struggling and was placed in the largest class.

Any teachers who can shed light as to how classes are picked?  And is 28 considered "large" compared to other schools.

#2 Pull Up A Beanbag

Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:42 PM

By QLD standards/regulations, for that age group, yes it would be a large class.

23-24 is considered more acceptable, but it does depend on numbers as to how many teachers the school is allocated, so sometimes there is no choice.

#3 Phascogale

Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:45 PM

Not particularly large.  The research also shows that it's the quality of the teacher, not the size of the class that influences learning.  You can have a woeful teacher with only 15 kids in the class and have terrible learning or a brilliant teacher with 32 kids and excellent learning.  The school may see this teacher as the one most capable of engaging all the kids which is why she has a couple of extras.  If your child was struggling in one area then the school will probably have things in place to help ie a teacher to pull kids out for small group tutoring or something like reading recovery.

Ideally a class around 25 may be better.  In Vic the government schools try and have P-2 classes no more than about 22.  The higher year levels around the 28-30 mark (depends on facililites, number of teachers etc).  This is what happened with the first school my kids attended.  My daughter in her 3/4 class of 29 did better than when she was in the 1/2 with about 24 kids (different teacher).  The second school they attended had class sizes capped at 25 with occasional going overs to about 26/27 (which would drop back when kids left).  This was for all classes from prep.  I remember when I was at school that it was regular to have 32/33 kids in a class and I don't remember an issue.

What will also likely happen is that if new kids come they won't be put into your son's class but the other classes with less kids and kids may also leave that will drop the numbers a little.

#4 JRA

Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:47 PM

That seems pretty big to me.

I suspect/hope the other classes in the same group are only 1 person less. I would be pretty shocked if one class is 28, and the others 24 for instance. I suspect the others are 27. Assuming that, I would have thought 5 classes would have made more sense because that would make 109 kids which would make 22 per class for 5 classes.

#5 msro82

Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

Most schools like to cap around 25, but if needed stretch to 28.

DD goes to a catholic tasmanian school and they aim for 25 per class, but if needed will go up to 28.

As a previous poster said its likely that the other classes are 27 students.

I doubt a school would have space to make a whole other class with fewer numbers.

#6 PrincessPeach

Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

It does sound quite high, my assumption is they are a student or two off getting another fulltime teacher, so lets hope another couple enrol early next year, which will change your numbers around a bit.

#7 GeminiSix

Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:07 PM

Thanks for the replies.  This is a Catholic school in Vic.  I'm sure the other 1/2 classes are around 25/26, so I suppose it's not such a big number compared to them.  A new principal started last year who has allowed numbers to creep up, previously to that Preps were capped at 25 no exceptions, so the effect of that is starting to show.  All classrooms are being utilised at the moment, the school is on 25 acres so there is room to move.  Our town has many new developments with new families moving in so making the school larger is inevitable.

#8 mumto3princesses

Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:17 PM

Yes for that age group I would say its a large class. I think our school tries to do something like no more than 20 for Kindergarten, no more than 22 for Year 1 and no more than 24 for year 2. And a 1/2 composite would be 22 rather than 24.(I could have my numbers slightly wrong but its about that)

But my twins are in a 3/4 composite and they have 31 in their class this year. And I think all the other primary classes (3x 3/4 composites and 3x 5/6 composites) are about 30-31 per class.

#9 Julie3Girls

Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:59 PM

For that level, yes, I would consider it large.
At our school, NSW public, kinder class(FYOS) is capped at 20. Yr 1 is meant to be 22, yr 2 24.
Once you hit yr 3, the limits seem to disappear. Due to some unbalanced numbers in our school, we ended up with lovely small kinder classes this year (17 or 18), but all the yr3 and up classes were sitting on 30.

#10 liveworkplay

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:11 PM

Sounds pretty average to me. Our classes are capped at 28 from prep (FYOS) with one teacher and a part time teachers aid (x hours a day) Why 4 composite classes though and not 2 straight of each grade? That is what sounds the odd thing to me.

#11 Rhoxie

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:20 PM

For a composite early years class yes it's very big.  Our classes for years 1-3 aim for no more than 24 and if it's a composite class no more than 23.

For Preprimary (fyos WA)  they aim for no more than 27 but that is with a full time teacher, a full time assistant, and a full day of Dott provision for the teacher each week and a half day of Dott for the assistant.

#12 Lyn29

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:34 PM

QUOTE (Phascogale @ 07/12/2012, 01:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I remember when I was at school that it was regular to have 32/33 kids in a class and I don't remember an issue.

It's a very different world now, with individual learning plans, differentiated curriculum and so many more bahavioural and learning problems than there used to be. I taught 31 kids about 20 years ago and that was easier than the 22 I scored two years ago. This year I have 28, next year 26 and that's a fair workload in the modern teaching era.

In our school we try to keep all grades the same size - unless there are very sound reasons, having a class of 28 while others of the same level are 25 is a bit rough. But there are probably reasons outsiders are not privy to. Good luck to that teacher next year though!

#13 2bundles

Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:17 AM

I would be pushing the school to provide significant aide time. Those numbers are too high for yr 2.

#14 Ritaroo

Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:31 AM

QUOTE (Phascogale @ 07/12/2012, 12:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The research also shows that it's the quality of the teacher, not the size of the class that influences learning.


That is the biggest load of crap generated by cheap governments who don't want to pay for extra teachers. Class sizes, regardless of how good the teacher is, makes a big difference. If I was given a class of 28 little ones, I would be calling the union ASAP.

#15 Ritaroo

Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:31 AM

QUOTE (Phascogale @ 07/12/2012, 12:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The research also shows that it's the quality of the teacher, not the size of the class that influences learning.


That is the biggest load of crap generated by cheap governments who don't want to pay for extra teachers. Class sizes, regardless of how good the teacher is, makes a big difference. If I was given a class of 28 little ones, I would be calling the union ASAP.

#16 Carmen02

Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:32 AM

it is large class, my DDs and DSs school doesnt like to have more then 25 in a class, DS had 19 in his class this year and DD had 22 they are in grade 2 and 4. DS has alot of people who have additional needs as well as DS so its great his class is smaller. They usually look at the students needs/abilities before placing them with a teacher

#17 anasam

Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:43 PM

DS is in a class of 31, the other class is 31 also. They have an open class arrangement so 2 teachers and an occasional assistant looking after 62 kids. DS got a good report and he seem to have improved in a lot of areas. On the downside though, he recently told me another boy has been punching him in class fairly regularly and the teacher never sees it. They had 2 of the best teachers this year but i am very worried about who they will get next year.

#18 froggy1

Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:58 PM

DD1 was in a class of 23 for Year 1. This is a pretty good size. From what I've heard, it is not unusual for catholic schools to run larger classes. The Prep class in the local catholic school was 25 this year, compared to an average of 17 in the local public. I don't buy the 'quality of the teacher' argument either. Smaller class size = more individual time with the teacher. Can't buy better than that.

#19 *bibs*

Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:03 PM

I have had 29 students all of this year, last year i hit 33 at one stage.  I am a teacher in QLD.  I think 28 is quite normal/acceptable but not ideal if that makes sense.

#20 Expelliarmus

Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:18 PM

QUOTE (Mar81got @ 08/12/2012, 07:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That is the biggest load of crap generated by cheap governments who don't want to pay for extra teachers. Class sizes, regardless of how good the teacher is, makes a big difference. If I was given a class of 28 little ones, I would be calling the union ASAP.

Actually it's research by John Hattie.
This table (scroll down) ranks influential factors according to the greatest effect in learning. You can see what comes last ...

It's not a governmental thing. Hattie is a researcher from Melbourne and generated his peer reviewed research without governmental coercion.

The Union wouldn't be able to do anything about a class size of 28.



#21 mombasa

Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

28 seems large to me as well. DD is in Kindy (FYOS) at a Private Christian School and has 21 kids in her class the other class also has 21, next year in Yr 1 one child in each class has left and we have 4 new enrolments which will make each class 22 each, they also have an aide. Not sure I would be thrilled at 28 TBH, the local Catholic Schools in our areas are renown for having larger class sizes though while the Public Schools have smaller classes and around 5 classes per year.

#22 Expelliarmus

Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:35 PM

QUOTE (*magenta* @ 08/12/2012, 01:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is possibly more detrimental to the teacher than the students.

Yes, that is the reason for union and teacher opposition to it. Unfortunately Christopher Pyne uses it to discredit EBA requests for smaller class sizes - because it doesn't negatively effect students. It has a huge impact on teacher workload however. But no one ever wants to hear about that.

It's a double edged sword piece of research.

#23 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

Back in the stone age I was in a class of 41. The teachers' union were campaigning for class sizes to be capped at 40 so we took it in turns for one of us to sit at a desk in the corridor outside the classroom, listening in to the lesson through the window. Of course smaller class sizes are way better for all concerned. My kids were never in classes of over 30 pupils and there was a noticable difference in the amount they learned as their class sizes diminished through primary school.

#24 Ritaroo

Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 08/12/2012, 01:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Actually it's research by John Hattie.
This table (scroll down) ranks influential factors according to the greatest effect in learning. You can see what comes last ...

It's not a governmental thing. Hattie is a researcher from Melbourne and generated his peer reviewed research without governmental coercion.

The Union wouldn't be able to do anything about a class size of 28.


I have seen the research but I do not believe that classes with multiple special needs, behaviour problems, individualised curriculum and the like are in no way impacted by class sizes. What I should have said is that governments have run with the findings of the research and used it to discredit teacher EB claims that class sizes impact on learning conditions. Not just teacher workload, but conditions for the students. Yes, a class of 28, 30 or even 32 might work just fine in a leafy suburb of a major city  where you have no behaviour  issues  and teachers can just get on with actual teaching but I do not believe it works for areas where students, resourcing issues and socioeconomic factors influence learning.

#25 Expelliarmus

Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:41 PM

QUOTE (Mar81got @ 08/12/2012, 02:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have seen the research but I do not believe that classes with multiple special needs, behaviour problems, individualised curriculum and the like are in no way impacted by class sizes. What I should have said is that governments have run with the findings of the research and used it to discredit teacher EB claims that class sizes impact on learning conditions. Not just teacher workload, but conditions for the students. Yes, a class of 28, 30 or even 32 might work just fine in a leafy suburb of a major city  where you have no behaviour  issues  and teachers can just get on with actual teaching but I do not believe it works for areas where students, resourcing issues and socioeconomic factors influence learning.

That I can agree with. Christopher Pyne, in his effort to undermine education reform will cite the research ad nauseum without bothering to understand how to apply the findings.

But we don't need me to get on my soapbox about that right now. I think I've been on that too much lately ...




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