Frequently Asked Questions
Following the meetings held on 20th June about the class organisation for 2018-2019, this page has been created to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
Questions can be sent to:
Is there going to be another primary school in Brampton?
No - our school has been extended to allow for the extra pupils that will be living here.
Why are year groups being mixed?
The government funds schools according to pupil numbers each October. We have received funding through the normal delegated school budget which enables us to run 15 classes. This is based on pupil numbers October 2017. In order to create additional capacity throughout the next year, the Local Authority requested in May that we increase capacity. As a results we were granted growth funding for 3 classes, one in Reception and two in Key Stage 2. The funding is for one year only and is conditional, meaning that we will have to change the way our classes are organised, possibly for just one year.
How will we create the new classes?
We will consider a number of factors when creating classes for next year. In order to ensure equity of provision for all children, we will be creating 5 mixed classes across each Phase. School Class Organisation Policy The priority is to ensure that effective learning communities are created and classes are balanced. When grouping children the following factors will be considered: Pupils’ attainment / current levels of performance, gender, friendships, pupil behaviour and maturity.
How will two year groups be taught alongside each other in one classroom?
All children develop at different rates. Learning will be differentiated as children will be taught to their individual academic needs and not simply to their age. All classes in the school have a large range of abilities. The teachers are skilled at teaching classes which include children working on curriculum content from a number of different years. Teachers will choose work appropriate to the level a child is working at, ensuring that all needs are catered for. Lessons will vary, depending upon the content and objective of the lesson. The children may start the session together on the carpet with the teacher targeting questions at individuals or groups of children at an appropriate level. The lesson may start with the teacher working with a guided group whilst other groups work independently. Children will be provided with appropriate activities to consolidate or practise what they have been taught, with the teacher and/or Teaching Assistant working with children who require additional assistance or who need to be pushed on and explore concepts in greater depth or learn something new. On occasion, groups of children may be removed from whole class teaching in order to facilitate this.
How will teachers plan, ensuring coverage of the appropriate curriculum, preventing repetition of content?
With the exception of Maths, English and Science, the curriculum content for all year groups highlights expectations for the end of each Key Stage. Therefore objectives will be differentiated as appropriate. There is already planning for mixed-age classes in place and advice is being provided by Local Authority Advisers. Progress for each child is tracked each half term in school. The class teacher assesses each child constantly in many different ways. This helps them to plan learning opportunities to ensure your child will make progress.
How will we ensure the highest academic expectations for all children?
Children will still be expected to reach age-related expectations by the end of the year. Children who find aspects of the curriculum more challenging will be supported in the same way they have been in single year classes. Children working above the expected standard will be provided with work which both deepens their understanding and moves the on to explore new concepts. With the maths mastery curriculum learning is focussed on explaining reasoning and problem solving both of which extend children’s understanding without them having to access a separate curriculum. Literacy texts will be carefully chosen ensuring that they are easy to learn but contain the relevant sentence structures and vocabulary to stretch children at the appropriate level. Children work towards achieving end of year expectations as appropriate.
How will we ensure that children cope socially and emotionally with changes in their current class structures?
Experience of mixed-age classes shows that most children learn to form wider friendships and relate to broader groups of children, creating a classroom atmosphere where children are encouraged to help others rather than simply relying on adult support. We already have good pastoral support systems in place. We have put a number of strategies in place to support children in their move to new classes. The children will spend time in their new classes, ensuring not only that they begin to form friendships with a wide range of children, but that they get to know all of the teachers within the relevant team.
How will we ensure that children in Reception can cope with the transition into a different classroom environment?
The EYFS and Year 1/2 teachers are working closely together to ensure that EYFS children are well prepared for the expectations of a KS1 classroom. Opportunities will be provided for the children to work outside and activities will be kept as practical as possible. Experience from elsewhere has shown that Y1 children settle much quicker with Y2 role models in the same class.
How will we manage statutory testing across both Year Groups?
Children in Years 1, 2 and 6 are subject to statutory testing, with Year 1 children undertaking the Phonics Screening Check and Year 2 and Year 6 undertaking SATS tests. We are committed to achieving the best possible standards for our children without teaching to the test.
Teachers will have to aim for two sets of end-of-year expectations, how will this not mean that some children will miss out when teachers are focusing on expectations not relevant to them?
Children will not miss out. They will be working on appropriate work to ensure that they are meeting expectations.
Would it not be better for the children to have smaller class sizes from the beginning of 2018 and put the 21 classes into force from September 2018?
This is not affordable from the current school budget.
Will you be streaming?
No but there may be occasions when individual year groups are taught together if appropriate.
How will you support children?
We will support the children in the same way as we always do, ensuring that they are able to be in a safe environment where they can achieve their best. Communication with parents/carers is an important part of this.
My child is one of the youngest in their year already. How will they be expected to ‘keep up’ with children some 2 years older than them?
They are not expected to keep up. Each child will be expected to be working at an appropriate level for them.
Why has the school for the last 4 years continued to allow children from other villages who pass 2 schools on the way to Brampton to join our school?
The Admissions Code and parental choice means that if we have space, then any parent who applies can send their child here, even if they are not in catchment.
Will there be an increased number of Teaching Assistants to mitigate the increased ratio of children to teacher?
No, the number of hours remains the same. We will ensure that support is targeted where it needs to be.
Will there be an increased number of clubs?
This will depend upon staffing and availability, especially for Reception and Key Stage 1.
What will happen with school trips?
Year 4 and Year 6 will still have their residential visits. Other trips will be planned around the topics that the classes will be doing.
Will teachers be supported and will the Local Authority be involved?
Advice and support has already been sought from Local Authority Advisers and this will continue. We are aware of the increased demands upon teachers with regards to planning and school leaders will monitor this.