Grouping of Classes
|Why are classes grouped?
Most primary schools need to group classes at some stage. There are 8 classes in this school (Junior Infants-6th Class) and there are 7 classroom teachers.
The principal has overall responsibility for grouping classes where numbers would otherwise be too big or too small in one classroom. The pupil-teacher ratio is dictated annually by the government and schools have no control over this.
What criteria are used in grouping classes?
Our mission statement says that "We value each person while working to provide a supportive environment for all pupils to learn and play in harmony together." We use this as our overriding principle when grouping classes. Factors taken into consideration include:
Available space (for example, older pupils need bigger furniture)
Aiming for the best learning outcomes for the whole school
Having pupils of mixed abilities in classrooms
The number of boys and girls in classrooms
Social considerations (i.e. that children will be able to make friends with others)
Which teachers have previously taught the pupils
Age of pupils
Why are there some differences in booklists between groups?
The teachers work very closely together to ensure that pupils from the same class cover the appropriate curriculum. The primary curriculum is skills-based rather than content-based and textbooks are used merely as a guide. Teachers choose the books and adapt them as it is they who are the professionals deciding the content and skills to be taught.
Teachers are professionally trained, experienced and skilful in handling issues related to class grouping and ensure that the children in their care learn successfully and play happily together.
Classes that are grouped in different classrooms come together every day to play in the same area of the playground. They have the opportunity to play together at breaks so they can maintain friendships as well as making new friends. They also work and play together at various times such as First Communion or Confirmation, school tours or outings, assemblies, visiting speakers or workshops etc.
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