Draft -School Policy re the Formation of Composite Classes
Why composite classes?
All Primary schools are staffed to an agreed level by the Education Authority based on pupil numbers, no account is taken of numbers of pupils at each stage. A teacher’s contract allows them to teach up to 30 children in a single year stage from Primary 1-3, 33 from Primary 4 – 7 and up to 25 pupils in a composite class.
How classes will be formed?
If necessary, Kirkhill classes will be formed annually after discussion with staff over the most appropriate way to group pupils in order that they can be taught most effectively and where possible cohesive class groupings will be kept together.
Account will be taken of existing teaching groups in mathematics, reading and writing to ensure continuity of learning. Consideration will also be taken of the resources available such as personnel, space and the effective use of support staff.
Compositing classes can be a contentious issue but the decisions taken will always be ‘child centered’ and based on achieving the most effective teaching and learning for all pupils.
If agreement can not be reached pupils will have to be placed in composite classes according to their date of birth.
Siblings will not normally be placed in the same composite class and if this has to happen it will always be discussed with their parents first.
Throughout their Primary school career children may have the opportunity to be taught in single stage classes as well as composite classes.
Planning for a composite class.
Planning for children’s work will take place between teachers at parallel stages and this consultation will ensure that pupils in composite classes undertake programmes of study that cover the school curriculum which are demonstrably equivalent to those followed by pupils in single year stage classes. The work planned by the teaching staff will always take account of the differing needs and abilities of all pupils.
The Education Authority entrusts the management of the school to the Head Teacher. The decision for the formation of composite classes is taken by her following advice from the Education Authority and after discussion with the Principal Teacher ,The Head Teacher and the Principal Teacher will have been monitoring previous class and group structures. They will use evidence of progress as well as discussions with Class teachers and Support Staff to make the final decision.
Following this decision all parents and guardians will be informed which class their individual children will be placed in as soon as possible before the start of the new school session. Any changes in the course of the session will be done in consultation with parents.
Finally, parents should be assured that the education of their child will follow the current educational guidelines and the school and local authority’s programmes of study. The formation of composite classes is part of the normal school life for most schools.