There is often misunderstanding about composite classes. When I started teaching (in 1986) a straight year 4 class, I recall having seven reading groups. My Education Department Inspector at the time had a long discussion with me about the practicalities of effectively operating seven groups. My justification was that I had one student reading at an emergent junior reading level and some students reading at 12 years + with of course a range of reading levels in between these two extremes.
My point being that some parents concerned about the range within a composite class, seem to forget that there is usually a large range within a straight class. The good news is that there is an expectation in reading, writing and maths, that teacher’s know where each of their students is at, within these areas, and cater for their students accordingly. School is not necessarily how we remember it as students ourselves where the teacher stands up the front delivering the Year 4 curriculum, where sometimes the curriculum was far too difficult for some students, or far too easy for others and they were bored senseless. Hence, our direction to personalise the curriculum where possible, so that our students are aware of what they know, and the next steps in their learning journey.
The other reason why composites can be beneficial is for social grouping of students. Year 3 students in particular vary widely in their social maturity. Some students will benefit from being in a separate group from year 4 students, others will benefit from being in a composite with strong year 4 role models. If you have concerns about your child’s class placement then please do discuss it with your teacher first then the team leader if required.
Delanee Dale M.Ed. Mgmt (Hons), B.A., Dip Tchg