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Organisation Of New Intake


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Our school is changing to two form entry next year with 60 children (2 classes) starting in the Foundation Stage in Sept 2012 instead of our usual 30. I would be interested to hear from other similar schools how they decide which children should go into each class. Do you divide them by age, alphabetically or do you keep them as one class of 60 and group them, for example, for phonic work? Also, once they are put into a class, do they stay in that class until Year 6 or do you have a change around (maybe at the end of KS1).

Would love to know what works for you.

Thank you.

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I have worked as FS coord in a 3 form entry school. I tried to sort the children so that those children from the same feeder nursery were together ( we had 2) and took account of whether they had morning or afternoon places. I also spoke to the nurseries about the children and tried to keep friends together and avoid clashes. I also tried to balance boys and girls as bets as possible and looked at ethnicity so classes were as balanced as possible.On the whole it worked well, except when the nursery told me not to put X and Y together and identified X1 not X2! ( hope that makes sense). If we felt the classes were working we kept them like it for yr1, if not they were mixed up again.

In another school, the staggered entry meant that one class was alot older than the other as I had 3 terms and the other 2 in Reception. They were usually mixed at the end of reception to be more evenly spread agewise but not always. Yet another HT I worked with mixed all the children regardless every year!

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The school we feed to is a 3 form entry. They ask us to put together a list of friendship groups and also highlight any that would be better not together. They also ask parents the names of a few friends they would like their child to be with. So far we have not had any problems.

 

Last year we were very boy heavy and we asked that we did not split our 8 girls into 3 groups but just 2, so more boys went in one class, but with the other nurseries it evened out boy / girl. When I put my groups together I make sure there is a good mix of birthdays and abilities. I don't know if the other nurseries do that, but I'm a teacher so I know it's important to get the right mix! (plus I teach the Reception class one day a week ;) )

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Guest ShelleyT

We have had 60 (or more) children for as long as I can remember. Classes are always difficult to sort out and I tend to group the children by friendship as much as possible, but also taking into consideration their age and gender. I have a grid with 4 boxes and all their names on cards and move them around until it works! It's a bit like the x factor discussions!!!!! Most of our children come from our own Nursery, so the Nursery teacher helps me out with good / bad combinations, but I also ask the pre-schools about friendships. I speak to the parents at the new parents meeting, asking them to tell me what they would like, just so they can have their say. I think last year I ended up re writing the class lists 12 times!!!!!!!!! Good luck!

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Thank you everyone. This has been really helpful. I hadn't thought about friendship groups/gender etc and will definitely do that now. Our children come from lots of different pre-school settings (up to 20!) so that might make it a bit more tricky. I like the idea of an X factor system - do you get to vote any out! ;)

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Hi we do same as Shelly T too.

And its tricky alos because our children come from private settings, no settings and also our local preschool but not all. We have a day at the end of the year where all settings are invited to come to our school withier key worker. If they cannot visit us we vist them at thier setting. Yes it takes lots of time but its well worth meeting the kids or findin out about them before grouping them. We do the xfactor type setting usually starting with dates they were born as you probably wont want all the summer born children in one class. We loook at gender, ehtnicity, friendship groups, SEN, area in wich children are coming from too. Theres lots to consider but if you and the other teacher sit together and say you choose a boy that is summer born and ill choose one etc work throught the lists to consider and keep swapping. Our children have always stayed in the same classes but 2 years ago we had a chort of very low ability children togehter and also some children not mixing well so we chose to mix the classes up.

You can never judge how the classes will work you can olnly do your best with the info you have got. Good luck

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We send out slips to our parents asking them to list their child's friends and we try our best to make sure that they are with at least one friend.There is also a possibility for them to write down any concerns or worries and some actually request that they are not with a particular friend as they socialise a lot out of school and feel they have an opportunity to make other friends.(we do reassure them that all comments are treated in confidence) We also visit our feeder nurseries who advise on friendships and on any possible children who should not be put together.Then like shelleyt I put all the names on pieces of card pink for girls,blue for boys as well as DOB,then begin shuffling them around to get a good balance of boys,girls and ages. The only change I would make this year is to make a note on each card of the pre school setting as I ended up with 1 class with lots of children from the same one.We are a 3 form entry school.

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