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Great Kimble Church of England School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust


Mixed-Age Class Teaching

What is a Mixed Age Class?

A mixed age class is a class in which there are children who are from more than one-year group within the same classroom. In most cases, a mixed age class will comprise of pupils from the same Key Stage (Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2).


How are the classes structured at Great Kimble School?

At Great Kimble School we have the following class structures:


  • Earth Class - Reception 
  • Air Class - Year 1 and Year 2 (KS1) 
  • Water Class - Year 3 and Year 4 (LKS2) 
  • Fire Class - Year 5 and 6 (UKS2)


In all classes there is a wide range of ability and ensuring every child in every class makes accelerated progress is what we do every day.


At Great Kimble, our teachers always ensure that:

  • Children are not labelled according to ability.
  • Our classroom practice allows pupils to take pride in their abilities as individuals, giving them constant motivation to improve.
  • The pace of learning is individualised.
  • Our children are viewed as unique individuals where we concentrate on what children can do, rather than what they can’t do. Our teachers focus on teaching each child according to his or her own strengths.
  • There is challenge for all pupils at their own pace.
  • Children develop a sense of family with their classmates.


What are the Benefits of Mixed Age Classes?

Research evidences that mixed-age classrooms are beneficial for young children’s development. Not only do children out-perform peers of the same age academically, studies also show that they thrive socially and emotionally. Mixed-age classrooms generate a family of learners who support and care for one another. Older children have the opportunity to serve as mentors and take leadership roles. These children model more sophisticated approaches to problem solving, helping younger children to accomplish tasks they would not be able to do independently whilst completing their own learning. This dynamic increases the older child’s level of independence and competence while increasing the younger child’s spirit of belonging in a community of learners. Younger children will have the opportunity to extend their learning and increase their vocabulary whilst working alongside older children. Mixed year classrooms are both socially and psychologically healthy because they promote friendship and provide extended contact with adults and peers of varying ages. Children in these classes therefore show a notable increase in self-esteem.


How do Mixed Classes Work at Great Kimble School?

Our mixed age classes follow a two-year rolling programme of study. The rolling programmes have been developed to create a broad and balanced curriculum over a two-year period. National Curriculum content for children from both years within the key stage has been carefully considered to ensure that the progression of skills is clear.