This policy was the product of whole-staff collaboration in tandem with the Board of Management of Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn.
Taking into account the number of pupils on roll, it may be necessary from time to time to divide and combine class groups into mixed classes. This policy aims to ensure that this mix of classes is done in the interest of providing the best education for all students in our school.
Aims and Objectives of this Policy
- To provide a framework for the splitting of classes
- To outline the criteria on which children are selected to be placed in mixed or straight classes
- To outline the criteria for placing children in particular mixed-class groups
- To set out the supports which may be used to ensure the best learning outcomes for all children in mixed classes
- To limit the enrolment of new children into split classes, subject to Section 29 of the Education Act.
Framework for the Splitting of Classes
At the time of planning the classes for the coming year, the Principal will look at the overall numbers in each year group and the number of teachers available to teach them. He or she will decide how best to organise classes with a view to providing the best educational opportunities for all children.
One or more of the following criteria may be used when placing children in particular class groups:
- alphabetical order of surname and age
- alphabetical order of first name and age
- in as far as is possible, having an even number of children from all classes being mixed
- ensuring, in so far as is possible, an even split of boys and girls from each class grouping in the new class.
The opinions of previous class teachers / teachers currently working with the class, may be called upon to help ensure the split / mix is in the best interest of all the children in the class. The opinions of these teachers may be used to move children in individual cases.
- It is considered best practice to form mixed-ability groups.
- The process of forming new friendships is a life skill which is important to develop. A positive and supportive attitude from parents is a key element in achieving a successful outcome in the new groups.
- It will seldom be possible to satisfy all demands for groups of friends to be kept together. This decision will lie ultimately with the Principal, who must consider the needs of every child in the class.
- In general, the decision of the principal in this matter will be final.
Supports Available to Mixed Classes
The Principal, the Class Teacher and Learning Support team will consult on how best to organise the learning support for the mixed class. In some cases, the Learning Support Teacher may work in the classroom with the Class Teacher, in a team-teaching arrangement. It is possible that the Learning Support Teacher may work in the classroom supporting one child or a small group of children, with the Class Teacher doing the main teaching of the lesson. Another arrangement for Learning Support which may suit the class is for either the Class Teacher or the Learning Support Teacher to withdraw small groups of children. Occasionally, especially in the case of Senior Infants/1st, 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th it may suit the classes better, if the teaching of Mathematics is taken separately by the Class Teacher for one class and the Learning Support Teacher for the other class. All of these arrangements must be considered on a class by class basis, from year to year.
Enrolment of New Children
The rationale behind this policy is for the formation of classes within the recommended pupil-teacher ratio. The enrolment of new children into these classes is to be avoided as much as possible, taking numbers into account. In this case, due regard must be given to the school’s enrolment policy, and the terms of Section 29 of the Education Act.
Allocation of Teachers
It is the duty of the Principal as per Circular 16/73 to assign teaching duties.
Review This policy will be reviewed annually.
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