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Be confident, be curious, be creative

Classes and Class Allocation

Classes at Claremont are named after trees, with a slight variation on this theme for the Reception classes:

Year R – Acorns and Saplings
Year 1 – Ash and Elm
Year 2 – Maple and Rowan
Year 3 – Cedar and Hazel
Year 4 – Acer and Juniper
Year 5 – Elder and Linden
Year 6 – Hawthorn and Whitebeam

When we allocate children to classes in Reception year there are a number of factors that we take into consideration. We ensure that there is a balance of age ranges and genders across both classes. If we have twins/triplets/multiples joining the school in Reception year, we allocate classes according to parental preference. We also consult with local nursery and childcare providers to ensure that we are aware of children’s needs and to make certain that staffing is in place across both classes to meet these needs. We also ensure that there is a spread of children from all nurseries across both classes. Unfortunately, with all these factors to consider we are unable to include parental preference in our decision making process. If you are concerned that your child may not be with their best friend when they start school, we want to reassure you that children in Year R do mix across the classes, they play both inside and outside together. Please also remember that friendship groups are fluid and can, and do, change throughout children’s time at school.

Children stay in their allocated class throughout Years R, 1, 2 and 3. We do not move children across classes as a general rule. In years R, 1 and 2 class sizes are set at a maximum of 30 by law and we are not allowed to go over this number. In Year 3 we increase class sizes to 32 to have some flexibility to offer to children in our community who are on the waiting list.

At the end of Year 3 we feel that the children are mature enough for a change. By this time the balance of classes may have altered significantly since Reception year; there will have been leavers, new starters and, in Year 3, two additional children, if not more, will have joined the class. Imbalances will have appeared and class dynamics will have changed. In addition, the children are moving into the Upper KS2 part of the school. We therefore mix the classes from Year 3 going into Year 4. In the same way that Reception teachers allocate children to classes, this time the Year 3 and Year 4 teachers consult to allocate children to their new classes, taking into consideration all of the above factors and also class dynamics and friendship groups. This transition also coincides with the Year 4 residential school trip to Carroty Wood which helps strengthen the new classes with teamwork building activities. This is, therefore, a good time for a transition and it is the first step in the children’s preparation for their move to secondary school. Once classes are fixed in Year 4, children stay in their allocated class for the remainder of their time at Claremont.