The multiage classroom is an environment where children of different ages and year levels are intentionally placed together, where graded distinctions are minimalised and where teaching and learning make use of the range of knowledge inherent in the group. It recognises that students not only learn differently but at varying rates.
Child centred learning is at the heart of multiage philosophy. Students are the beneficiaries. We promote a diverse environment where children do not feel the need to compete, only to do their best. They develop a positive self-concept and enjoy being both the nurtured as a Foundation student, and the nurturer as a Year Two.
Multiage classroom teachers become adept at developing lessons with differentiated assignments that appeal to the various developmental levels in the class. Younger and older students are catered for by the depth of questioning and the actual task assigned to the individual student. During their three years together, student and teacher relationships grow and strong bonds develop between student and teacher.
As an International Baccalaureate PYP school we have adopted a transdisciplinary approach to curriculum integration – speaking and listening, reading, writing, spelling, unit of inquiry. This approach dissolves the boundaries between these conventional disciplines and organises teaching and learning around the construction of meaning in the context of real-world problems or themes.
We use the Readers’ and Writers’ Workshop model to develop literacy skills. Workshops are deliberately designed to offer a simple and predictable environment so that the teacher can focus on the complex work of observing students’ progress and teach to their needs.
Each session begins with a mini lesson and ends with independent work tailored to consolidate the learning. During independent tasks the teacher works with a focus group or confers with individual students. Workshops end with a reflection time.
During literacy sessions we focus on the promotion of oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary development (word meanings), reading fluency and comprehension.
The mathematics curriculum aims to develop useful mathematical and numeracy skills for everyday life, work and as active members in a technological world. Hands on activities provide opportunities for students to see connections and apply mathematical concepts, skills and processes to pose and solve problems.
The mathematics curriculum comes under three strands – Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability.
Carefully planned hands on activities and games –
- strengthen the use of mental estimates for calculations, problem solving equations and incorporation of algorithms and coding
- develop the ability to use measuring tools, rulers, thermometers and scales, and to estimate with these tools to quantify the world around them
- build an awareness of the properties of shapes, points, space, positions or angles, and patterns
- collect, organise and interpret data and
- judge the likelihood and probabilityof events occurring based on known quantitative data or a collection of data