Expansion to Primary School
In December 2015 Surrey County Council's Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Educational Achievement approved the recommendation that Clandon C of E Infant School should become a primary school from September 2016.
This change has come about as the numbers of primary school age children in Guildford are increasing. Provision of junior places in the local area is necessary as fewer junior places are available in Guildford for Year 2 children leaving Clandon School. Parents were becoming increasingly concerned about uncertain progression to junior school for their children beyond Year 2 at Clandon. The conversion of the school from an infant to primary school increases parental certainty of progression for their children and provides effective long-term provision to meet the needs of local children.
The change from an infant to primary school provides the following educational advantages:
- Seamless transition from Key Stage 1 (infants) to Key Stage 2 (juniors).
- Greater opportunities for curriculum development.
- Role models for younger children, social skills in care and respect of younger children by older ones.
- Embedding of friendships within the local community for children and their families.
- More sibling visibility in the school.
- Greater opportunities for staff recruitment and development.
- Greater flexibility with a larger budget to deploy staff and curriculum resources effectively.
From September 2017 the school's Published Admission Number (PAN) will reduce from 25 to 15. The expansion will progress year by year as children move up the school, reaching Year 6 by 2019 The school will be a half-form entry primary school and eventually all classes, except Reception Class, will be mixed age. Once the transition to primary school is complete we will have four classes, as follows:
- Early Years: Reception class will be taught as a class of 15 children.
- Key Stage 1: mixed Year 1/2 class of up to 30 children.
- Key Stage 2: mixed Year 3/4 class of up to 30 children and mixed Year 5/6 class of up to 30 children.
There are a number of benefits of mixed aged classes:
- Natural - resembles family life (all children experience being the youngest, the middle, and the oldest)
- Reduces the pressure children feel when they are expected to master something they are not developmentally ready for.
- Sharpens communication skills in all children.
- Strengthens community.
- Creates stronger parent-teacher-child relationships.
- Fosters stronger social and emotional development which is key to future learning.
- Supports children's growing empathy, acceptance and ability to nurture.
- Adults understand and address individual differences between and within children.
- Adults are less likely to compare same age children.
- Often children remain with the same teacher for 2 years and revisit the curriculum on a deeper, more complex level. (When children spend a second year in a mixed class, they will not repeat the same work, as all our classes will run on a rolling curriculum plan that ensures topics are not repeated.) In core subjects of English and Maths our pupils are taught according to their ability and needs and in line with the curriculum appropriate for their year group. The key here is stage not age.
Benefits to Younger Children
- Higher rates of participation in complex play.
- More sophisticated expressive language (descriptions, vocabulary, conversations).
- Exposed to more mature problem solving strategies
- Children view themselves as strong, supportive members of the classroom and school community.
Benefits to Older Children
- Modelling positive social behaviour
- Children experiencing difficulty in regulating their own behaviour, improve when encouraged to help younger classmates
- Discover how to involve younger children in their plans
- Helps to discourage age stereotyping - children are viewed by their developmental abilities.