A composite class is a class of pupils from two or more consecutive stages (year groups), for example, P1/2 or P3/4/5. Composite classes are the norm in the majority of primary schools in Aberdeenshire.
Forming composite classes
Schools are staffed to agreed standards based on the total number of pupils within the school irrespective of the number of children in each year group. Head Teachers organise their classes to make the best use of available staff, resources and space.
The Head Teacher will form classes using their professional judgement taking account of a range of criteria to best meet the educational, social and emotional needs of children. The range of criteria to be considered include the following:
- Additional support needs
- Working groups (for instance, groups of children who are together for the greatest part of their curricular experience)
- Social groups
- Levels of attainment and achievement
- Pupils’ dates of birth
- Particular family circumstances
- Gender balance
- Distribution of pupils across year groups in a particular class (only when possible within teacher staffing entitlement)
Your child is not being kept back by being in a composite class. We will make sure that your child will progress through learning experiences in line with their personal levels of attainment and achievement.
Allocation of staff
If your child is placed in a composite class you can be confident that the staff in your school will provide appropriate learning and teaching opportunities suited to his or her individual needs. Your child will be working within a programme of locally and nationally agreed curricular policies and guidelines and the activities will be appropriate for his or her age, aptitude and ability.
Children in all classes, whether composite or single year group, will follow educational programmes devised to help them progress at their own level. In addition, the schools will make every effort to involve children of any one year group in activities which bring them all together. However, it is also important that the natural identity of each class is maintained.
Class topics are used as a context for developing skills and all children will be developing the skills appropriate for their age, ability and aptitude. Quality improvement procedures exist at school and education authority levels to ensure that your child is making appropriate progress within locally and nationally agreed curriculum guidelines.
Promoting good working relationships
You should be assured that all teachers will be sensitive to the social and emotional needs of children in their classes and will be encouraging members of the class to develop good working relationships with each other. There will be many opportunities for your child to continue to be involved with his or her whole year group including a range of curricular and social activities.
Your school will keep you fully informed of the arrangements for the allocation of classes. This will be done at as early a stage as possible before the end of the current school session. If you would like to discuss further the decisions made for you child please contact the Head Teacher who will be happy to meet with you to answer any questions.