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Oldfield Primary School

A community of proud and resilient children who are learning to take their place in the world.

Mixed Age Classes in Years 1/ 2 and Years 3/4 

A mixed age class is one in which there are children who are from more than one year group of the primary school. For example, one class may contain pupils from year 1 and year 2 who will be taught together by one teacher.

How are the classes at Oldfield structured?

September 2022

Nursery ACORNS-Nursery age children only

Reception OAK and ASH.  These classes are comprised of Reception children only

Mixed Class YEW- Year 1 and 2

Mixed Class SPRUCE- Year 1 and 2

Mixed Class PINE- Year 1 and 2

Mixed Class SYCAMORE- Year 3 and 4

Mixed Class WILLOW- Year 3 and 4

Mixed Class BIRCH- Year 3 and 4

Discrete Year Group- Maple-Year 5. One class due to low numbers

Discrete Year Group- Acer- Year 6

Discrete Year Group- Palm- Year 6


Why are mixed age and split year group classes formed?

In many schools, across the UK, there are small numbers of pupils in each year group and not enough to create full classes. A school is funded by a grant for each pupil, therefore if there are too few children in a group, the funding would not adequately cover the cost of a teacher. In these cases, it is more effective to combine year groups into mixed age classes. However, by law, the number of children in any year 1 or 2 class is always limited to 30 pupils .

A decrease in pupil numbers across London is particularly affecting schools in the Greenford area. By combining classes at Oldfield, our budget is now better spent on resources and focussed support.

How is the curriculum taught?

English: This is taught as a whole class and as before, teachers will work with small focus groups in a mixed age class, to address the particular targets each child will have. Our English Scheme, the Literacy Tree, has planned sequences of learning specifically for mixed age classes. For several years now, phonics in year 1 and 2 has been delivered in ability sets.

Maths: Many of the objectives in maths are repeated from year to year with progressively harder work introduced at each stage. Teachers would be able to teach the whole class and through assessment, determine when each child is ready to be moved onto more complex learning.

Other Subjects e.g. Science, Humanities and Arts:

For mixed age classes we operate on a two-year cycle. This means that over 2 years, children  study all the content of the 2 year groups. Certain facts are regularly reviewed at the beginning of each topic so pupils are able to build on what they have already learned.

For example, the year 3 children used to study the Egyptians and in year 4 the Romans. Now, the mixed year 3&4 group study Romans in the first year of the cycle and Egyptians in the second.

Will my child be held back if she/he is placed in a mixed age or split year group class?

No. The ways in which learning and teaching are organised in primary schools means that teaching and work is tailored to the needs and current achievement levels of individual pupils.

Good teaching in any school does not only focus on the content of the current year group but adapts to make sure individual children have fully mastered each topic in depth.

The fact that much of the curriculum will be delivered on a two-year cycle, while revisiting   previous content, actually benefits the children. We will continue to monitor the learning in split year groups to ensure the pupils are making good progress.

What are the benefits to the arrangements?

Children benefit in many ways from the opportunity to become an ‘expert’ for the younger children and a positive role model which the younger children often aspire to. This ‘vertical’ grouping often nurtures thinking & problem skills, vocabulary, and social skills. There is often a greater sense of cooperation and opportunities to work with a wider circle of peers.

If a mixed age or split year group class is formed, how are decisions taken about which children should be allocated to which class?

When we mix classes, we take a number of influences into consideration and make a professional judgment based on this. Split year groups will be considered very carefully, depending on each cohort of children. These include

  • social learning group
  • emotional development
  • readiness to learn
  • stage of learning
  • gender and age (balance of class and year group)
  • additional needs

What do the children think?

So far the children have adapted well and say they make friends with children in their class who are not in their year group. The older children feel a sense of responsibility for the younger ones who in turn thrive from the support of their older peers. They are happy that they have the opportunity to play with friends in their own year group at playtimes.

If you have any further questions about Mixed Age classes then please contact the school office to speak to a member of the Leadership Team.


Mr J.McCormack- Headteacher