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Linslade Lower School

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Why does the school have mixed year group classes?

The admission number set by the Local Authority for each year group is 45. This means we can admit no more than 45 pupils in a year group, the equivalent of 1 1/2 classes.

30 pupils per class is the maximum for key stage 1 and recommended for key stage 2.

As 45 is not a multiple of 30 we combine two year groups (90 pupils) to give us three classes of 30 pupils.


Although we have single year groups in Early Years (1 Nursery class and 2 Reception classes) the school budget does not allow us to replicate this throughout the school. Therefore, each key stage 2 class has year 3 and year 4 pupils in it. The organisation varies in key stage 1, currently all three classes have year 1 and 2 pupils in them, but each year we review the organisation to meet the needs of the pupils.


Requests from the Governing Body for the number to be changed have been refused by the Local Authority.

How is it possible to meet the needs of the different year groups in one class?

Firstly, it is important to remember that in any single year group class there would be a wide spread of development ('ability'), so all teachers in all schools have to adjust their planning to meet a whole spectrum of needs.

Secondly, we are confident that the children's needs are being met because our children make good progress and achieve well.

This is possible because at Linslade Lower School our teachers have experience of managing mixed year groups and are able to plan accordingly.We have a two year rolling curriculum programme so that topics are not repeated and the English and mathematics curriculum  is spread across the two years.


The progress of every child is monitored very carefully throughout the year and intervention is provided where it is required.

How often will by child be heard read?

The approach to teaching reading varies depending on the year group your child is in.


In reception the children start on our book banding system with wordless books. As their knowledge of phonics and 'tricky' (common exception words) increases they will progress to books with words. Children take their book home with a reading record and we encourage parents to hear their child for 10 minutes a day, they also have a word tin. Children read to their teacher each week individually and, as they progress, in small groups. they also have opportunities to join in with texts as a class.


Key stage 1

Children continue on the book banding system.  Teachers teach reading during guided reading sessions and in phonics lessons. Guided reading groups have 5 or 6 children in them. They read a text selected by the teacher and focus on a specific objective. Objectives go beyond just decoding skills. children have to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the meaning and will develop comprehension skills and learn to give opinions. Because the children are learning the next skill the text is usually more challenging than the home reading book. If children are not making sufficient progress we will provide intervention, this is usually 1 to 1. All children have a home reading book that they select themselves from the relevant book band. It is not necessary for the children to read every book in the book band, we have a lot of books to provide choice. We recommend 10 minutes reading at home each day. The home reading book is for consolidation of existing skills and will help to develop fluency. The children's home reading record will contain the focus objectives. Teachers do not hear the children read their home reading book.

Children who complete all 11 colour bands in the system will choose from age appropriate independent reading books. These usually have short chapters and are designed to develop reading stamina and broaden reading experience


Key stage 2

We are currently reviewing our  reading resources  in key stage 2 but children will continue to be taught in guided reading groups as in key stage 1 and intervention for children who aren't making sufficient progress will continue. We will be sending information about the changes later in the Autumn term 2016. Until then children will have a home reading book to consolidate their skills and develop stamina. We recommend a minimum of 15 minutes reading at home each day.