St FrancisChurch of England Primary School

Together in God's love, we care, trust and respect.

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Mixed Year Group Teaching- Information for Parents



From September 2024 our school organisation has changed so that we have an intake of 45 children in EYFS, who will be in two classes. Our children across Year 1 and Year 2 will be taught across mixed Year 1 and 2 classes. This model will continue with future cohorts so that the school is eventually comprised entirely of mixed year classes (Years 1/2, 3/4, 5/6) other than in Early Years.


Mixed year group teaching, whilst not currently common in Eastleigh and Chandlers Ford, has strong practice in many schools across the county, and indeed the country. As a school we have invested a lot of time and resource into researching and planning a strong curriculum for mixed year group classes, in line with both the National Curriculum and also our high expectations at St Francis CE Primary School. We have sought advice and worked alongside leaders and teachers from schools with successful mixed year group classes and Leaders and Subject Advisors from the Local Authority. We believe we have put together an excellent curriculum for our pupils in the mixed years, as well as for the school as a whole.


Our St Francis curriculum is broad and balanced, providing opportunities for children to experience a wide range of areas of learning and the full National Curriculum. It is underpinned with a rigorous approach to the teaching and learning of reading, writing and mathematics. However, all subjects have value and importance and children will experience all of them throughout their time at our school. 


All our subjects are taught progressively throughout our school with clear progressions of skills to ensure that skills and content are introduced and revisited at appropriate times throughout a child’s journey at St Francis.


Our curriculum ensures we meet all of the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum (2014), but it also goes above and beyond this, providing rich learning experiences and opportunities such as theme weeks, school trips and visitors. This also delivers excellent personal development learning for our children, as recognised by Ofsted 2024.


At St Francis CE Primary School, our curriculum aims to deliver:

Inspiration – To inspire all learners through a broad curriculum rooted in our Christian values, strong SMSC culture and the National Curriculum, that offers a wide variety of engaging and dynamic opportunities, experiences, hooks and rich texts, and motivates children to want to learn more.


Living well together – To promote tolerance and respect throughout all areas of daily school life, ensuring difference is valued and nurtured, to enable all within our community to live well together, both in school and with those in our wider communities.


Improving self – To commit appropriate support and challenge to enable all children to reach high standards of literacy and numeracy skills, that they transfer across a variety of subjects, contexts and their curriculum, through effective and high-quality teaching. To ensure our curriculum is planned carefully to build upon pupils’ prior learning and experiences so all future learning is purposeful and relevant. Above all of this, it is fundamental to our St Francis curriculum that there is an explicit focus on being well, physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.


Securing the future – To nurture and develop effective learning habits for all our pupils to grow to be well-rounded, successful role models within our school and beyond. To provide challenge and tricky learning and preparing our children to become responsible, confident and resilient learners, but also citizens, who look after our natural world, achieve economic well-being and innovate for the future.

Curriculum Organisation

We have carefully planned a two-year rolling curriculum for Year 1 and 2 to accommodate our mixed year group structure. This is coherently planned and carefully sequenced to ensure all children will receive the whole curriculum without repeating a theme/topic.


Clear progression is established throughout this process, as for each subject and topic there is clear substantive knowledge, which will be new learning for all children and also planned to include increasingly challenging facts for higher attainers, but also progressive disciplinary knowledge that is plotted through each subject’s progression of skills. These ensure that children are challenged appropriately to learn and apply skills in line with expectations for their year group and their starting points.


As the National Curriculum is organised in phases (i.e. Key Stage 1), we are able to ensure that all areas of the National Curriculum are taught fully within, and by the end of, the correct phase. This means that for children in Year 1 they will cover some areas in Year 1 and the remainder by the end of Year 2. For children in Year 2, their prior learning in Year 1 has been taken into account to ensure no repetition of themes, and that the KS1 National Curriculum is fully covered by the end of Year 2. Where the National Curriculum gives single year group objectives, these will be covered by the correct year group.


For reading, the provision will remain the same as it has for Year R, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils with RWI Phonics programme and guided reading.


Writing is carefully and thoughtfully planned, and taught, through the use of learning journeys that use quality texts, video clips or pictures as a stimulus to support writing. Children are taught explicit grammar skills appropriate to their individual starting point and in line with expectations for their year group, and are provided with opportunities to use these within context as part of their writing outcomes. Within each learning journey, pupils will explore their ideas through discussions, practice applying the new grammar skills taught, create a writing plan, compose their writing and then edit and publish their work. A mix of whole class and split inputs will be used as appropriate to the learning outcomes, supported by continuous provision and opportunities for independent learning.


Maths planning follows the Hampshire Scheme of Learning and is based on a spiral curriculum, where topics are regularly re-visited throughout the year.  Mixed year group long- and medium-term planning is used as a basis for carefully sequenced learning journeys, where key mathematical concepts for each year group are mapped alongside each other, ensuring the outcomes for Year 1 and Year 2 are securely met.  Children are taught through key models, linked to the learning outcome, alongside a process of ‘I do, we do, you do’ to support children’s developing understanding of a concept, gradually reducing the scaffold and support when appropriate for each child. A mix of whole class and split inputs will be used as appropriate to the learning outcomes, supported by continuous provision and opportunities for independent learning.


How will lessons work?

Most lessons take place as a whole class although staff plan creatively so that pupils are taught what they are needed in the way that will help them learn best. Sometimes teachers teach one year group at a time for short periods within a lesson, while the others do an activity led by the Teaching Assistant (TA), access continuous provision or work independently. This is how all classes at school work to meet a range of needs in each class, but this may happen more in the mixed classes.  


Task design for each subject is carefully planned by teachers to ensure that pupils practice the appropriate skills that they need to make progress from their own starting points; this ensures there is sufficient support and/or challenge for each pupil. Again, this is the same in all classes, however Year 1/2 teachers will be ensuring they are planning tasks that meet either Year 1 or Year 2 required skills.


On occasion, year groups will be taught separately. This may be for an input only, or for whole lessons.


In all lessons, children are given specific outcomes for their learning so that they are clear about what they need to achieve to make progress from their starting point. As outlined above, much of the substantive knowledge will be similar for both year groups as the National Curriculum is organised by phases (i.e. what they should know by the end of Key Stage 1) not by year group, and it will be the disciplinary knowledge (i.e. skills) that will be varied according to year group within the lesson.


Throughout all our classes at St Francis, expectations for children are often different and not always solely linked to age, therefore lessons and activities are varied for all classes in our school.


How will children make progress?

One of our key strengths at St Francis is the relationships formed between staff and pupils; our staff care and want the very best for each individual child. This is the same whether in a mixed year class or not and through knowing each child well, teachers are able to identify areas to support and challenge. This ensures each child continues to develop and flourish academically, socially and emotionally whilst in their class.


At St Francis we also benefit from highly skilled teachers with strong subject knowledge who are able to plan and deliver high quality, inclusive teaching to each child. In Year 1/2 we have a highly experienced team of teachers and support staff, who know the Year 1 and Year 2 curriculum well.


Our strong teaching practice uses flexible grouping within the class effectively, based up on prior learning and starting points to ensure learning is meeting the needs of each child within the class.


How will the school know the children are making progress?

In all years, teachers use assessment for learning throughout every lesson, and between every lesson, to identify where children have met the learning intended, secured skills, or where misconceptions may have occurred. They use this information to adapt future lessons and planning to ensure that all teaching and learning meets the needs of all the children in the class. This might include adapting task design to provide additional support or further challenge, planning intervention support, or adapting resources appropriately. Teachers also use more formal assessment through half termly phonics assessments and standardised maths and reading assessments at set times through the year. This use of assessment is the same whether mixed class or single year group class.


As a school we have processes in place to ensure that teacher judgements are accurate, rigorous and robust. These include teachers comparing books across year groups, phases and the school to compare outcomes and ensure consistency.


There is also frequent monitoring of pupil outcomes, progress and judgements made by teachers by members of the school leadership team. This identifies where improvements can be made to ensure all children are making progress from their starting points.


Four times a year, summative judgements regarding whether each child is on track to meet expectations are made by class teachers. These judgements are monitored by senior leaders and pupil progress review meetings are held to identify which children are not making appropriate progress and to plan actions to support, or challenge, to enable them to reach their potential.


Information is shared at each data collection review point with governors, who monitor the progress made by cohorts and the rigour and impact of actions in place to support and ensure pupil progress.


How can parents help to support their child’s learning?

  • Daily reading
  • Support weekly home learning tasks, such as spellings
  • Support child to complete mathletics, where tasks are set half-termly by class teachers
  • Access Numbots online to support maths learning
  • For Year 2 – encourage your child to use Times Tables Rockstars at home to practice fluency in maths
  • Be aware of the current topic and encourage discussion, independent activities or research at home and in the local area
  • Encourage independence, curiosity and resilience
  • Attend school events and parent meetings
  • Talk to the teacher informally if concerned – don’t wait!
  • Share home interests with school