Multi-Age Grades & Our Targeted Teaching Approach
At Kalinda, after their Foundation year, students go into 'multi-age' grades. Instead of a straight Grade 1 class, our Grade 1 students go into a mixed class with Grade 2 students. Similarly, we have 3/4 and 5/6 students learning together in our open plan modules.
One question we often get asked on tours is 'How do your composite grades work? Wouldn't they be harder to teach than straight grades?"
The first thing to clarify is that we use the term 'multi-age' rather than 'composite'. The reason for this is that 'composite' is a traditional term that in most people's minds triggers the idea of Grade 1 students being taught one thing and Grade 2 students being taught another while one poor teacher tries to juggle double the work load.
Kalinda's learning environment is completely different to this. We believe that the best teachers take no notice of a student's 'grade label'. Instead of teaching the Grade 1 curriculum to every student in Grade 1, we look at where each individual student is at in their learning. Our teachers then work in teams to target students at their exact points of need in any given subject area and move them towards achieving their next learning goal.
We know from research that in any class, even 'straight' grades, there can be as much as a 6 to 7-year gap in ability level between the highest achieving 10% of students and the lowest 10% of students in any specific learning area. So any belief that organising a school into single year level grades helps to solve the issue of students being at different levels in their learning is simply incorrect.
In any class at Kalinda, there are students working at all different levels of the curriculum based on their own learning journey, not on a Grade label.
For example, a Grade 3 student may be doing extremely well in Number and working through the Grade 4 curriculum, but may struggle with Reading and be working more at a Grade 2 or 3 level. Our aim in each case is to meet that student at their point of need and progress them to the next level, no matter which level their starting point may be.
We are proud of our personalised learning programme, and encourage you to come in and see it at work for yourself!