The multi-aged classroom was envisioned by a group of parents of RSS students who were looking for a more wholistic approach to learning for their children. Teacher, Bridget O’Malley, came forward as a professional who would like to teach a multi grade class where students and their parents value experiential learning and community.
The multi-aged grouping strives for continuous progress for each student. The focus is always on the next step for each individual. The program includes authentic assessment based on individual needs without comparison to others in their grade, rather where they fit in the continuum toward learning outcomes to be met by the end of grade 5. Each student works on their personal goals based on their strengths, needs, interests and readiness. This is done without the arbitrary lines set for only one single grade.
Parents and families are an integral part of the school community. The multi-aged classroom at RSS includes one day a week, Friday, as a coordinated by the school homeschooling day. Parents will be expected to facilitate the work and progress being made by their child at school for 5.5 hours per week at home. The teacher assigned to the class will be co planning a homeschool plan. Parent involvement will also be evident in the school, classroom, and community building activities.
By having one teacher from grades two to five, we believe that the students and teacher can build healthy relationships with each other based on trust, understanding, and mutual respect. This can only enhance the learning journey for each child.
Though the multi-aged classroom lends itself to a personalised and inquiry based learning model, the classroom will be structured with a literacy and numeracy program to ensure that students are continually moving forward with their learning.
RSS multi-age classroom will deliver Learning Outcomes as set out in the BC curriculum. There will be a focus on skills, knowledge and attitudes in a personalized setting and not on grade specific content. Inquiry based projects will be a focus for students to gain knowledge. Reading, writing and numeracy will continue to be a major focus throughout the years in the program.
All school district and school based assessments will continue to occur in the multi-age classroom (ie, reading assessments, writing assessments, and Foundation Skills Assessment, grade 4). This will provide us with data supporting that the students in this class are moving forward along the learning continuum.
- The week runs Monday through Thursday leaving one day a week for home learning activities. Although families will not be expected to fulfill this requirement on Fridays it will be expected that each student will receive approximately 5.5 hours of home learning per week.
- The teacher is responsible for assessing all of the child’s work including that done at home.
- Arts programs, sports programs, community service clubs etc. are examples of programs that can contribute to the homeschool portion of the program if it fits the individual student’s goals as determined by the teacher and parent in cooperation.
- Families meet face to face with the teacher in the fall and spring to discuss the student’s individual learning celebrations, and goals; and to create, and revise home learning plans.
- Parents will be a partner to co- develop a homeschool plan in consultation with the teacher, asking for help when needed, and helping facilitate student learning.
- The teacher will be working in the program and in the school on Fridays.
The Multi Aged Student
The Multi-aged class is open to all learners going into grades 2-5; however, it may not be the right choice for all students. There are some qualities that help to make learners more successful in the program.
To be successful in a multi-aged class, students should ideally be:
- a team player
- hard working; good work ethic
- resilient (not going to give up when faced with the challenge of being immersed in a learning environment)
- good organizational skills
- an eager learner
- interested in completing the program to the end of grade 5
Multi-aged classroom community
Parents of students enrolled in the Multi-aged program play a critical role in supporting their child in the program and in turn the level of success he or she experiences. Ideally, parents should be:
- supportive of the program
- honest about their child’s abilities, skills and competencies
- willing to support their child through the challenges of learning in an alternate environment
- committed to supporting their child in the program through to the end of grade 5
- committed to home schooling 5.5 hours per week following the child’s plan
- committed to volunteering in the classroom
Class size and composition
The program will be open to students within the age range for grade 2-5.
The class will be no larger than 24 students and must fit within the constraints of the staffing provided to the school in each given year.
In the first year of the program, ideally we will look to have 5 – 6 students per grade age to ensure an equal mixing of age groups and to ensure we have a multi-aged classroom, leaving room for students in the second year.
Class size each year will be determined based on staffing and class sizes throughout RSS. The class will only run if it can fit within the staffing assigned to the school and this will be determined yearly.
Student report cards will continue to follow the new RSS report cards. These are based on BC performance standards and show a great deal of information with respect to a student’s movement on the learning continuum. They will also include what your child can do now, next steps in their learning and some strategies for your child to work on.
On going communication will occur. It will be expected that all parents attend parent teacher conferences in the fall. Parents can always set up appointments with the teacher and school principal at any time.
How does the multi age class fit with the rest of the RSS structure?
The students in the multi-age classroom will:
- Have the same time frame for start, finish, recess and lunch as the rest of the school
- Have access to learning assistance, student support services and any other supports available school wide
- Join arts starts programs provided by the school district
- Join field trips and grade wide activities
- Join school wide activities/ assemblies/dances etc.
- Join Friday activities/ assemblies as they choose
Students will be selected for this class by the school principal and vice principal as with all other classes at RSS. If you think you would like your child and family to be part of this class please send an email to Karen Lavender firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15th indicating your interest. Final decisions on classroom placements remain with the school.
This program is not for all children and families. The multi-aged classroom has fewer same age peers. The students learn to focus in an unexpected environment where each day can have a different structure. The homeschool aspect requires that both students and parents be motivated and are able to set aside adequate time to fulfill this comittment.