First Class Division - Whitecross NS

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First Class Division



First Class pupils are reorganised into two different classes at the end of the year. The rationale behind this is to create two classes of overall equal ability and with a similar number of pupils requiring support needs. When the children were enrolled in Junior Infants they were divided alphabetically. This type of division will more often than not result in an uneven range of abilities in each class. After three years in the school we take a once only opportunity to equalise both classes. The classes are not being divided according to ability. Streaming is not recommended in primary schools and will not be part of our policy in this school. This strategy applies at the end of First Class on an annual basis and is supported as an educational strategy by the Board of Management. It is for the benefit of the children that we have adopted this strategy.

A considerable amount of work is done by the class teachers, Learning Support Department and the principal to ensure that this process is fair to all the children and that even if some friends are separated in class that this will not be the case throughout the school day:

• Classes will be located in classrooms beside each other
• A range of joint activities for the classes take place during the academic year. This includes drama, PE, music, assemblies, field trips and other activities which will ensure the children have plenty of contact across the two class groups
• The children are consulted as to who their friends are, as part of the SPHE Programme in the school and we ensure that all children have several significant friends in their class
• They share a play area in the yard
• School trips are common to both classes
• Classes together for their First Holy Communion and First Confession practices
• This process will, in fact, give the children an opportunity to get to know even more children at their age level in the school
• The ultimate benefit for the children is when they go to secondary school as they will know many more children from their own year joining them in secondary school

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