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class sizes ks3

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by little_miss_teach, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. little_miss_teach

    little_miss_teach New commenter

    is tere a suggested or even maximum class size for ks3 ? Am finding it ridiculous that my year 8 class has 35 students (dqueezed into a small room) where levels range from 7b to 5b (top set!)
  2. little_miss_teach

    little_miss_teach New commenter

    is tere a suggested or even maximum class size for ks3 ? Am finding it ridiculous that my year 8 class has 35 students (dqueezed into a small room) where levels range from 7b to 5b (top set!)
  3. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    There are suggested sizes, but no maximum as far as I am aware (other than union guidance).

    Do you teach Maths? It is common practice in maths departments up and down the country to make top sets large so that the bottom sets where the real need for less pupils is, are as small as possible. It may be that last year the set was a more manageable size, say 32, but over time new bright pupils have joined the school and had to join this group.
  4. avi


    There is no maximum size in any keystage other than KS1 (30).

    I have taught classes well over 30 for most of my long career in KS1/2, with a huge range of ability in all of them. Reducing class sizes is the one obvious thing which would raise standards, and the one obvious thing that no government has even seriously considered.

    You will, I am afraid, just have to cope as best you can, as we all have to do (or find a school with smaller classes).
  5. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    I find class sizes in UK schools to be absurd in this day and age. I taught in Victoria from 1974 to 2007, and I never had a class with more than 29 students in it, not for even one day. In 1975, I had one class of more than 25 students, and in 1981, I had two classes of more than 25 students. Apart from those three classes, every class I ever had for a full year was limited to 25 students. There were a few classes in all those years which had more than 25 students for short periods while things were sorted out. In 2005, my year 7 English classes were 14 and 16 students each. The maximum timetabled teaching load in that school when I was the timetabler was 21 48-minute periods a week (16 hours and 48 Minutes) plus a home group (nine minutes a day) plus an extra once a fortnight.

    Victorian prep to year 2 classes are limited to 21 pupils each. Overall, primary school classes in the state average 22.3 pupils, while secondary English classes average 21.6 students.

    Why are teaching and learning conditions so poor in the UK?
  6. 35, that is a lot, I have 33 in one class and I thought I had it bad. I only have enough keyboards for 32, so there are 3 on one keyboard, lol. I have been asking this question and there does not seem to be a max.
  7. avi


    As I said, there isn't.

    And as to why conditions are so poor, I have long since given up wondering. UK teachers have clearly said many, many times (for decades) that the way to raise standards (academic and behavioural) is reduce class sizes. Successive governments have ignored this entirely. It is easier for governments to refer back to the 1950s, when class sizes were in the 40s and 'standards of attainment and behaviour were much higher'. Therefore class size must be irrelevant, and it is the teachers who are at fault (as per).

    Maybe the introduction of TAs was supposed to help in some way. It doesn't.

    Once or twice, falling rolls have given me a class of 23-25 rather than 33-35. The reduction in stress (mine and the children's) and the increase in standards merely confirmed what to me is common sense; smaller classes make for better learning. End of.

    But it is foolish to hope that things will change. It would be very expensive to properly address this issue, and I doubt any government will have the desire to do so.
  8. I have over 30 pupils in nearly every key stage 3 class I teach, usually averaging around 32. My classroom is small too, and it's difficult to move kids to their own table when they're disrupting others because there's nowhere to put them! I have a couple of bottom sets where I have about 12-15 kids and the difference is amazing.
  9. Most of my KS3/4 classes are between 28 and 32. Sadly I have no more than 25 PCs in the room which means I am always eager to see who is sick/on holiday/truanting so that I can cut downon sharing (and that's assuming all the computers are working - in itself a rarity).

    By the way, we don't need to hark back as far as the '50s to get classes over 40. All through my Primary education there were 45 in my class. We also has open coal fires in some classrooms. This was 64-71!
  10. I have 38 in one top-set class, plus a teaching assistant for an SEN student with behavioural problems. In another 37, I find it difficult to get around the whole class in one lesson.
  11. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    38! 37! Unbelievable!

    I will give some more Victorian figures. The average prep class is 19.4 pupils; the average prep to year 2 class is 20.7 pupils; the average year 3 to year 6 class is 23.4 pupils; the average year 12 class is 19.7 students.

    With the extraordinarily large classes that the UK has, why are teachers not rebelling? Why do they put up with it? If Victoria can afford classes in the 20s and could do so even decades ago when it was poorer than it is today, why can?t the UK?
  12. I teach in a school with great GCSE results - tell you why? Small class sizes, I have classes as small as 12, there are classes in the school with 6 kids and an LSA, and the biggest is 22. Might be bigger in the school not sure. But it means that you teach in small groups. Fantastic.
  13. I have many classes that can't all fit in my room. I have 22 PCs and up to 32 pupils at KS3. What other subject makes pupils share as much as ICT? Do maths and english make them share excericise books, do swimming teachers give them one pair of trunks between two?

    KS4 doesn't get much better, 28 pupils between the machines, and like PAULJM I also hope that a few are off each lesson so that all machines are utilised properly without 4/5 kids looking for a machine. Maybe the unions need to start calling for a reduction in sedcondary class sizes to 25.
  14. I have just been informed that, due to a member of staff leaving prior to the Easter hols, my timetable has been changed (20:00 hrs on the evening before term stars, and one of my classes has been combined with another to create a combined class size of 41. A ta will be present for roughly 60% of lessons, although I will also have to teach them how to use the software. There aren't enough computers for the whole class and to top it off, I have some fairly disruptive students who demand constant attention. Asan nqt, I'm not looking forward to this one bit!

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