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Mixed year 3/4 class help and support

Discussion in 'Primary' started by TARYNB, May 28, 2017.


    TARYNB New commenter

    Next year I am moving into a mixed year 3/4 class.
    This is the first time our school has done this (due to a very small year group) and I am worried about HOW it works.
    How does English and Maths work? Do you teach year 3 and 4 separately? Maths I can see working - using different numbers and adapting etc. But I am unsure of English as the objectives are very different in terms of technical things.

    Thank you in advance

  2. qforshort

    qforshort New commenter

    Are there 2 of you teaching?
  3. Monty1983

    Monty1983 Occasional commenter

    I have just finished teaching mixed 3/4 for a maternity cover having always taught Y3 and I LOVED it. I used the Y3/4 objectives (which are the same) and planned for differentiation by ability of children rather than by year group. I did only have 15 children but it worked beautifully and we got especially good results in English. We did whole class Guided Reading too and the questioning from Year Four brought on our Year Theee readers. The more able became tiny teachers in maths and although they were taught together for input, I differentiated starters (which were on the board for them to complete in their jitters) then taught whole class input and set off one group, while I then went round and extended or consolidated for the children who needed it. In English, I found texts/genre which inspired them whilst also teaching SPAG through this and this also worked. I did find I still needed to 'teach' spelling separately but I think that was the cohort rather than the mixed age and I'd recommend Grammasaurus and Hamilton for inspiration. Good luck, it's a great age I think and I miss it a lot!
  4. Monty1983

    Monty1983 Occasional commenter

    Ooh and Literacy Shed too. We enjoyed Science fiction using the videos from there with guided reading using Space Baby and The Iron Man and they also loved Harry Potter for nonfiction (a prospectus, information about the studio tour and school report) and Charlies and the chocolate factory for narrative, not to mention writing to their favourite authors and waiting for a reply!
  5. lrw22

    lrw22 Senior commenter

    I would say that in maths base your teaching on the year 4 objectives and differentiate downwards. There may be some year 3 objectives that are very different that you need to cover but it generally doesn't hurt the older members of the class to briefly revise/ recap these. As for literacy, as Monty has suggested, set the children the same writing task but provide success criteria that clearly sets out what you want different children to include. I have taught mixed year group classes for years and generally find that it really brings your lower year group on. We also cover the curriculum over two years so that by the end of year 4 all the children will have covered everything they need to in lower key stage 2 if you see what I mean. This could be more difficult if this is a "one off " arrangement for your school though.

    TARYNB New commenter


    Thank you so much for your replies.

    It has helped a lot. This is kind of what we were thinking anyway - so its really good to know people have used this method and it has worked. The year 2 at the moment (my current year) are very low but I am hoping the split/mix with support them and bring them up like you guys have said.

    We will need to to a two year rolling but I'm unsure of how this will work in the future if we have two full year groups. At the moment we have 36 year 2's and 50 year 3's. (who will be mixing). I imagine if results are good we will keep this up.

    Thank you so much again.

    I will no doubt be back to ask lots of questions once everything has been finalised!

    allybongo300 likes this.

    TARYNB New commenter

    There are 3/4 of us

    3 mixed year 3/4 classes.
    Two with their own teacher and then one class with a job share.
  8. qforshort

    qforshort New commenter

    You'll be great then. Gives you a chance to play around with groupings. For example, when we had mixed 5/6 we had top set y6 with a small group of very able (old school level 5a/6), then we had a very mixed year 5/6 middle group and then a lower 6/lower middle to bottom 5 group. It depends on your system. You might work in classes but it does give scope there being 3 of you.

    As many people have posted, use y4 as your starting point for planning and use it as an exciting opportunity to pull up your Year 3s and don't get too bogged down in differences in curriculum. You'll be amazed by how much is the same across reading and writing. Just watch out for SPAG and spelling differences particularly. Even large sections of maths will only need to be differentiated slightly either way. Go with your gut and it'll work out great i'm sure

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