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Mixed grades??


Welshy
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All classes are 1hr long twice a week until the higher grades when they get longer.

It is rad. It's the 1st time I think the school is running it. Until July it was all single grades, from September grade 1 and 2 together and now from jan the 3 together. There is not only the mixed grades but mixed experience as some children started the grades April and others won't start until January.

I suppose I can see why the teacher has mixed them as there has been 3 exam entries in the past year so children have moved up at different rates making the classes smaller than they would be normally. My concern as a parent would be will my child be getting as much out of class as she would have been in a single grade?! X

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I like that it seems as if the teacher would need to focus on general technique and musicality rather than learning the combinations from the syllabus which i feel that too many teachers do, and indeed I believe that the new RAD syllabus encourages that. However, the students DO need to learn set exercises specific to their grade at some point so I am wondering how this would be achieved in a mixed class.

 

Completely different situation but when I was at vocational school we regularly had classes with the level above and the level below (2 levels in class, not 3) and I found it very beneficial. We did not have to learn a syllabus though and we did have daily classes solely for our own level.

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I think a lot will depend on how the teacher runs the classes.  My DDs have both been in mixed grade classes in the past and they have worked, though it has only ever been 2 grades together and I don't think they were that young.  It does seem like a long class but at the same time when running mixed classes the teacher does need to allow time to rotate rows and grades.  For my DDs classes they would run a few exercises for each grade with the children in that grade in the front rows and kept changing them around.  It is hardest I think for those in the highest grade as consolidating technique from previous grades is nowhere near as much fun for children as learning new stuff but it can be beneficial for those lower.  Hopefully it will be a fairly short term until she can either get grade 1s up a grade or grade 2s up a grade to split it into 2 classes again.  My DDs have always preferred being in a mixed grade class with a longer lesson then a small group with a lot shorter lesson ie 30 minutes.

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I have enough problems teaching one level properly,especially if it's exam work, because there are always mixed abilities even in girls working at the same level.  I can't imagine trying to teach Grade1, 2 and 3 together.  The new work is really difficult and there is a huge difference in the abilities of a six year old to absorb and execute new steps and a ten year old.  I think it is extremely unfair on the Grade 3s.  Even if she is just teaching non-syllabus work, I don't see how it would work.  By the way, we offer hour long twice a week classes from Grade 1 upwards, but our Grade 1s are older than six.  Surely six year olds would be doing Primary or even Pre-Primary? 

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By the way, we offer hour long twice a week classes from Grade 1 upwards, but our Grade 1s are older than six.  Surely six year olds would be doing Primary or even Pre-Primary? 

My dd started pre-primary at 3, she'd have been bored out of her skull to be still doing it for that long.

 

The minimum age for taking primary is 6, so maybe the younger ones have recently taken primary and are just starting grade 1...

 

Anyway, there's a big difference in ages in one class, and I can imagine that for the more able grade 3's then they wouldn't be getting enough of a challenge in a mixed group. Sometimes it's the only way forward for small schools though.

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For Grade 1 you have to be 7 to take the exam, but I suppose you're right you could have six year olds in the class.     I find the RAD age limits rather wierd actually.  For example the minimum age for Grade 5 is 7 too, but you can only take IF at 11.  So if a kid is brilliant enough to take Grade 5 at 7 (pretty impossible I would have thought especially with the new grades) they would have to wait four years to take IF!   Anyway, that's all rather beside the point - Grade 3s would probably be better off combined with Grade 4s than Grade 1s and 2s, if you have to combine them, but definitely not an ideal situation.

Edited by Dance*is*life
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