Classroom Organisation at The Wells Free School.
We have one class base per year group, starting at Reception, with 24 children in each class. Classes are named after famous historical medical characters to reflect our location, based as we are on the site of the old Kent and Sussex Hospital.
For much of the time, pupils learn in their classes with their class teacher. However, our teachers carefully plan the lessons to ensure all children are successful in their learning. This means that some children will need additional support to achieve the lesson's objectives whilst other children will be learning at a greater depth. All our children are challenged to achieve the very best outcomes.
This stage not age approach to teaching and learning aims to ensure that all our pupils get the best possible learning opportunities at a level appropriate to their own, individual needs.
Children are given access to a range of challenging activities, appropriate to their starting points. The teacher decides which children will need additional support or challenge, and plans their own involvement and intervention accordingly. A Teaching Assistant may also be assigned to work with an individual or small group of children. Resources (or manipulatives) are also used to both support and extend learning.
Pupils may also work in vertical groupings (across the age ranges) for certain activities. There are a number of enrichment opportunities planned throughout the term for the children in the school to work collaboratively and experience real-life situations.
Teachers plan together for the core subjects of English and Maths, and also for the termly themes. Team teaching, where two or more teachers combine their classes and deliver an input together, happen regularly, and enable teachers and support staff to share their varied skills and expertise.
Once a week, class groups move around the school to each teacher in turn, to benefit from subject specialist teaching. At the moment, the subjects taught are French, Music, Computing and RE. This approach has a number of benefits, including the opportunity for children to learn from teachers who have a special interest in their subject, the chance for them to experience different teaching approaches and members of staff, and from a professional development point of view, the opportunity for staff to develop their skills and interests, bringing an enthusiastic, fresh approach to their chosen subjects.