We look forward to welcoming students back to the Academy, and hope that they’ve had a well-deserved, restful break. As you’ll be aware, we follow a mixed-middle approach rather than using ability sets at KS3. This means that students are instead grouped with peers who have similar strengths and areas for development, allowing our staff to better tailor learning to each child’s needs.
Year 7 students joining the Academy last term have been initially taught in their Tutor Groups, allowing them to settle into Academy life, and for us to get to know them better before determining the most appropriate groups. We are really pleased with the exceptionally positive start that Year 7 have made, and look forward to them moving to their new groups from Monday 1st November. Students will be provided with their updated timetable, and their Personal Tutor will be able to answer any questions that they may have.
We continually monitor and review how all of our students are progressing, and as such, changes continue to be made from time-to-time as students tackle and excel in new challenges. Students moving to more appropriate groups in other Year Groups will also receive new timetables.
Why do we use a mixed-middle rather than ability set approach?
We find that by ability setting students, they often feel limited to the progress that they will make, or they can form an unrealistic expectation of their ability if they compare themselves to peers. Our mixed-middle approach ensures that students are taught in a more natural environment of varying abilities, and that staff can easily target groups who require additional support with specific topics and/or skills, whilst also ensuring that all students are appropriately challenged.
What is the rationale behind a group change?
Groups will change in response to individual student development. A student may become more proficient in a certain area, and as such would be better suited to joining a group working on areas that the student is less comfortable with. Also, as the curriculum progresses and new concepts are introduced, students may require additional support with previously taught concepts in order to better grasp the new concept. Groups are fluid to allow for this flexibility.