Sandy Warner

Teaching with technology

Class Placements


It is this time of the year that leaders and teachers start thinking about the class placements of the children in their class for the following year. I have to admit that it is a part of my job that I spend a lot of time deliberating over and I worry immensely over how to get it right for each child in my class. On the surface it might appear to be quite easy. For example, if the child is a year 2 then he or she will go into a year 3 class. I wish it was. Teachers also need to consider the child’s academic abilities, their emotional development, social abilities, physical development, friendship groups, individual student requests and parental requests. If you work in a small(ish) school like mine, you also have to think about wether the student will be better suited in a year 2/3 composite class, a straight year 3 class or a year 3/4 class.

At our school, students details are written on coloured slips by teachers and taken to staff meetings, where they are then placed onto large sheets of paper with the class structure written at the top and how many students can go in that class. Our teachers spend hours on this process trying to get the mix right and trying to ensure that there is a balance. In the end I always feel emotionally drained. I worry right up to the day (and often after) the letters are sent home and parents are informed of what class their child will be in the following year. Most of the time we get it right but every year we say “next year we need to…”

So it made me wonder how do other schools manage their class placements? What works? Is there an easier way that helps leaders and teachers develop their classes for the following year? What processes does your school use?

I would be really interested to hear what your school does.


6 thoughts on “Class Placements

  1. Some good comments Sandy. Class placement is a difficult time and it would be interesting to hear how other schools do it. I think as teachers we usually have the best intentions for all children in our class and want to see them placed in the best spot.

  2. Totally agree it is a horrible task and I am always stressed. It would be great to see what other schools do! Good blog sandy!

  3. We do the same Sandy. Although we don’t always get it right – in fact every yar there seems to be a combination that we say ‘Wow – didn’t see that coming”. In our school numbers of students at each level dictates what our class structure will be. We try very hard to balance learning needs with social / emotional needs. It can be very tricky and I am like you – emotionally stressful and draining. Glad I am not the leadership who have to sort through and reply to all the parent / student / staff requests!

    • Thanks for your response Senga. Being a small school, our class structures are also determined by the number of students. One thing I forgot to mention is the next step of the process…do you know what class you will have before you do class placements or is that assigned after classes have been organised? Does it help the class placements to know before or should that be done after or does it matter/ influence decisions?

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