The Classroom and the Homeroom
To support our guiding principles of wellbeing and inclusion, the Wells Free School will be distinctive with how children are grouped.
Children at TWFS will be affiliated to two main groups. Firstly a traditional age-defined classroom, and secondly a mixed-age homeroom.
As with all standard state primary schools, children at The Wells Free School will (on the whole) be grouped according to age, and assigned to a class teacher for the duration of an academic year.
Pupils will be allocated to classes on the basis of their date of birth. This is primarily to fit in with accepted practise, both when leading in from nursery, and when leading on to secondary school. However we are very aware of individual children’s varying developmental progression. We have therefore developed our timetable to be extremely flexible, allowing for different groupings according to specific need, ability or interest, in order to meet and extend each child’s full potential.
Morning and afternoon registration (homeroom time) will happen in mixed-age groupings, as well as some of the cross-curricular and child initiated sessions.
Vertical Homeroom Groupings will necessarily take a number of years to establish, as the school builds up to having full numbers. Initially we will work on a two-year rolling programme, ensuring that each homeroom grouping stays together with their tutor, unbroken for the duration of the two years. This pioneering process will be under continual review to ensure its ongoing success.
The reasons for our vertical groupings are as follows:
- Encouraging children to get to know each other very well throughout the school.
- Enabling older children to have positions of responsibility, and roles within the class that promote a supporting, nurturing environment.
- Effective cognitive and social development through interacting with different aged children.
- Role-modelling excellent positive behaviour and expectations, by using the older children to teach the younger ones about self-responsibility etc.
- Encouraging a culture of hierarchy of authority, enabling older children to use appropriate powers of intervention where required.
- Promoting peer-support and a love of reading, as children share books with each other and read together.
- A strong emphasis on community and citizenship, supported by vertically grouped Homeroom time.
- Mixed-age classes where appropriate (removal of assumption that all children learn best in same-age cohort groupings).