mixed age groups

 A Note From The Director…

Why Mixed-Aged Groups?

Mixed age-group classes most closely resemble our own families. They are special groups of people who support and take care of each other. Mixed age groups of two through five year olds learn how to care, help, work, play and cooperate with each other. Children learn from one another as they interact in a school setting. Their social and intellectual development is enhanced by this method of age grouping. This mixture of ages allows the children to learn from each other. The older children help the younger ones with various problems and activities which allows the younger children to become more independent and not to rely totally on adults. The older children learn to be patient and tolerant of others, especially as the younger children learn accepted social behaviors. They are often wonderful at soothing hurt feelings or helping new children to adjust. Older children reinforce (emerging) concepts they have learned or are developing by teaching their peers. Younger children model appropriate social and academic strategies by watching their older peers.

Learning in a mixed age group stimulates greater interest and encourages cooperation. The younger children learn through observation of the older children. The older student also has the opportunity to become a leader and reinforce their knowledge as they help their younger friends. Mixed age groups enhance both younger and older children’s motivation and self-confidence. This legacy of responsibility and helping others is the focal point of the mixed age-group setting.

Our mixed-age classroom is a rich and sensitive learning environment that fosters a healthy disposition towards acquiring knowledge by respecting the learning needs of all group members. The mixed-age group offers the children an enriched, well rounded and child-based curriculum that fosters independence, empathy and cooperation. What each child learns is guided by his or her individual readiness, ability and interest, and not by their age. There is acceptance of the different levels of competencies.

Within our classrooms, teachers become aware of individual children’s stages and in turn, provide the appropriate materials and experiences to build upon every child’s Cognitive, Physical, Language and Social-Emotional Development. We guide our children through curiosity, creativity, discovery, hands-on explorations and sensory experiences. Our learning environment is especially designed to meet the diverse intellectual needs of the group. The classroom offers a wide and complete range of materials covering introductory activities for the novice learner as well as challenging experiences for the advanced learner.