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Shared Classes, Shared coursework query

  • 18-06-2022 10:07pm
    Registered Users Posts: 29 wimpybeaver

    Hi All,

    Just looking to bounce a query off a few people in here that is causing me mental somersaults and I can't square the circle internally about it.

    I have a child in primary school, it's a 4 room school, 2 classes per room (Junior & Senior Infants, 1st & 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 5th & 6th). All good and things are going well so far. I just received the booklist for next year and noticed that one of the core subjects, the book for it is for the level of year he is leaving this year (1st) and not next years level (2nd). At the start of this school year I did notice they were working a year ahead and was happy because, well, it's a year ahead and my child is well-able for that.

    Basically for this one core subject, both classes in the room do the same book for the entire year. This does not happen for any of the other core subjects, so just this one. So next year, all the children in my child's year will be using a book designed for a class below them having already completed a book more advanced.

    My three main problems with this are as follows:

    1) Having already completed a book that is more advanced, I am concerned about my child now will be bored and not challenged for an entire year.

    2) Having completed a book which was actually for the year they are going into, it will be an entire year where what they learned may be forgotten and harder to remember for the following year. Since I would assume you should be building on learnings incrementally each year bit by bit.

    3) At the end of next year, they will be going into a new classroom. Depending on the "cycle" of joined learning between these two classes, there is potential that my child will be going from a book for 1st class, to a book for 4th class.

    I have lectured in 3rd level education in a previous life, so I am somewhat familiar with pedagogy theory etc, however not within the context of primary education. But the root of my problem is that each year you should be building upon the previous year, and I'm not sure how the above is a recipe for success for these children.

    Is this a common theme in primary schools? Considering all of the other core topics are taught "in the correct order", is this a staffing issue perhaps? Posing here as I'm genuinely interested in other teachers and parents opinions on this. Am I taking this up wrong?

    Thank you in advance :-)


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,810 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty

    Ask the school?It could just be as simple as a typo.If it's can always ask them why, just for your own information

  • Administrators Posts: 12,196 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Big Bag of Chips

    It's very common in shared classrooms. The curriculum is designed to cover 2 years. So 1st and 2nd class is designed to cover specific topics/concepts/methods. So, the 2nd class book is not necessarily more difficult than the 1st class book. It's all aimed at covering the curriculum over 2 years. 3rd class doesn't just build on what was learned in 2nd class. 3rd AND 4th class build on what was learned in 1st AND 2nd class.

    I suppose you could liken it to secondary school where the junior cycle curriculum is taught over 3 years. Whether the teacher starts in the last chapter of the Science book on day 1 or the first doesn't really matter. The book doesn't get more difficult as the chapters go on. It's just different topics that will all be covered over the course of the curriculum.

    There are schools all over the country where classes are in a shared classroom and this is a very common way of teaching the curriculum. Better for her to now learn the 1st class stuff than just repeat the same book she already had last year. 3rd and 4th class curriculum is different so she would not/should not be moving on to a 3rd class book yet. And repeating the 2nd class book wouldn't be any benefit.

    Post edited by Big Bag of Chips on

  • Registered Users Posts: 29 wimpybeaver

    I did, it's not a typo. The why was not forthcoming apart from, thats what we always do.

    Thank you very much for this explanation! If thats the case, I can work with that and have no fears about the jumping levels. I'm glad I asked now and found out :-)

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,810 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty

    PIty they didn't just explain that to you!

  • Administrators Posts: 12,196 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Big Bag of Chips

    You'd think that'd be the simple response!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 744 ✭✭✭ afkasurfjunkie

    It’s probably the Irish book ya? It’s fairly common in double class situations. The books are alternated each year. The class teacher will adjust the work for the class so that second class will be stretched a little more than first. They might do extra worksheets, be expected to write a bit more, get different spellings or reading.

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 12,365 Mod ✭✭✭✭ byhookorbycrook

    I’ve taught in multi grade classes and even in 2 teacher schools and the explanations given here are spot on. Each pair of classes complete a two year programme in most curricular area . And remember that the text book is only a support , not the sum total of curricular provision. Children become more independent in their own learning as well.

    It’s fantastic for the children as they get the benefits of listening to the older children and also being the older class !

  • Registered Users Posts: 29 wimpybeaver

    These are great answers , thanks a million :-)

    Yeah, the school itself needs some work on communication. I guess when you work in a certain area, you forget that some things are not as obvious to others who do not have that experience as they are to you. Happens in my own work too haha

    Again, thanks a million everyone!!