Teaching, Learning and Multi-Age at St Thomas
At St. Thomas, we take a ‘multi-age’ approach to classroom organisation. A multi-age classroom is one in which children of different chronological ages are grouped together, and the developmental range of children is wider that in a single-grade classroom. It is formed as a deliberate educational strategy and differs considerably in intent from a composite class, which is usually formed for administrative convenience. In a multi-age classroom, children’s developmental diversity is celebrated, valued as a part of a natural community of learners, and harnessed in subtle ways to support learning.
We have chosen multi-age as we feel it to be the best environment to foster a child’s individuality and is one that supports our child-centred, developmental philosophy of learning. Our multi-aging policy promotes positive relationships between students and teachers. Teachers know their students better through spending longer than the traditional year with them. Students are accustomed to relating to older and younger students and develop a sense of family, which is further strengthened by the secure design of our home-units. It feels natural as it is an extension of their own family at home – different ages and abilities interacting in a comfortable, happy environment.