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You are here Parents School Policy on the Splitting of Classes

The guiding principles in the division of classes are to ensure, as far as is practicable, equal access to the curriculum for all children and due consideration for their educational and developmental needs throughout their school life.

Teachers, in conjunction with the Principal, are responsible for allocating pupils to classes. Parents and guardians are responsible for communicating all necessary information about a child to the school, so that an informed decision can be made on the division of classes and on allocating pupils to split or combined classes.

The preferred class grouping in order is:
1. Single split class group
2. Combined class groups of Sixth & Fifth, Fourth & Third, Second & First, Senior and Junior Infants
3. Any other combination not including classes that are preparing to receive the sacraments for the first time
4. All other combinations including classes preparing for the sacraments

The preferred time for deciding class grouping is in the last week in May each year, though circumstances may necessitate alterations to this timetable. It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to let the school know all necessary information regarding a child before the classes are divided. Parents and guardians often ask that certain children are separated – for all sorts of legitimate reasons, such as bullying, family feuds, over-reliance on the friendship of one person or separation of siblings. The school will facilitate this type of positive separation whenever possible, if given adequate notice. Once the class division is made it will not be changed.

The school is aware that the success of the class grouping depends primarily on the number of pupils in the combined group – the smaller the better. Consequently, the number of pupils in the combined classes will remain well below the numbers in the normal straight class. As a broad guideline, for every three children in a straight class there will be two children in a split class and an average maximum of 30 in the straight class.

Junior Classes
In the junior classes where two classes are to be combined, the children in each of the two classes will be of a broadly similar standard, so the teacher will be able to work with two separate groups. The actual combined grouping and the benefit to the educational and developmental needs of each child will also be given due consideration.

Middle and Senior Classes
Differences in achievement are more easily accommodated in the middle and senior classes where dependence on the teacher is not as great. However, consideration of the guiding principles will also be applied to combined grouping of middle and senior classes.

As far as possible, a child will be assigned to a combined class group once in their school life. However, if an exception occurs, a child will only be placed in a combined class for a second time after all the other children have spent a year in a combined class group.

Where a single class is to be divided into two separate classes the selection will be broadly done on an alternate alphabetical basis, taking into the account the guiding principles and the information communicated by parents and guardians. In the case of the incoming junior infants, where they are to be split into two separate classes, parents and guardians will be asked to give the name of one child that their own child is friendly with before the new infants are split. This has been the practice in recent years and has worked very well. The school considers it unrealistic for any parent or guardian to expect that all their children’s friends will always be in the same class with them, as friendships change regularly.

Drawn up in consultation with Parents Council, teachers and staff and adopted by BOM on 7th February ‘06