Why mixed age?
Research evidences that mixed-age classrooms are beneficial for young children’s development. Not only do children out-perform peers of the same age academically, studies also show that they thrive socially and emotionally.
Mixed-age classrooms generate a family of learners who support and care for one another. Older children have the opportunity to serve as mentors and take leadership roles. These children model more sophisticated approaches to problem solving, helping younger children to accomplish tasks they would not be able to do independently whilst completing their own learning.
This dynamic increases the older child’s level of independence and competence while increasing the younger child’s spirit of belonging in a community of learners. Younger children will have the opportunity to extend their learning and increase their vocabulary whilst working alongside older children.
Mixed year classrooms are both socially and psychologically healthy because they promote friendship and provide extended contact with adults and peers of varying ages. Children in these classes therefore show a notable increase in self-esteem.