Hi, my name is Stephen Bevan and I am Principal at Madeley Primary School in Perth, Western Australia. Research shows that open and clear communication between home and school is important which is why I have created this blog. As Principal of Madeley Primary School I value your opinions and encourage your comments. Feel free to comment on any of the posts. Comments are moderated prior to going live on the blog.

I will endeavour to provide you with regular and informative posts about our school and its activities. I ask that your comments be constructive and positive with any concerns or complaints directed to me personally at school.

Madeley Primary School prides itself on the positive, open and friendly culture that has been established. Our core values of Curriculum, Community and Care are guiding principles that shape our school.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Creating Classes

This week we will start the process of creating classes for the commencement of the 2015 school year. Teachers are working as a team to assign students to classes based on their knowledge of each child and their learning requirements. We thank parents who have submitted requests/suggestions about their child’s placement for next year. These requests will be considered as part of the placement process. Class lists will be placed outside the Library by Wednesday December 17. Parents are reminded that there is a very real chance that the classes will need to change at the start of or early in the school year. 

When creating classes we need to (where possible) ensure that student numbers in each class do not exceed the recommended numbers agreed to by the Department of Education and the State School Teachers’ Union. If this does occur we need to negotiate with teachers how this will be managed in order to support teachers with additional students. When there is a substantial growth in student numbers a school restructure is required. We cannot commence the school year with large numbers of empty seats as this impacts on the funding that we receive. The challenge is to try and create classes that leave enough spaces to allow for new students who may enrol. This becomes even more challenging when new housing is being built in the area as we do not know how many additional students we will receive or when they may start arriving. 

One problem that we always face every year is parents who do not like the class that their child has been placed in. While we do our best to accommodate reasonable requests this is not always possible. The trouble we have is that once class lists go on display it is difficult and often impossible to make changes. This is because we structure classes to try and allow room for new enrollments from all the various year levels. Thus, if one parent wants their child moved it can have a serious impact on the whole structure and sometimes means that another child must be displaced (swapped) which is not fair.  I hope this information provides you with an idea about the intricacies of creating classes which we go through every year. Student placements are not made lightly and a lot of experience and professional knowledge goes into creating the best classes possible.

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