Absolutely!

It can be challenging to know what resources or programs will be needed for Multi-Age and split year classes. This is because teaching these classes undoubtedly means the range of abilities that you are catering for in your classrooms is quite large. There can even be occasions when a class may have students in ALL of PLD’s stages within one classroom.

HOW DO I GROUP STUDENTS WITH SUCH A LARGE RANGE IN ABILITY?
It is important to remember that students are constantly being exposed to, and are learning above their level/stage, as well as revising down the previous levels, while the teacher reads and sounds-out each of the phonic-based word lists to the whole class. Yes, students have their own allocated stage/lists, but they should be absorbing learning beyond that allocated level.

We can always find a way to group students into three targeted groups. Rather than a narrow focus, widening the parameters of each group can assist. Students who participate in intervention and focus support groups (i.e. Tier 3 students) may not fit with your whole class grouping. You may need to combine groups and use split lists. See example below of two grouping options for the same group of Year 3 students:

6 Groups vs 3 Groups

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT I ONLY HAVE THREE GROUPS?
Three groups will make the explicit teaching of phonics concepts a manageable process. Additionally, it helps:
Classroom teachers to cope with different ability groups within their class, without streaming, cross setting etc.
Effective dictation delivery. Athough some teachers can manage the teaching and delivery of spelling tasks to 4 - 6 lists, rarely will these teachers be able to deliver 4 - 6 phonic dictation passages within the 30 minute SSP session.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT PROGRAMS I NEED?

In every classroom, no matter the makeup of age ranges, you will need to cater to your student’s needs. The answer to what programs you will need is data driven: after you have screened your students they will be grouped into three main targeted teaching groups. For help with interpreting your class’ data you can request support HERE.

You may need a wider variety of resources at your fingertips ranging from The Early Years, Foundation, Years 1 & 2 to Years 3, 4, 5, & 6, but your Structured Synthetic Phonics lesson plan remains the same.

Essential Starter Packs
If you require assistance with deciding what programs your class requires please reach out to our School Support Staff who will be happy to help you.
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