An older student confidently gives a lesson to his 3-year old classmate
Friends School utilizes a multi-grade classroom beginning with 3, 4, and 5 year olds and continue through 1st/2nd grade, 3rd/4th grade, 5th/6th grade, and 7th/8th grade. There are many benefits to students involved in multi-year classrooms. Students and teachers develop lasting relationships throughout the two-year time frame. Students and teachers come to a greater understanding of each other as individuals and as learners. These relationships continue throughout the Friends School educational experience as the students are reunited with former classmates every other year.
In our multi-grade classrooms, teachers approach each child from a developmental perspective focusing on each child’s next steps. A multi-classroom environment is supportive of continuous learning and conducive to active student involvement and student-initiated learning. Within a multi-classroom setting, opportunities for enhancement and reinforcement of learning are provided. Younger children learn from the older children and older children have an opportunity to take on a leadership role and share their knowledge.
Research supports that students in multi-grade classrooms show increased self esteem, more cooperative behavior, better attitudes toward school in general, increased pro-social behavior (caring, tolerant, patient, supportive), enriched personal responsibility, and a decline in discipline problems.