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Multi-age Classrooms 

Multi-age Programming at Lord Wolseley School

In addition to our regular classrooms (single grade and/or combined grades) multi-age programming is available as an option for all interested families. There are two entry points to this program: in Grade 1 for junior multi-age (grades 1-3) and in Grade 4 for senior multi-age (grades 4-6). Interested parents are asked to attend a meeting with the school in the spring and complete an application form.

Multi-age classrooms…

have been in existence in Winnipeg for more than 20 years and in River East Transcona School Division since 1993
consist of three grades (grades 1-3 or grades 4-6)

  • have children staying in the same classroom with the same teacher(s) for the three years
  • have children resonably divided amongst age levels to optimize learning
  • are on option for all interested families

What are the benefits of a multi-age classroom?

Because children may remain with the same teacher for three years, there is opportunity:

  • to build a secure, consistent and supportive environment for learning
  • to build a strong sense of community and family in the classroom
  • for children to experience continuous academic, social, and emotional growth and plan for their success over a longer period of time

Because children learn to work co-operatively with peers of different ages and varying levels of abilities, there is opportunity:

  • for returning children to welcome new children and to ease the transition period from year to year
  • to build teamwork and co-operation skills
  • for children to value each others’ diversities
  • to give older children a sense of leadership and importance

Learning Centered

Multi-age classes are learning-centred. Opportunities for learning are provided through inquiry-based, connected, and meaningful studies. These experiences allow for choice and for making connections with the world in which children live. Students activley and intentionally construct learning by asking questions and experimenting. They use materials where they can use all their senses. These components are all fundamental to multi-age groupings.

How is the curriculum addressed?

Because the curriculum is delivered in meaningful, learning centred ways, it allows:

  • for thematic studies that link all subject areas together
  • the teacher to cover the curriculum in a thorough and continuous manner over three years
  • for hands-on activities that address the needs of all learners
  • for children to challenge themselves through open-ended tasks

What role do parents play in a multi-age classroom?

  • parents are essential in forming a strong home/school relationship over the three year period
  • parental involvement benefits, informs and provides a three-way communication system that is absolutely necessary
  • some parents feel comfortable committing certain days per week, others per month, others with paperwork at home and still others who make it a priority to be present at major events, such as open houses, performance evenings, etc.

Parent Choice

“ Involving parents in our program is one of the major commitments we made when we began our multi-age program. We insisted from the start that it be a parent-choice program. We believe that when parents look at the educational programs being offered and choose one that meets their child’s and their own needs, they immediately become empowered. They know from the day they register their child for school that they are partners in the education of that child.” (quoted from Full Circle: A Look at Multi-age Education, written by Penelle Chase and Jane Doan)

To find out more...

Contact the school to talk with the administrator and teachers, arrange a classroom visitation, or borrow articles relating to multi-age.

Some suggested readings:

Full Circle: A New Look at Multi-age Education. Penelle Chase and Jane Doan. Irwin. Toronto.
Multi-age Classroom: A Family of Learners. Wendy C. Kasten and Barbara Clarke. Irwin. Toronto, ON.
Multi-age Groupings in the Early Years. Linda Hart - Hewins, Una Villiers. Pembroke Publishers. Markham, ON.
A Multi-age Classroom: Choice and Possibility. Maureen McCann Miletta. Irwin. Toronto, ON.

To register

  • attend the information meeting in the spring to find out more
  • complete an application form