At Semarang Multinational School, we use composite classes to help support the development and growth of all students. Our classes are currently structured as follows:
- Jawa Class – Independent Tots
- Papua Class – Preschool
- Kalimantan Class – Kindergarten
- Reception Class
- Year 1
- Year 2
- Year 3
- Year 4
- Year 5 and 6
- Year 7 and 8
- Year 9
Some Information on Composite Classes
When enrolling your child at Semarang Multinational School at the beginning of a new school year, many parents find their child placed in a multi age class. Naturally, questions arise: for the older group – will my child be held back? For the younger group – will my child be able to keep up?
Composite classes have been the source of much controversy over the years, with parents often believing that their offspring is being disadvantaged in some way. The key to understanding composite classes is realizing that growth is determined in stages and not simply by age, as is often misconceived.
Composite classes teach children who are at compatible stages – not ages. It does not mean your child is progressing more slowly or quickly than the other children. It just means that they are going through a stage either sooner or later than others. It would be ludicrous to presume that all toddlers, once they reach the age of two, are toilet trained and talk in sentences – some will, some won’t but they all will in the end. Stages of all sorts continue throughout childhood.
It makes sense then to group children who are going through the similar stage so they can relate, help and experience together. Even within the same class, children will be at different levels. Teachers recognize this and usually extend the work of those who learn more quickly and give support to those who are slower. The class then becomes outcome based and draws attention to individual needs and development and facilitates individualized learning.
Managing composite classes requires experienced teachers. Teachers at Semarang Multinational School are well-versed and experienced in conducting programs in composite classes. Separate programs are used, in most curriculum areas, for the different groups of students according to their level of development.
Research has shown children in composite classes do no better or worse academically than their peers in straight grade class, but that, socially, their development is enhanced. They are more confident, can operate better as part of a group, are more assertive, become more independent learners and better problem-solvers. They also make friends outside of their standard age-groups.
Multi-age classes have always existed. Traditionally smaller schools have had to use composite classes to place all their pupils in classes – this is still relevant in many International schools around the world.
With experienced teachers, small classes and well resourced classrooms multi-age classes provide a quality international education to all children in our community.