Skip to content ↓

Our Classes

Class Structure

Children spend 7 years at primary school, split into three different stages:



The Early Years Foundation Stage. The ‘Reception’ year at school where children enter at 4 years old. The curriculum is explained in the assessment section of our website. The curriculum is very play / child led based.

KS1 -Key Stage 1- Years 1 and 2 (age 5-7)

The curriculum is more formal and with around 2 hours per day focused on core English and maths skills. Children are given statutory assessment tests (SATs) at the end of this key stage (tests are taken in the May of a pupil’s time in Y2).

KS2 – Key Stage 2 – year’s 3-6 (age 7-11)

Children continue to build on the core skills they have learnt through EYFS and KS1. Children are given statutory assessment tests (SATs) at the end of this key stage. These tests are taken in a set week in the May of a pupil’s time in Y6 and are sent to the DfE (department of education) to be externally marked.

As Great Waltham C of E VC Primary School only has 6 classrooms and our number to admit for each year group is 23; we do have classes where children are from two year groups. For the past five years, 2020-21, 2019-20, 2018-19,  2017-18 and 2016-17 we have been able to place EYFS, Y1 and Y2 in single age group classes due to numbers. Class Africa is not a full sized classroom and has capacity for around 20-22 children only. So, for that reason it may be necessary to place a small number of Y2 children in Class Antarctica in any given academic year.

In KS2 it is not possible to have single year group classes as there are over 90 children, for three classes in four year groups. The class structure for 2021-22 is listed in this table:

Class Name Structure
Class Australia EYFS only
Class Antarctica Y1 only
Class Africa  Y2 only
Class Europe All the Y3 children and a small % of Y4 children based in cohort size.
Class Asia The majority of Y4 children and around 60% of the Y5 cohort
Class North America All the Y6 children and around 40% of the Y5 cohort.

For any mixed age class in the school the criteria for placing children is based mostly on academic attainment and progress. The school teaching staff meet around three times in the spring and summer terms to finalise the lists. To use a child in Y3 as an example, if they were not yet secure in their core (English and maths) skills it is more appropriate for them to stay in Class Europe (Y3/4 class) to consolidate their skills rather than be placed with the older class (Y4/5).  If we cannot separate the groups through academic criteria we look at other factors (friendship groups, maturity, number of boys / girls in the class etc).

Please be aware that this process is explained fully to and supported by our Board of Governors. Whilst we understand parents may not agree with the choice of class for their children we ask you to respect the decision of the professional teaching staff. If you have any queries about placement in classes please arrange to speak to your child’s class teacher or the headteacher. We are of course more than happy to explain the rationale but the decision is final and cannot be appealed. The Board of Governors have agreed to this.