“Two of the top five reasons parents give for choosing a private school are “small class sizes” and “more individual attention for my child”.
For many parents, class size is as important, if not more important, as the academic results of pupils at prep school. So what is it about small class size benefits and why is it so important? If you’re considering a prep school for your child and you’re reviewing the facilities they offer, small classes are something to seriously consider. You want your child to have the best education, and the benefits of small classes are one of the core reasons parents choose Buckholme Towers School.
What are the advantages of small class sizes?
1. They facilitate more one-on-one learning
Some schools have been criticised for not providing enough pupil-teacher support, which could be due to there being a large number of children in one class. The average class size in England is 27, with the average “small” class size being around 19 students. At Buckholme Towers, the average class size is 14 pupils. The benefits of small classes are that our teachers focus on half the number of students, allowing for more one-on-one time and increased interactions between individual pupils and staff. This will improve the children’s education by not only ensuring they get optimal amounts of attention, but your child will know the teacher cares about their work. This in turn could encourage them to work harder.
2. Struggling students can be identified quickly
Unlike in larger classes, at Buckholme Towers there is a significantly reduced chance that pupils could ‘slip through the net’, as teachers can pay more attention to each pupil. Another benefit of small class sizes is there is a reduced amount of work to mark. This means that there will be more focus on each piece of work, and each child’s level will be carefully monitored. This reduces any risk that a pupil’s education won’t get the attention it deserves.
3. Improved academic results
Research shows that students who are part of smaller classes achieve better results than those in the same age bracket who are taught in bigger class sizes. The improvement scores are across all subjects in the curriculum. Moreover, the advantages of small class sizes are most valuable for children in early school education. Studies show that pupils who were taught in small classes in primary school will continue to benefit in secondary school, even if they are in a bigger class at that stage.
4. Negative behaviour or bullying can be resolved quicker
Should any negative attitudes impact behaviour, this will be spotted quickly before it causes too much disruption. More importantly, in a smaller class, bullying between pupils can be promptly identified and put to a stop. Almost all schools operate a zero-bullying policy, but as you can imagine, if there are nearly 30 pupils in a class it could be difficult to spot the signs. The Ofsted report for Buckholme Towers found “a wide range of evidence to show that bullying is exceedingly rare”, which we attribute to the time our teachers and teaching assistants can dedicate to each pupil.
5. Pupils can’t escape class involvement
If you were one of the quiet children at school, you will remember trying to hide or avoid participation. In large classes, pupils who are lacking motivation or have low confidence have more opportunities to avoid engaging with the class which could impact their learning. The aim of small class sizes isn’t to put children in a position where they feel uncomfortable, but to develop their confidence. One of the advantages of small class sizes is that they help pupils to feel closer to their classmates so that they feel they can join in with class discussions.
6. Increased attention on their work
When students feel close to their teacher, this often encourages them to work harder. Pupils will want to continue to impress their teacher, and it can mean they put more effort into pieces of work. This means that the more time teachers get to sit with children and talk through the work they are producing, the more likely they are to want to make sure it’s good.
If you want to find out about Buckholme Towers School, complete our contact form or give us a call on 01202 742871. We are now enrolling for September 2019, so book a tour with our head of school to get a feel for the independent school that could nurture your child’s education!