Benefits of Mixed Age Groups 

By Teacher Shannon

When sent to school students are often separated by age group. Depending on their age and birthday they will be placed in a group with students in the same age group as them. Prior to this the student may have been surrounded by adults, siblings of various ages, or even cousins. This is most likely the first time the child will be around many students of the same age. Although each year group will have goals to work on and hopefully achieve throughout the school year each student will be at different places in their development. 

At school students have various opportunities to interact with students from different age groups. During outdoor times, class collaborations, free play, project exhibitions, class assemblies, and school wide events students at Kidz Village have many opportunities to interact with their fellow peers. This can be extremely beneficial to both the older and younger students. 

For younger children it can help build their confidence to be around students who are older than them. They can build friendships while enhancing their language and behavioural skills. Younger kids can observe and notice how various skills are completed without having the skills to complete them yet. They may even build the confidence to try something new that may challenge them a bit, but they would not know if they can do it until they try. 

Older children have the opportunity to be role models for younger students. They can gain skills such as empathy for younger children, they can practise teaching and demonstrating different skills to their peers, as well as build a sense of responsibility. Older students can become leaders in their community which helps them build on their own independence. 

For all students involved in mixed age groups there are only positives to gain. A child old or young may not always see someone in their own class that they can relate to or see themselves in. When we open up the school to provide more opportunities for students to mingle with students from different age groups it provides more chances for that child to find a role model, someone who they can relate to, and hopefully more friends. 

Overall having a school community that works together and sees every member of the community as someone who can benefit the team is a school that will be successful.