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NSW education ‘stages’ instead of years.


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#1 Caribou

Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:14 AM

This year and all schools in surrounding areas have switched from saying year 1/2/3/4/5/6 and now call them stages.
The school sent a letter of waffle about it but nothing that actually explained why stages is the new thing. What’s the point? Benefit? It seems almost like all classes are now composite for that reason too.

Can anyone explain? I tried googling but got nothing from DoE website.

#2 mayahlb

Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:17 AM

It actually related to the Australian curriculum. Each stage is covered over 2 years in primary school (joe sure about high school but it’s probably likely). FYOS is foundation. Yr 1-2 is stage 1, 3-4 is stage 2, yr 5-6 is stage 3. However I don’t know of any schools that actually call it that except when advertising for teachers.

From how is was explained to me each stage covered certain concepts, the first year covered in the basic concepts and then the 2nd year covering it in more detail. E.g. yr 3 for my little kid is learning the easier times tables. In yr 4 they will consolidate them. They learned it as groups and skip counting in stage 1. Then in stage 3 (my current yr 5 kid) they learn multiple digit multiplication and multiplication with decimal points etc.

Edited by mayahlb, 13 June 2019 - 08:31 AM.


#3 Riotproof

Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:17 AM

I don’t think it’s a new thing. Our school refers to it a lot.

When I was at primary school we have infants which was k-2 and the rest.

Kindergarten
Stage 1 year 1 and 2
Stage 2 year 3 and 4
Stage 3 year 5 and 6

It’s because the curriculum is broken up into stages, but whatever practicalities that has I don’t know.

Edited by Riotproof, 13 June 2019 - 08:17 AM.


#4 SplashingRainbows

Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:19 AM

Not a teacher so I’m sure they’ll come in and answer better but the curriculum is written in stages and as I understand it some things are stage based rather than specifically Yr 3 or Yr 4. Presumably the achievement standard of the topic (eg aboriginal history) would be a different level for yr 3 to yr 4 for example but the topic may only be completed once across the two years of stage 2. I think.

I know the school I used to attend now has stage based composites deliberately with one teacher for the two years your child is in that stage. I can see the benefits.

#5 dadwasathome

Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:21 AM

DS11’s school was referring to stages when DS16 started in kindy. It’s far from a new thing, although the classes are still K-6

#6 luke's mummu

Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:24 AM

Also continues in high school

Stage 4= years 7&8
Stage 5- years 9&10
Stage 6- years 11&12

#7 mayahlb

Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:30 AM

Here’s an overview if you are looking for it. https://www.australi...nt-information/

Oh and for your knowledge the Australian curriculum only covers until yr 10. Yr 11/12 is states specific.

#8 IkeaAddict

Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:39 AM

DS school still refers to them as their actual school year but does use the "stages not ages" slogan a lot. They also have a lot of composite classes within stages as well as across stages. So there is a 2/3 class, a 4/5 class and DS in kindy was in a K/1 class

#9 seayork2002

Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:04 AM

My son is in Y6 now and ever since he was in Kindy (FYOS) they have had K-6 but in stages, annoys me but has been around for a while.

I don't care if it is one or the other but when it is called Y3 Stage 2 for example it seems pointless

just make it either Y3 OR stage 2, why both?

added: Y5/6 in his school is combined and there are a few other joint classes as the school is growing so fast they don't have a choice.

I am not a teacher but I think they may be a good idea, but as for anything maybe not for all kids?

Edited by seayork2002, 13 June 2019 - 09:26 AM.


#10 Quick hedgehog

Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:24 AM

Yep, my DS started school in 2010 and everything was done in stages back then too.  Every class except the kinders was  composite too.

The curriculum is ordered by stages, so achievement standards are stage based rather than by year.

We did a year of distance education when DD was in year 3 - 4 (May to May) and when topics came around again we were sent exactly the same worksheets for the year 4 work as we had had the previous year.

#11 Octopodes

Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:25 AM

This isn't new, they have been doing it at our school since DS started in 2013. The school refers to both year levels and stages depending on the context. The high school DS will be attending next year also refers to stages (4, 5 and 6). It is related to the national curriculum.

Edited by Octopodes, 13 June 2019 - 09:25 AM.


#12 Weavile

Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:30 AM

Our school does it as well, I had assumed it was a small school thing to better allow for multi-grade classes. They still have years, but they seem to rotate topics and excursions on a two year basis to cover things.

It's different, but it hasn't caused any issues.

#13 Octopodes

Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:38 AM

View PostWeavile, on 13 June 2019 - 09:30 AM, said:

Our school does it as well, I had assumed it was a small school thing to better allow for multi-grade classes. They still have years, but they seem to rotate topics and excursions on a two year basis to cover things.

It's different, but it hasn't caused any issues.
Yep, our school does everything curriculum based on a 2 year cycle, including camp. This year is camp A, next year will be camp B and then it will be camp A again in 2021. All stage 3 students attend both camp A and B, but some will do them Year 5 A then Year 6 B and others will do them Year 5 B then Year 6 A. Integrated topics cycle the same way, so that every student covers 8 topics over 2 years.

Our school also currently has stage based composite classes, so only kindergarten are single year classes.

Edited by Octopodes, 13 June 2019 - 09:41 AM.


#14 Freddie'sMum

Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:50 AM

Our public primary school (NSW) does refer to classes as being part of 'stages'.

Because DD#2 is in year 6 - the year 5s and 6s are called 'stage 3'.  When there is an excursion or something that the year 5 and 6 kids are doing - we get a note home saying "the stage 3 kids are doing blah blah blah".

It makes sense to me.

#15 mayahlb

Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:18 AM

Oh and on composite classes, they can be multistage and single stage. I know because our school has issues with my younger kids cohort and the year before. They have always had a composite class between them because there is too many kids for 2 classes but not enough for 3 classes. Will be interesting to see what they do with the younger grouping next year when the ratio changes at our school allowing larger class sizes (yr 4-6 at my kids school allows for classes of 30-35. Prep-yr 3 are capped at 24).

#16 Octopodes

Posted 13 June 2019 - 12:05 PM

We've had cross stage composites too. Those classes usually go to the more experienced staff members. The school has openly said they try to stick to stage composites or straight classes whenever possible, but some years the numbers just don't work.

#17 Kreme

Posted 13 June 2019 - 12:21 PM

Yep, nothing new. My kids are year 6 and year 7 and they’ve been called stages since they started school. They often get grouped together for activities, so they’ll have a stage 2 public speaking competition etc.

#18 Julie3Girls

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:34 PM

My oldest is in year 12, and her schools have been using stages since she started kindergarten.

My girls have been in both straight year classes, and composite/stage classes through primary school,and really, can’t say one is better than the other.
The curriculum is two years, with outcomes based over the two years.
Camps are based on stage - they had a stage 2 camp and a stage 3 camp.  So the terms stage and year are both used, depending which is relevant.

Cross stage classes (k/1, 2/3, 4/5) can be mor difficult, but workable with a good teacher.

#19 seayork2002

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:38 PM

I don't know why they cannot just go the full removal of Y1,2,3 etc.and go with the stages only

If the curriculum is over 2 years then would it not help the teachers in their planning to have each stage as one

(sorry don't think I have explained it well)

#20 lozoodle

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:40 PM

We've had this for years and have always had composites, they do get different streams of work even in the same class, it works fine.

#21 seayork2002

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:46 PM

View Postlozoodle, on 13 June 2019 - 01:40 PM, said:

We've had this for years and have always had composites, they do get different streams of work even in the same class, it works fine.

But in our school for example instead of our 5/6Q (for example) class being called that why not just scrap the name and say Stage 3 as in S3Q

So still have the classes the same just call them Stage 1,2 etc. instead?

#22 mayahlb

Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:10 PM

Because it’s easier for a cohort to be called by the number of years they have been at school seayork?

People are used to grades according to this. And so is school funding. Stages is more relating to curriculum. And most people are not really aware of stages per se when it comes to school.

Oh and my school only uses year grouping on notes. More often then not the classes at my kids school are referred to by their room number. (Each block is named after a bird and then they have a rook number, eg. kookaburra 4). Nobody outside a parent or staff memeber at school really knows what that means. I mean I was confused as anything when I went looking at class lists and found my kids referred to as the Wagtail 2 class rather then a year group.

Edited by mayahlb, 13 June 2019 - 02:13 PM.


#23 Octopodes

Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:28 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 13 June 2019 - 01:38 PM, said:

I don't know why they cannot just go the full removal of Y1,2,3 etc.and go with the stages only

If the curriculum is over 2 years then would it not help the teachers in their planning to have each stage as one

(sorry don't think I have explained it well)
How would that work with a cross stage class? eg a 2/3 class

Our school class names are colour coded by stage. Kindergarten classes are all named after shades of red, stage 1 classes all shades of blue etc

Edited by Octopodes, 13 June 2019 - 02:30 PM.


#24 Weavile

Posted 13 June 2019 - 04:03 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 13 June 2019 - 01:46 PM, said:

But in our school for example instead of our 5/6Q (for example) class being called that why not just scrap the name and say Stage 3 as in S3Q

So still have the classes the same just call them Stage 1,2 etc. instead?

To differentiate the kids who are first year Stage 1 vs second year? I'd say it would be a lot more confusing unless the groups remained consistent throughout.

#25 robhat

Posted 13 June 2019 - 04:28 PM

Stages are not a new thing, however in recent years I've noticed there's a greater focus on differentiation and ability grouping. Our school is rather large and there are at least 3-4 classes for each grade. Up to 6 classes in the younger grades. In all the upper grades the maths and spelling classes are 'graded'. Basically there is a top maths class, a bottom one and everything in between. Same with spelling. I've noticed though that a nearby school which is smaller has all composite classes and I suspect that this and talking about stages is how they deal with differentiating in smaller schools. A small school couldn't grade classes the way our school does. It also probably helps to provide more experiences for a stage group (ie 2 grades together) that they couldn't do with just a grade group if you only have 1 or 2 classes. Our school is so large that they sometimes have to split excursions into two groups and go on different days because they can't take an entire grade at once! The idea of taking all of stage 3 on an excursion is laughable! That'd be around 7 classes, about 180-190 students! But a small school may only have one class of 30 students in year 6 and it may be more economical to do excursions and other activities with grade 5.




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