Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Thumbs up for mixed-age classes

Holland Park pupils
Classes will be mixed age in a pilot beginning on June 1

Pupils at a London school are abandoning the usual class format based on age in favour of "vertical tutoring" - with a mix of ages in each class.

Teachers and pupils at Holland Park School hope it will improve pupils' social skills and reduce bullying.

If the pilot, which begins in June, is successful, the school will move over to the new system from September.

The subject is one of a range covered in the young reporters' television bulletin for School Report Day.

Thirteen year old Hibba is involved in making the report, and said she thought "vertical tutoring" would remove an element of peer pressure from classes.

"I'll be able to interact better with people of different ages to me," she said.

"In the workplace you don't always mix with people who are exactly the same age, so it's a good idea."

Mentoring process

Hibba and fellow students interviewed teachers involved in bringing about the idea.

They convinced students that the system would produce a "natural mentoring process" where younger pupils learn from older ones.

They said that 92% of schools who organised classes in this way found it successful.

Young journalists at the school are presenting a report based on the area of Holland Park, and their new school building.

They will also be producing sport and weather bulletins.



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