At the Swiss School in Singapore, we follow a mixed-age learning approach. We teach children of two grade levels together. This creates new possibilities for teaching, as children of the same age naturally progress at different rates. The learning content of the entire class is differentiated so that the students can work on the same content, but each child learning according to their stage of development, their needs and their learning goals. Even in the mixed-age learning setting, the focus of teaching lies in successful learning.
The mixed-age learning approach offers children the opportunity to experience themselves in different roles. They learn with and from each other: In the beginning, they are the younger ones and take their cues from the older students. This allows them to develop ideas about new learning contents and build up motivation and readiness to learn. The older students, in return, learn to take responsibility. By supporting younger classmates, they simultaneously consolidate their own competencies and recognize which learning paths they have already successfully mastered.
The experience of growing up and learning in a diverse environment, where social and individual learning fields are common structures of a daily life, enables children to strengthen their faith in themselves, experience the value of being part of a community and gradually take responsibility for their own learning