Students’ classmates have an impact on their learning experience; it matters who is learning alongside them. At bina, we thoughtfully and intentionally place our students into learning groups and we strive to find a good balance between age-based learning and ability-based learning. Let’s take a look at both types of grouping students and how we utilise each type for the benefit of our students.
What’s the difference between age-based learning and ability-based learning?
With age-based learning, all the kids in the classroom are the same age. We’re guessing this system sounds familiar to you, since it’s typically used in today’s schools. A classroom with students of the same age allows for students to learn from one another, but we know that it can also result in some students getting overlooked.
Ability-based learning, on the other hand, means that children are placed in groups based on their ability level. In this system, classes may or may not consist of children of the same age. The idea is that students will learn more effectively alongside other children with similar academic needs, and they can receive more focused instruction from their teacher. The concept of ability-based learning offers an array of benefits: students often feel less intimidated about participating in discussions or sharing their work, they can make friends with a wider variety of kids, and teachers are able to provide more individualised attention and feedback.
How we strike a balance between the two
At bina, we take a personalised approach to each child’s education. We’ve found that our students benefit from both grouping methods, depending on the situation. Most of their day is spent with their core groups, with peers of the same age. In these core groups, students learn about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) and SEL (social emotional learning). When it comes time to utilise and consolidate what has been learned in their core groups, our students typically shift into ability-based groups. These lessons are short, focused, and target the specific skills that each child needs to practise.
Whether our students are learning alongside peers of the same age or in a mixed-age grouping, their class size never exceeds six children, which means that they’re getting the attention they need and deserve.
Utilising a combination of the two grouping methods allows our students to reap the benefits of both systems, depending on the situation. If you’d like to learn more about how we seek to offer our students an education that truly fits their particular needs, you’re welcome to book an Intro Call with one of our educational specialists. We’d love to meet you and your kiddo!