Mixed-age classrooms have strong benefits both socially and academically. As members of a multi-age community—one that more closely resembles the “real world” than traditional classrooms—WMS students are continually honing their social skills as they find themselves negotiating their different roles throughout the day. They are expected to serve as role models for their younger peers as much as they are encouraged to aspire to the next level. WMS students take pride in mentoring younger students and look forward to following in the footsteps of older peers.
At WMS, ages are grouped as follows: YCC: 18 months—3 years; LS: 3—6 years; LE: 6—9 years; UE: 9—11 years; MS: Grades 6—8
Promoting fellowship and responsibility among a wider range of ages, the Partner Class Program is a long-standing tradition at WMS that enhances the benefits of mixed-age classrooms. The program pairs Lower School classes with Upper Elementary classes and Lower Elementary classes with Middle School classes. The Partner Class program helps establish a sense of community within the different ages of students.
Community Meetings provide valuable practice for becoming responsible, respectful and resourceful members of a community. Taking place in classrooms Lower School and up, Community Meetings help students of all ages recognize and respect differing perspectives, develop the ability to work through problems, and to realize their own significance within a community.