Leeton Public School

Striving for academic, sporting and cultural excellence.

Telephone02 6953 3488


Stages Not Ages

Leeton Public School has been able to create stage teams for our classes. This ensures that our school is up to date and ready for the changes and challenges occurring at a rapid rate in Education in NSW.

Stage based classes is a style of classroom organisation with its basis in the educational belief that the individual child is important, learns at his/her own pace and should not have their learning restricted to a confined grade or period of twelve months. Legislation allows students to start school between 4 1/2 and 6 years (so children have always been in multi-aged classes). This range of ages continues to be reflected throughout the schooling process.

The key to understading staged - based classes is realising that growth is determined in stages and not magically by ages.

In the classroom, students are grouped according to their progress rather than their school chronological year. Children also develop positive attitudes to other children of different age groups and relate well to them, similar to the way they do in out of school situations.


  • The syllabus documents (by which we teach) are in stages (and have been for a number of years). Unfortunately publishing companies print their work books in years, which gives the community a false impression of teaching.
  • It acknowledges that there are significant individual differences in each child to be addressed regardless of age. The formation of classes can reflect and cater for these individual differences.
  • The fundamental difference between multi-age grades and straight grades is in the way the curriculum is planned and delivered. In our Multi-age learning groups we accept that different children learn at different rates. Our integrated curriculum is planned to reflect the developmental stages of the children.
  • This multi-age philosophy places each learner at the centre of the considerations of the curriculum and classroom practice. Children are able to progress at their own rate without regard for restrictive "grade" expectations.
  • Remember: any class of more than 1 student is technically a "composite", so the terminology no longer applies.
  • Straight-age grades originated in the 1850's in America and were then adopted by many countries around the world. This factory model of schooling was intended to prepare workers for the industrial society of the time.
  • DoE published the report Multi-Age Classes in NSW - 1997 which found that these classes based on educational principles do not disadvantage students academically and actually benefit them socially and emotionally.

Managing stage based classes requires skilled teachers. Teachers at Leeton Public School are experienced and well versed in conducting programs in stages. Working in teams enhances the opportunities for all students at Leeton Public School.