Different School Structures
We recognise that some schools have structures which do not follow a standard pattern. We have listed a few ideas for different ways of building your structure on Classlist below, but if your school does not fit a standard pattern and you would like some help form the experts, please do get in touch with our support team by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. You can also book a one to one chat. Follow this link for instructions on how to build the structure.
The three most usual patterns are shown as examples in the main school structure article.
- Larger schools with a standard Year > Class structure. Many schools will have Years that contain multiple Classes within them. Just set up your Years, then add the Classes to the correct year.
- Small-Medium schools with a single Class per Year. If your school has a single-form intake with only one class per year group, you can simply create Years without any Classes nested under them in your Classlist structure. Parents will be members of only one school group - the year level. This will simplify communication for members.
- More than one age-group per Class. If you have classes which span two year groups, you can simply reverse the structure, so that in the Years column you might have eg Class 3/4, with Year 3 and Year 4 as the two 'Classes' nested underneath Class 3/4.
Less common patterns
- Small schools. In small schools the division between years is often less meaningful, so you might prefer to merge age groups: either into a single 'Year level' group eg called 'All years', with actual year groups nested at Class level, or perhaps into two 'Year level' groups, such as Reception & Key Stage One, and Key Stage Two (see example 1 below). This allows parents to share communication across year groups.
- Mixed structures. If your school has a mixture of different systems, or groups pupils into houses rather than classes, you might have to play around to get the best fit for your school. See below for an example of how to deal with split years (example 2 below). Remember you can always contact the support team for advice if you have a complicated school structure! Just click on the link at the bottom of the page.
- Create extra other groups. You can also set up extra 'parent groups' to cover further groupings if it isn't possible to achieve the years and classes you need within the two tier structure. For instance, you could set up a parent group called 'Year X parents' if you have more than one age-group per class and also a year group is spread across 2 of those mixed-age classes. Or maybe you want to set up parent groups for boarding houses, in addition to years and classes. You will need to set up any extra parent groups on the Groups page in the Parent mode (the blue mode). Note that the extra groups will not show in the School Structure page. Read this article for more information about groups.
Tip: Be aware that these extra parent groups won't be automatically populated by the system when parents register. You will need to add members to the relevant extra parent groups after parents register, and if the membership of the groups changes from year to year. You can ask parents to add themselves to the right groups when you welcome new parents at the start of the school year.
Example 1: a small school with only two 'Years' representing KS1 and KS2.
Here the school is arranged so that Reception and KS1 parents can communicate together, and KS2 parents can communicate together. In addition each age group can communicate because each class represents a year group.
Example 2: a school with mixed age groups in some (but not all) classes
As a result of having mixed year groups in some classes, this imaginary school has children of the same age (ie their upper tier 'Year' group level) spread across more than one 'Class'. This makes it hard to use a straightforward two-tier structure.
The classes in this school are:
Foundation:Nursery, Reception A, Reception BYears 1&2:Year 1, Year 1/2, Year 2Years 3&4:Year 3, Year 3/4, Year 4Years 5&6:Year 5, Year 5/6, Year 6
This is what it would look like on the School Structure page, showing just the classes in the Year 3 and 4 level:
The parents at this school will still be in two school groups for each child: their Classlist Year eg 'Years 3 and 4', and their Classlist Class eg 'Miss Parris (Year 3/4)'. That means they can communicate with both groups, and can see contact details for the people in those groups (if parents have chosen to share them). If a parent in Miss Parris' class wants to communicate with all the year 3 children's parents (ie including those in Mr Walker's class), they would need to post to the 'Year 3 and 4' Year group, because they would not be able to post to Mr Walker's year 3 class unless they also have a child in that class. This means the parents of the year 4 children in Mr Kellington's class would also receive the post, but we usually find parents do not mind a little cross posting especially as these patterns tend to happen at smaller schools where parents across different age groups are more likely to know each other in person.
Please raise a Help request if you need help working out which method to use - click on the link below.