I came across this article recently while I was looking for material on vertical tutor groups (did I mention that I love vertical tutor groups and House systems as a key part of a school's organisational culture?)
Vertical learning - teaching pupils of different ages together - could help your school reach new heights. According to its advocates, “vertical learning” - getting pupils of different ages to work together - is one of the most powerful interventions you can introduce into the classroom. Breaking away from traditional year groups can, they say, have a remarkable transformative effect on the quality of teaching and learning, as well as attendance and behaviour.
There is a surprising lack of in-depth research into the benefits of vertical learning strategies, but the number of schools going vertical in some form is growing fast.
It began with vertical tutoring; the idea that smaller form groups comprising pupils of different ages can improve relationships and have a knock-on effect on everything else. Now more and more schools are adopting vertical methods for teaching, too.
This “stage not age” approach is becoming more common at GCSE level in England and a particularly popular model has Year 9-11 (S2-4) pupils sharing lessons in non-core subjects.
Try here for the full article: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6260076
There will come a time every school does this and people will shake their heads when they think about the bad old industrial models school used for learning and teaching. What WERE we thinking? They will say.