Grouping of students in the class is practised in all schools where remediation is implemented based on student performance data available from a diagnostic test. Grouping is a critical element of remediation as teachers need to instruct at a slower pace—providing more repetition and reinforcement—with a group of students who have learning gaps than s/he would with a group of high achievers. Grouping in the schools is therefore based on objective criteria of Diagnostic Assessment and is customised by subject because a student who is advanced in one subject may require remediation in another.
Readiness Grouping practised in the schools in Sikkim uses a flexible grouping method used to match a student’s readiness for learning with the instruction provided, delivering the right content to the right student at the right place and at the right time. Flexible readiness grouping, as its name implies, is an ongoing process where student assignments can and do change based on performance, requiring teachers to be on the lookout for signs of improved competency and skill development in their students.
In Government Senior Secondary School, Rangpo, when students are assessed, they are assigned different groups based on the learning levels assessed. The school takes into account that each student may not have the same learning level in each subject. Therefore different permutations in the learning levels in different subjects are taken into account so that student groups may be created. Student in Class 9 with the learning level below Class 5 (Junior category) in Maths are grouped with students who are in the Intermediate level in English. This encourages differentiated learning within the classroom so that heterogeneous groups of students may learn from each other. In Government Secondary School, Pakkigaon where differential instruction within the same classroom is practised; when whole classroom instruction is practised, students in the Junior group sit in the first few rows, the next two rows are reserved for the Intermediate group and the last rows are for the Senior level students. The teachers focus their attention on the Junior students when they are completing complex competencies while the Senior and the Intermediate students are allowed more freedom to complete their work. When students are allotted activities where pair work is required, students in the junior and intermediate category are paired with Senior students so that peer learning ensues.
Remedial Education promotes Flexible Readiness Grouping as it supports students to practice competencies at their own pace therefore allowing them to attain the learning levels at their own comfort. The grouping also allows students to learn from each other’s strengths where each student can help the other with ideas on key concepts as well as provide the confidence of asking questions to ensure that learning takes place.