Reading – all year groups have experienced a learning loss in reading. In primary schools these were typically between 1.7 and 2.0 months.
Maths – the learning losses in Maths were greater. It is estimated that, on average, pupils in primary schools have experienced a learning loss of just over three months.
Writing – in October 2020, the organisation “No More Marking” published their analysis of a writing exercise carried out by over 116,000 Year 7 students at the start of the academic year. Through an assessment of pupils’ work they concluded that the work pupils produced was similar to that of year 5 pupils from an exercise in November 2019. In other words, they concluded, students were 22 months behind where they expected them to be.
Disadvantaged learners – schools with high levels of disadvantage have experienced higher levels of loss than other schools. This is around 2.2 months in schools with high rates of FSM eligibility and 1.5 months in schools with low rates of FSM eligibility.
This does not necessarily mean that learning has been truly ‘lost’, pupils may simply be out of practice with the tasks we assess. More generally, over lockdown, children may not have been fully academically engaged, but their performance will rapidly improve once they have been back in school for a while. Children will have developed other skills such as baking that are equally as valid and important. Activity levels are also an area of interest. Many children will not have been as active or spent as much time outdoors as usual. We need to re-engage children with PE and games and continue to promote an active and healthy lifestyle.
Our thoughts are more around reigniting a love of learning. Re-establishing routines and expectations. Reminding and supporting children with social skills, friendships and play. We need to celebrate all that has been achieved during lockdown – in school and home learning – and move forward from this point. Between our return and Easter 2021 this process will take place and our resilient children will flourish once again. Our wellbeing focus will continue to be at the heart of what we do. We will briefly recap the learning that should have taken place at home before quickly moving on to the remainder of this year’s Curriculum. Our ‘continue as normal’ approach will then enable us to include and support all children. Those who can build on their home learning will and those that we identify have gaps or misunderstandings will be given the support they require along the way. We will ensure all children receives the full Curriculum entitlement this year. We will firstly plan for topics and subjects not possible during lockdown and then continue to expose children to the remainder of their year group plans.
In 2020/2021 a more structured group, once a week, will be led by Mrs Hudson-Pike who will focus on key areas of learning and those children with gaps not just in knowledge and understanding but confidence and belief. This will be around 20% of our children, each being part of a small group receiving half a day of additional input per week. These groups are based on teacher assessment and observation with the majority being confidence or pace reasons.
Part two of this, in 2021/2022 will see our focus turn to KS1, who have missed the most schooling and routine, as well as development and opportunities, and be supported by a supply teacher. We will use our funding to enable our KS1 staff to be released to work with smaller groups of children, focusing on and addressing through quality first teaching, key skills and core learning.
For each of these support measures, children will be assessed as per our scheduled data drops with these groups being analysed independently and more thoroughly. We will assess all children to track progress and use each review to monitor the impact of our interventions. Formal planning will be in place and weekly discussion will be used to monitor the ongoing affect.
You can view the impact of each year and see in more detail how we used the funding below: