Teachers to assess pupils' reading and writing when schools re-open

Parents who have fears over their child returning to the classroom in September have been urged to s

Suffolk primary school pupils are likely to be assessed on key indicators like phonics, reading and writing when they return to school from March 8 - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Suffolk primary schools are likely to test pupils' reading, writing and phonics in the first few weeks of their return after the coronavirus lockdown - to see how much catch-up work is needed.

There is uncertainty about whether pupils will have fallen behind in their learning after spending weeks being schooled at home under Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Adrian Orr, assistant director for teaching and learning at Suffolk County Council, said conversations with sector leads indicated that assessments soon after re-opening will help determine where more recovery work is needed.

It will also help to inform lessons for the remainder of the academic year. 

For primary schools, that is likely to include key reading, writing and phonics benchmarks.

Suffolk County Council assistant director for education and learning, Adrian Orr, said students who

Suffolk County Council assistant director for education and learning, Adrian Orr - Credit: Suffolk County Council

"It is really good that, although heads are thinking about return, transport, getting their kitchens all working again, lateral flow testing, they are also thinking about assessments and assessment activity that will help them inform where children and young people are to inform their forward planning in terms of teaching and learning," Mr Orr said. 

"Across the primary sector there is that discussion about assessment and benchmarking, and although there isn't a national system, people are really thinking about not just where children are up to, which is really important, but where children are up to informs what you do next and where you may need to consolidate a particular aspect of the curriculum.

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"It may be a bit more of this and a bit less of that - it will be calibrating teacher's planning for the rest of this academic year and to be frank into the next academic year as well." 

It has been acknowledged that some pupils will have progressed more at home than others, which teachers will need to address when pupils return next week.

On social media, Suffolk parents have indicated that concerns are more around lost time with friends than falling behind academically.

Dawn Evans said her primary concern was her son's happiness and social skills.

She added: "I'm worried my child has missed out on time with friends, family and various activities such as birthday parties, swim sessions and beach days."

Kerrie Stanford said children did not need more tests on their return.

She said: "What they need is time - time to catch up with their friends, time to heal. Time to just be kids."