Fears over lockdown learning gap as teachers prepare for school restart

Schools are anticipating that pupils will have made different levels of progress during the coronavi

Schools are anticipating that pupils will have made different levels of progress during the coronavirus lockdown on their learning. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Teachers will be reviewing the progress their pupils have made while learning at home during lockdown as they prepare for a gradual reopening of schools.

Jane Stalham, Sproughton CofE Primary School headteacher said the school had provided flexible home

Jane Stalham, Sproughton CofE Primary School headteacher said the school had provided flexible home schooling for families. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Archant

A “root and branch review of curricula” is being tabled by Suffolk education chiefs in anticipation of children returning to school at different stages of their learning.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday outlined his plan for the first phase of schools to return from June 1, but education leaders are expecting pupils will have made different levels of progress during lockdown.

It means that measures are likely to be needed in schools to help further pupils’ learning who may not have been able to make as much progress during their home-schooling under lockdown.

MORE: Sign up for the daily EADT newsletter for latest coronavirus updatesAdrian Orr, assistant director for education and learning said: “There are going to be some real challenges for both children and adults as we move into greater numbers of pupils being in school, and ultimately returning to some kind of normal more towards going back to school.

“Some children will have had a slightly differential offer because of the nature of their personal circumstances, so we are going to have to do a root and branch review of curricula, how children are supported, what learning looks like.”

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In some homes, home-schooling may have been easier for parents who have resources such as ipads or had the time to support children more, however many parents have had to juggle working from home and keeping their children occupied. For other children, the home environment has not been conducive to learning.

The Suffolk branch of the National Education Union has already stressed the importance of parents not feeling guilty if they have struggled to home educate their child during the coronavirus lockdown, and said that any activities they can encourage youngsters to do should help.

However, many schools have utilised online learning platforms already in place prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has helped teachers set work for pupils that means they can still follow the curriculum.

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Jane Stalham, headteacher at Sproughton Church of England Primary School said they had set timetables for pupils for those who needed a routine, as well as video activities and storytelling with staff, and even their own hashtag – #ProudtobeSproughton – where pupils can share their activities.

The online learning platform Class Dojo has also “come into its own” with a 100% take-up with parents.

Mrs Stalham said: “I am really proud of how our approach to home learning has been so flexible.

“We have had really good feedback from parents and we work individually with families.

“For those that have really struggled with home schooling we have been there to reassure them not to worry.

“Children are not going to learn if they are not feeling safe and happy.”

MORE: Roadmap outlined for return of schools from lockdownShe added: “We are very thankful supporters of parents that are doing home learning, and their children will be better for it, but we have to assume when the children return that we are picking up where we left off.”

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