Parents, School Leaders, Teachers

Closing the literacy gap and opening the door for learning!

Reading is a life skill which children need in order to thrive in their education and throughout their lives. According to Andrea Welter, assistant head teacher from Pheasey Park Primary School and Early Years Centre, there’s an urgent need to support children in literacy so their life chances are not affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Schools have always worked hard to improve outcomes for children from all backgrounds, but Covid-19 is making it much harder to level the playing field.

A survey of teachers and school leaders from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) suggests the gap between disadvantaged children and those from more affluent backgrounds has increased by 46% in the last academic year.

With the gap for disadvantaged children getting worse, there’s an urgent need to support children in basic skills such as literacy so that their life chances are not affected. But, this is easier said than done when the pandemic has disrupted face-to-face teaching and learning, as well as deepened the wealth and digital divide.

In order to redress the balance, schools must put effective practices in place to quickly identify children needing support so they are not held back in their future learning. When it comes to this, new technology can play a positive role in quickly assessing pupil needs and providing teachers with effective support strategies without the stress of traditional testing.

Of course, it is never going to be possible to fill in every hour missed face-to-face teaching, however, by focusing on essential skills, such as reading, as well as prioritising wellbeing, teachers can help children settle back into the school routine and get ready to learn. For more strategies to address the literacy gap you can read Andrea’s full article with The Educator

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