The coronavirus pandemic has revealed the agility and resilience of United Learning schools. This adaptability enabled schools to provide effective remote education when schools closed to most students. Live teaching has proved an integral part of our offer to students during this current period and attendance and engagement figures are positive, with students receiving at least 20 hours of live lesson study a week.
The impact of nearly twelve months of disruption has yet to be fully quantified. Timely assessment when schools return will give us an indication of the academic impact, but schools will also be confronted with broader issues such as health concerns, mental wellbeing, and bereavement, as well as ongoing attendance challenges.
Our approach at Coleridge is very much in alignment with national research and findings, particularly from The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and its Covid 19 Support Guide:
“Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are likely to have been affected particularly severely by school closures and may need more support to return to school and settle back into school life. While these recommendations relate to all pupils, it is likely that some forms of support will be particularly beneficial to disadvantaged children.”
To mitigate the negative impact of school closures, our focus mirrors that of the EEF research, based on the strategies that have rapid impact upon disadvantaged pupils. This will also naturally impact positively upon the catch up of all pupils. The strategy comprises 3 key strands:
- Curriculum adapted to meet identified gaps
- School environment and organisation adapted to minimise future self-isolation
- Increase teaching time for all Key Stage 4 students to ensure rapid catch-up
- Purchase additional resources and upskill staff to support remote teaching
- Embed skills to enable a blended learning approach in future
- Improve Quality First Teaching through the use of IT that enables live coaching
Targeted academic support
- Interventions in Year 7 to address low literacy and numeracy skills
- Specialist programmes for those on lowest rungs of Progress Ladder
- Targeted after school and holiday revision sessions
- Mentoring for Key Stage 4 students who need support
- Quick access to wellbeing support for students and parents
- Motivational speakers and programmes to re-engage
- IT resourcing to ensure no students disadvantaged through a lack of digital access
- Improve online systems to allow safe communications between home and school
Full details are available in our Covid Catch-Up Action Plan here.