Post Lockdown Catch Up
The call for schools to return to allow students to return is growing louder. The end of the lockdown for students will come to an end some time after half term. Already politicians and academic experts are suggesting ways students can catch up on the learning they have missed.
A lot of students have not stopped learning. I have been teaching ALL of my lessons online since January. The attendance in my lessons has been consistently around 95%. Most of my colleagues have had similar experiences. I know this has not been the picture throughout the country. When students return to the classroom they will still have new stuff to learn. So to ask them to catch up on what they have not learnt this half term may not be helpful. It may cause more anxiety and stress.
I was pleased to read a very helpful article on the BBC website the other day which suggests other ways that students can help their learning. The journalist Oliver Barnes suggests
- Summer schools. These can be an excellent way for children to learn in a more fun and relaxed way.
- Tutoring sessions. As a tutor myself I particularly like this one. The students I tutor really do appreciate that 1-2-1 attention away from the classroom.
- Repeating the school year. Not something we do in the UK and I’m not convinced it would work.
- Extending the school day. This can work but does not have to be run by teachers who would have been teaching all day anyway. It could mean adults supervising children doing their homework.
- Increased well-being support. This will certainly be needed over the next few years.
I’m interested to know what you think. Which is your favourite option or do you have a different suggestion for when students return to school?
National Apprenticeship Week.
This week is National Apprenticeship Week. Whilst most schools encourage students to apply for university this does not suit everyone. My own son, for example, did not want to go to university after his A Levels. He wanted to get a job. He found an excellent company offering apprenticeships. He started his apprenticeship when he was 18. Seven years on he is now established in the company and is studying for qualifications which are equivalent to a degree. Throughout this time he has been earning and is not having to repay tuition fees. Take a look at the Apprenticeship website. If you know an apprentice who needs help with their English or Maths get in touch as I’m sure I will be able to help out.
Tea Time Ted Talk
Another great TED Talk. This one is about how to improve our memory. Nancy D. Chiaravalloti works with people who have been ill or have head injuries which has affected their memory. But as she explains, her techniques can help anyone who wants to improve their memory. Most exams now require students to remember a lot more. Even Ofsted want to see how schools help students improve their retention of knowledge.