It is true to say that these are unprecedented times. We are living through uncertainty and change where nothing seems to stay the same for more than 20 minutes. But one thing that is consistent through all of this turmoil is that the children in our care will grow, change and develop every day. Our job is to make sense of their very different academic profiles and ensure they continue to progress along the right track. Katharine Rogerson, co-creator of Shine: Targeted Interventions for Primary, discusses how we can help to get pupils back on track and support them to progress.
For teachers in some areas of the country and in some countries in the world, the noticeable gaps will be in specific areas of academic learning, such as place value or use of phonics. For other teachers it could be the learning behaviours which have been lost over lockdown. If, like me, you work with the younger children in the school, you may well have found different strengths in your children to the strengths your colleagues in KS2 have identified in theirs. This is, undoubtedly, a side effect of the different experiences of home and remote learning the children have had. For example, the children may have fantastic independence when it comes to directing their own learning when given open ended tasks. They may have imaginations that suck you in through their story telling. They may have a brilliant grasp of rhyme. At the same time, they could struggle with their understanding of place value, concentration and vocabulary skills.
“So, where do I start?” comes the cry from teachers around the world. What comes first? What is most important and what can wait? How do I decide? How do I plug the gaps in the children’s learning when they all have very different profiles? Luckily, Shine: Targeted Interventions for Primary is here to help.
As we know, all children are very different. What is easy for one child to pick up and apply might be a stumbling block for another child. It may be that some of the children in your class have a misconception that stems back a few years in their schooling or it may be that the children missed out on the teaching of a new concept last year due to the school closures. Either way, if these gaps in learning aren’t addressed quickly, they can cause children’s progress to stall as they try to build new concepts on top of shaky foundations.
You will have already identified many of the long-standing gaps in learning through your ongoing teacher assessments and the information passed from teacher to teacher as children progress through school. Shine allows you to select specific learning sequences to work through with the children, individually or in small groups, to plug those gaps. You will also have an idea now of the new concepts missed and the areas you need to include in your recovery curriculum. In this case you could select learning sequences to address the concepts with certain groups of your cohort. MARK, RS Assessment's free online assessment and reporting tool, gives you a profile of the children’s learning and automatically provides you with links to the learning sequences certain children should access. You can then fit the short sessions into your timetable as part of your interventions, safe in the knowledge that the content will be covered in a systematic and comprehensive way.
Shine maths has been written with practicality in mind. Little considerations such as the provision of all printable resources (even down to number cards) and the length of the sessions, have been kept in mind to allow the learning sequences to be delivered with confidence and flexibility within the school day. The quizzes at the end of the learning sequences give you advice on the next steps to take such as accessing an earlier learning sequence on the same concept or moving on to another concept entirely.
Hopefully now you are feeling a little spark of excitement and inspiration that although this will be a big undertaking and although the whole world feels changeable and up in the air, we as a profession can do this. We can get these children back on track and support them to progress even further in their education. And Shine can help.
Shine: Targeted Interventions for Primary is a 3-step solution designed to help you seamlessly assess understanding, identify knowledge gaps and deliver targeted individual and group intervention activities for the areas of weakness demonstrated in your pupils’ diagnostic test results. Find out more about Shine today.