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Covid impact on learning revealed

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By Fiona Reid
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Covid impact on learning revealed

CHILDREN’S progress has been affected in all areas of learning, according to new data for Dumfries and Galloway.

A dip of about ten per cent was recorded for attainment in reading, writing and listening and talking at P1, P4 and P7.

In numeracy there was a similar picture but with a slightly smaller dip in attainment of between five to eight per cent at P1 and P4 respectively and up to around ten per cent at P7.

The assessments were taken in June and compare to the last data gathered in 2019 pre-pandemic.

The schools’ attainment information presents the headlines of how the Covid 19 pandemic has impacted on the progress and achievements of young people across the region and nationally.

The assessment picture is based on teacher judgements of where they would expect children to be at this stage of Curriculum for Excellence.

And education bosses have admitted that it shows that children’s progress has been affected in all stages in literacy and numeracy to some extent.

However, they stress that there are ‘ongoing efforts’ taking place in every school and early learning centre to address recovery and meet the needs of young people and their families.

Every school and Early Learning and Childcare setting has submitted its plans for recovery in 2021-22 with literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing as focus areas. Schools will be closely monitoring and tracking performance throughout the year.

Jim Brown, the area’s chief education officer, said: “The process of recovery will be ongoing over time and will be a gradual and incremental process to rebuild, bolster up firm foundations and develop learning and skills amongst young people who have lost time and opportunity they would otherwise have had in normal circumstances. This approach will yield better longer-term gains than approaches that might seek a speedier short-term recovery but that might in the end leave young people with less solid foundations that might show up later on as they progress along their learning journey. “Our role is to get that balance right and maximise the rate of recovery whilst understanding and responding to how we can best meet the needs of all of our young people to help them to flourish post pandemic and achieve the best possible outcomes.”

Cllr Jeff Leaver added: “Dumfries and Galloway has not escaped the impact of the pandemic in how it has affected continuity of learning, teaching and assessment as well as the impact and disruption caused to many families. Schools and clusters are working closely together to use the recovery curriculum to close the gap – often using digital connectivity to pool resources.”

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