Bridging the gap
With schools now going back and the promise of no more lockdowns, this is the time to try and answer the big question. Just what do we do about the big gap in learning - the curriculum content that has been missed?
I can see four, general possibilities:
1. Start where we left off when the schools closed, move quickly and try to close the gap in the terms ahead.
2. Identify and name the gaps in teaching, promising to address them further down the line but minimising stress now.
3. Take up the summer holiday as a time for catching up and hope this is enough time.
4. Accept that some of the curriculum is missing and move on.
All are possible and all are unpalatable but there is a real gap in the curriculum that should be filled. The problem is made more complex by the fact that different schools will have covered different amounts of content during the lockdown. This means the size of the gap will vary from school to school and the strategies for solving the problem will vary in both nature and magnitude.
Sir Kevan Collins, the newly appointed Catch-Up Tsar, said earlier this month that the the government’s proposed summer package was a good start but not actually a plan. “We need to go much further, with a more fundamental and long-term piece of work.” he told MPs, going on to say that the solution need to be bold and ambitious with a solution that “needs to be long term, sustained and far-reaching”.
I think we all agree. Meanwhile school bags are being packed, uniforms taken from wardrobes and staff are preparing for a new start. As they wait to be told about the the long term, far reaching and sustained solution that, as yet, remains undefined.
Peter Hogan has been the Head of schools in the UK and Asia for 20 years. He writes about schools, teaching and learning here at hogan.education and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org