Reading Time: Approx 3mins
Evidence from Unicef suggests that missing school time is linked with damaging reductions in the critical foundation skills of numeracy and literacy.
Given the mass closures of schools around the world – 89% of students impacted globally over the last year - the skills that are needed to access the whole curriculum and develop competencies required for later successful outcomes have just not been practiced, and we will have to prioritise these when children re-enter the classroom.
As schools re-open and adapt to blended learning approaches that combine both in-school and remote learning, it might be much harder to assess students in the ways we would normally, especially give the possibility of further localised school closures or the need to continue hybrid methods.
Therefore, it is important to put in place a range of strategies for identifying children’s learning levels and to design remediation, compensation, and plan interventions and accelerated programmes accordingly.
We are all still learning much about the impact on schooling, the importance of teacher/student relationships, how to engage students in online learning and the impact of disengagement.
Assessment is a central pillar that supports teaching and learning. In these uncertain circumstances, we can rely on assessment to guide the next steps to support teachers help students come back stronger.
Using a range of assessment approaches to prioritise identifying learning levels not only helps teachers address individuals’ gaps, but also gets children from where they are to where they need to be and supports longer-term improvements, aspirations and achievement as well.
i Alban Conto, C., Akseer, S., Dreesen, T., Kamei, A., Mizunoya, S. and Rigole, A. (2020). COVID-19: Effects of School Closures on Foundational Skills and Promising Practices for Monitoring and Mitigating Learning Loss, Innocenti Working Paper 2020-13, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, Florence.