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Plan for next academic year - delayed transition

(25 Posts)
Hopingforsummer1 Thu 18-Jun-20 16:42:24

This post has been widely shared on Facebook. It's a plan for next academic year written by a primary school Head. Personally, I love this holistic approach with its emphasis on wellbeing, mental health and reigniting learning. I'd love to hear others' thoughts (particularly those of you who work in education). Would it be doable?

^This is what the national plan should look like for the entire education sector. If any of you knows anybody important, please tell them:
1.The current school year should be extended until the end of December. This should apply from pre-school to higher education.
2. In the autumn term, children should return to their current year groups. After a prolonged absence for many, children would be returning to familiar teachers, classmates and routines.
3. The autumn could be used to focus on well-being, to support children with their whole development. It should be used to consolidate prior learning and reignite children's interest in learning. It shouldn't be about 'catching up' with 'missed' phonics/times tables/spelling patterns.
4. At a local level, schools should be able to plan their provision in a way which is practically achievable (rooms, staff, distancing) and which keeps everyone safe. This could well be a blend of remote learning at home and part-time attendance at school. It should reflect the local context in relation to Covid19.
5. Transition should be delayed. This is not the right time for new children to start Nursery or Reception and the moves from KS1 to KS2 and primary to secondary will be harder than ever. Transition needs to be better than ever.
6. The next school year should begin in January 2021. It would be a shortened year. Statutory assessments would be abandoned. The absence of testing would create many more teaching weeks.
7. OFSTED inspections should be suspended indefinitely, other than those called in response to safeguarding concerns. Schools and leaders will need all their energy and expertise to meet children's immediate needs. Those awaiting inspection will have to compromise their priorities in order to satisfy the current inspection framework.
8. Schools should be given permission to postpone or modify their school improvement plans. New and as yet unknown issues will emerge in the months ahead. These will shape and influence our priorities as schools.
9. We need bespoke services and infrastructures to support all of our children. Before the pandemic, one in three children were living in poverty and mental health was becoming a crisis of its own.
10. We don't need attempts at quick fixes, such as summer catch up programmes. We need immediate and long term investments to make our schools the best places they can be. Our children deserve the best and they need it more than ever.^

OP’s posts: |
Thetriangle Thu 18-Jun-20 16:52:43

Happy with the Ofsted stuff and for primary curriculum to be reconsidered. I would be very strongly against any delay or change to the school year, transitions between years etc unless there’s another lengthy national closure. I’m unconvinced January (flu season etc) is going to be a better time for children to start nursery etc. Mine aren’t secondary but I also cannot see how this proposal works with public exams - it surely just messes up the 2022 cohort as well.

ohthegoats Thu 18-Jun-20 16:58:56

It's been discussed on here before. It doesn't work.

oldwhyno Thu 18-Jun-20 16:59:17

nice idea, but totally impractical to shift the academic year. pupils = funding, and secondary schools won't accept not having incoming y7's, moves to independent sector even less so. nursery's will need their capacity for new intake, so basically, kids just have to keep moving up the year groups.

I'd happily take a lot of all the "spirit" from that, just not the actual part of not transitioning in Sept.

also, until we know the extent to which all years WILL be back in school at all in September, it's all fairly speculative.

Biggrizzlybear Thu 18-Jun-20 17:27:18

Parents with kids going to reception will have already given up nursery/pre-school places, and others with younger kids will have taken those places. Childcare has waiting lists of months round here. What would happen to all those kids who should have started reception?

NeedAUsernameGenerator Thu 18-Jun-20 17:33:11

My Y6 is really looking forward to going to secondary school and even though the usual transition day hasn't been able to go ahead we've had a lot of contact from the school. Her year group has been mentally gearing up to this for several months now, they've found out their tutor groups, I've bought uniform. I think it would be really detrimental to push that back to January. She is obviously nervous, but IMO only a normal amount.

Lemons1571 Thu 18-Jun-20 17:55:25

What’s his plan for childcare during the ‘remote working from home’ time, when both parents are at work?

Oh I forgot, the wimmins have to give up their pin money jobs while the mensfolk earn the household pay check.

Hopingforsummer1 Thu 18-Jun-20 18:04:29

Thanks for the replies, everyone. Food for thought! Perhaps this appealed because I can see the huge mental health benefit it would have for my own children. I thought it would be a good compromise between repeating the year (which I know is impracticable) and going straight up a year after 6 months off (which is such a big ask for many children). Clearly there are logistical issues, though.

OP’s posts: |
Hopingforsummer1 Thu 18-Jun-20 18:05:23

*By 6 months off, I mean 6 months away from school, not 6 months off from schoolwork!

OP’s posts: |
Ouchy Thu 18-Jun-20 18:13:03

No way this would be terrible for many/most children. Yes heavy focus on emotional and mental health, hold off on hardcore stuff, but no holding kids back. Please no.

ragged Thu 18-Jun-20 20:15:24

It's not really holding back if I understood right; it's creating a transition period *& then a short subsequent year that still puts them back on track in June 2021.

Problem is... we could still have severe social distancing in place in January. Then the whole thing is pear shaped as long as you think stopping the virus is the only top priority.

confusedandtired99 Thu 18-Jun-20 21:18:40

I’m not sure that would help children transitioning from Nursery to Reception if I’m honest. Unless they wanted to change the age a child attends school permanently (which I would actually be supportive of) then it would potentially have just as much of a negative impact on the new starters, as they would loose four months of education themselves.

RedskyAtnight Thu 18-Jun-20 21:26:17

This might work for Primary school children (except Year 6 really) but can't see how it work for secondary. It would be especially bad for Year 11s who've already been drifting purposelessly since March and many of whom weren't intending to go back to their secondary school in September.

Hopingforsummer1 Thu 18-Jun-20 21:58:09

@confusedandtired99 - that's a really good point. I agree that it could be problematic for reception aged children.

OP’s posts: |
Mybrowneyedgal Fri 19-Jun-20 00:28:20

Something needs to be changed or many children will not be able to catch up, both for academic and emotional reasons. Disadvantaged children will be at an even greater disadvantage. It may not be easy, but surely there needs to be an alternative. The curriculum will need to be changed.

I think the plan shared in the OP sounds absolutely wonderful, and although there would be problems in making it work maybe it could still work in some way. Our children are so effected by this, and this would allow a gentle transition period to make them feel safe and integrate.

I wonder if we could postpone school starters until they are 6-7 like most other countries allowing more space and teachers in schools but I understand that probably creates too many problems to happen.

Kokeshi123 Fri 19-Jun-20 04:01:30

Too slow. The kids really need to be back full time in September. Working parents really can't be expected to do part-time homeschooling till the end of this calendar year. And I agree that kids will need a transition period to get them emotionally ready for school again, but three months is just absurd. Couple of weeks should be enough.

Flagsfiend Fri 19-Jun-20 09:48:18

I think with a couple of tweaks it could work well - I think you'd need to still all transition in September, but if they said the first couple of months were to be focussed on wellbeing and a love of learning without summer exams or Ofsted that would be great. New y11 and 13s could be teacher assessed again instead of exams. The only years that would need a bit more planning is the new y10 and 12, but they may not need as long a transition period to get back into learning mode.

UmbrellaHat Fri 19-Jun-20 09:55:59

Interesting idea about the school year beginning in January. Would be good to take the opportunity to radically overhaul the school year and have the school year Jan /December seems logical!

Kokeshi123 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:00:16

Would be good to take the opportunity to radically overhaul the school year and have the school year Jan /December seems logical!

Why? The majority of the world goes September - July, or very close. A December end would mean a big gap between school and university--and we need universities to be aligned with as many countries as possible because this makes it easier for students to do part of the degrees/modules at overseas universities if they want to, and for university staff to be exchanged among different countries.

cologne4711 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:21:39

Personally I think most children will be able to catch up - 3-6 months isn't that long in a 13 year school career.

The issue is and always has been the Y10s and 12s, and to a limited extent Y5s (although SATS could be abandoned next year too).

Rosehip10 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:30:31

Doesn't work and there is no way any part of the UK will run with such a plan.

LindainLockdown Fri 19-Jun-20 12:32:44

No, not practical, only suits a minority. Wouldn't be implemented in a million years anyway.

Sailingblue Fri 19-Jun-20 13:53:35

Nope my 4 year old needs to start school. She has been messed around enough. She’s started transition online, has met her teachers, has had pre-work set. I would be mightily pissed off if she didn’t start school. Her head teacher has made it clear she thinks the 3-4 year olds have missed out enormously and must have as good a possible start even if that means transition online.

Playdonut Fri 19-Jun-20 13:55:50

Impractical for children, teachers and parents.

Foobydoo Fri 19-Jun-20 14:23:35

It could work if year six went to year 7 at high school with extra pastoral support. All other primary classes move up a classroom but keep this year's teacher until Christmas. This would make room for nursery who would start as usual
Year 11 go to college as normal with extra support in place if needed.
The term could be a spent on a mixture of catching up and getting routine back and pastoral stuff.
The majority of children will ease back in and catch up. Extra support should be targeted at those who need it most.
Definitely suspend ofsed inspections for the next academic year.

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