A key challenge presented by the COVID 19 pandemic is how to quickly redress the impact of lack of classroom teaching on those young children who are having problems learning to read.
Reading for enjoyment is the single most important factor in determining academic achievement in school and beyond. Yet many children in Reception and Y1, who are beginning to master early reading skills, will have missed months of learning due to lockdowns. For most children this will have little impact in the long-term but for those who initially experience difficulties in learning to read it will not be so easy to catch up.
In my years working as a reading recovery teacher and Head of Early Years, teaching early literacy in Nursery, Reception, Y1 and Y2, it has been the case that on average 6 out of every 30 children in a state school Reception class experience such difficulties when first learning to read and require more tailored individual attention than is possible in a solely online learning environment.
If these difficulties are not resolved in KS! It becomes more challenging to embed the comprehension skills required in KS2 that result in motivated active readers who love to read.
The challenge is to identify those children who have struggled to acquire early reading skills during lockdown and to give them the tailored individual support they need to acquire those skills as quickly as possible.