Primary school years are the most important years of education. Don’t overlook this in lockdown

Date posted
11 Jun 2020

Having been publishing educational books for Key Stage 2 support and 11-plus preparation for over 20 years, we recognise the importance of primary education and the problems caused for a child who has gaps in their learning when they move on to secondary school.

Over the past few months, we have read and heard parents and professionals say that they are not worried about primary school-aged children catching up when they return to school, and that the real concern is secondary school-aged children, because younger children have plenty of time to catch up. However, do they have time to catch up? Schools across the UK have been incredible in providing work for children to do at home, and we know they have been busy re-planning the curriculum for when children return to school, but is this enough?
Every build needs a strong foundation. This is the same for building your child’s education.

We believe that primary school years are the most important in a child’s education. Primary schools teach foundational literacy and numeracy skills which are used across all subject areas. Without these basic abilities, all subject areas become inaccessible to the child. Gaps appear which can affect a child’s learning in multiple subjects, such as English, history, geography, science, maths and IT.

It’s too late to catch up at secondary school

Year 6 SATs can be used to identify gaps or problem areas in a child’s learning before they start secondary school. However, if these problem areas are not addressed before their first day in year 7, it can be even more difficult for them to fill the gaps while embarking on more complicated topics in different subjects.

Secondary school is a big jump for children, with more subjects and more teachers for them to get used to. Gaps in their learning can make the transition to secondary school even harder, and can cause them to fall further behind, which then affects their confidence level.

How you can help in lockdown (while your child is at home/off school)
We understand that parents have been juggling working from home (or outside the home if a key worker), managing home schooling for children of different ages, and keeping on top of household chores. However, keeping on top of your children’s primary school education now can make all the difference to their academic achievements and confidence when they return to the classroom.

If your time is limited, we recommend that you concentrate on literacy and numeracy. These areas can be covered by doing the following:
Literacy: Read to and with your child, practise their spellings, expand their vocabulary and encourage them to do some creative writing (e.g. write stories or do research projects about things they are interested in, such as the rainforest, inventions and famous people).

Numeracy: Practise times tables, addition, subtraction and division, by giving your child short tests to do daily or a few times a week.

How we can support you
We know what you’re thinking; it’s all well and good us recommending what you need to be teaching your child at home, but where do you find the tools and knowledge for this? Our books are designed to support not only children, but also parents. The range covers English and maths for Key Stage 2 (age 7-11) support and 11-plus preparation (including verbal and non-verbal reasoning) in the form of workbooks, testbooks and testpacks.

The best advice we can give you is that you help your child to practise as much as possible, and this is what our books provide. Our books give children the chance to learn basic literacy and numeracy skills by teaching them techniques, giving them worked examples to follow, and providing plenty of opportunities to practise what they have learnt. Answers and progress charts are also included for you to track their progress.

To find out more about our books and to place an order, visit our website: aepublications.co.uk (free delivery for orders over £15).