Sunday, November 28

Covid-19: schools hope to teach refresher classes

Auckland principals are unsure how much the lockdown has delayed children’s formal learning.

Generic library / students

The schools had completed nearly three and a half weeks of the third ten-week school term when the closure was introduced. (file image)
Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

They say that, based on last year’s experience, they will need to update lessons for some or all of their students once classes resume.

But they caution that they will have less time in the classroom than last year to catch up on learning.

Schools had completed nearly three and a half weeks of the third 10-week school term when the closure was introduced, and Auckland schools are concerned that they will have little to no time in the classroom before the term ends on October 1. .

The tests found that writing was the only area in which children’s performance plummeted after last year’s closings and did not rebound by the end of the year.

Auckland’s father, Marcus Reynolds, said that writing certainly seemed like the hardest thing about working with his two elementary-school-age children.

“You can take the time and really sit and work on a math problem with them or something like that, but when it comes to writing, that’s what they need that motivation, that interactivity for,” he said.

“As a parent, you really can’t sit and sit next to your child while he writes a story because it probably puts him off more than anything else.”

Auckland Beach Haven School principal Stephanie Thompson noticed a decline in performance after last year’s national shutdown and expected the same effect this time.

She said the school would likely have to institute accelerated classes to help children catch up after the current lockdown, which was the third to hit Auckland schools this year.

“It’s probably too early to say what will happen to another lockdown, but this is our second round here this year, so I guess that means for us back to school, when our students are back in place, we will implement those programs. throttle. back in place so we can keep the pedal down, “he said.

Thompson said the accelerated classes required additional teachers and teacher assistants and the Ministry of Education should provide funds to help.

The secondary school landscape was slightly different.

NCEA approval rates would have dropped a few percentage points last year if the government had not introduced measures such as additional credits.

However, this year, teens have completed more internal assessments than they did at the same time last year.

Lyric Te Ao, a Year 13 student at Papatoetoe High School in Auckland, undoubtedly has two years of confinement that has interrupted his learning.

“It is different for every student. I know that many people do much better when they are at home, but from personal experience over the past few years, it has definitely affected my studies. I could have accomplished a lot more if there were no or fewer blocks. “, said.

The school’s principal, Vaughan Couillault, said his students were definitely worse off than last year because his school had its own Covid-19 closures before the current level 4 shutdown began.

“We were already 13 days away, so my school would have had 32 days by September 13, which represents about 17 percent of the school year lost due to the lockdown,” he said.

Couillault said that without changes to the NCEA, his students would have been at a significant disadvantage.

He said that the current closure had occurred later than last year and that this was not a good thing.

“We don’t have that much time to catch up and I’m particularly sorry for the students who are doing portfolio-based work,” he said.

Glenfield College principal Paul McKinley said the effect of two years of confinement appeared to be most pronounced in Year 11 students this year.

“They disrupted 2020, they reached level 1 in 2021 and I think that’s the group most affected by Covid,” he said.

“There is a combination of interrupted learning in 2020, so maybe a little behind … catch up, so to speak, and get that motivational factor back.”

He said that some Year 11 students had doubts about whether their work was worth it, given that there could be a lock, while Year 12 and Year 13 students were smarter about the need to complete NCEA credits.

McKinley said last week’s announcement of learning recognition credits was an “absolute bonus” that would help Auckland students see the light especially at the end of the tunnel.

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