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Everybody knows about the slippage in progress of learning between Primary and Secondary schools. Indeed, it is estimated that nearly 40% of children go backwards in reading between the end of Year 6 and the beginning of Year 7. Some people have even suggested that pupils might as well skip Year 7 because, for many of them, it takes a year to achieve in Secondary school what they were achieving in the run-up to the SATs in Year 6!
And, if that’s the situation for ‘average’ learners, what’s it like for pupils who struggle with literacy and numeracy?
Every year, about one in three children (about 180,000) leaves Primary school without having mastered essential skills in reading, writing and arithmetic. They are not ‘Secondary-ready’. And more than 30,000 of those 180,000 left Primary school with a Reading Age of 7 years or below. (They are not Junior School-ready – never mind Secondary-ready!) The truth is that pupils who were behind at the previous Key Stage are less likely to make progress than those who had achieved the expected level or above. In fact, less than half the pupils who reached the previous minimum standard at Key Stage 2 (i.e. Level 4c) went on to achieve 5 good GCSEs, including English and mathematics. And the 2014 curriculum has brought a new minimum standard, so the bar has definitely been raised.
Why are struggling learners more vulnerable at transfer?
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