Consistent communication is the biggest challenge of staggered school return, say teachers and school leaders 

New research from Renaissance, which creates educational software tools to improve outcomes and accelerate learning, has revealed that consistent communications (31%) and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils (23%) are the biggest challenges to teaching during the phased return. The research asked almost six hundred (598) senior school leaders, department heads, and teachers about their experience of teaching during this period of blended learning.

But the period of remote education means that now nearly two-thirds (65%) of teachers and senior leaders say they are more confident using edtech compared to pre-Coronavirus. This is positive as three-quarters (75%) believe online remote or blended learning will play a continued role in education after lockdown ends. How schools deliver online learning will therefore continue to be a key consideration.

With such a variety of online tools available, experts at Renaissance are encouraging schools to take advantage of teachers’ improved edtech confidence and expand their digital offering so they can set consistent learning for pupils in-school, and at home. Renaissance’s latest research found that during remote learning the online tool that teachers cited as the most effective was quiz-style formats with instant feedback (24%).

The government has announced a Covid-19 catch up fund, and a number of organisations have expressed concerns about learning inconsistencies during lockdown. When it comes to successful learning, over a third of teachers and schools leaders (34%) believe that the input from parents will have the biggest impact. This is followed by a quarter (25%) who say feedback from teachers, and 16% who believe the ability to set tailored work, would make the largest difference to learning achievement during lockdown.

To enable schools to help their pupils keep reading all summer long, Renaissance is offering free access to around 6,000 enhanced digital books and articles from myON and myON News for schools who register here.

Renaissance’s other practice and assessment solutions like Accelerated Reader and Star Reading can help teachers to track, monitor and improve their students’ reading for those at home and in the classroom. For those looking to assess student progress at the end of this academic year, or the beginning of 2020/21, it offers complete comprehension quizzes giving teachers invaluable data to track pupil development and guide future learning.

Margaret Allen, Curriculum and Education Specialist at Renaissance, said: “We have been so impressed by how quickly pupils, teachers, and schools have adapted to these exceptional times. No technology can replace the role of a teacher in a classroom but it can help teachers to enhance the educational experience for their pupils, and effectively and consistently track their progress.

Our tools are designed to help teachers stay on top of their pupils’ performance, and encourage their love of learning, wherever they’re doing it. Education technology can transform pupils’ outcomes now more than ever, and we’re committed to supporting schools to make the process as easy as possible.”

Kate Jennings, Head Teacher at Mission Grove Primary School said: “Every school will be experiencing challenges as we try to navigate a staggered school return. We’re determined to provide tailored learning and structure to every child’s education and Renaissance’s products have enabled us to do this over the last few months. It’s been great how the products have been adapted to enable pupils to use them at home during Covid-19.

Our teaching staff have found it invaluable to be able to track the progress of each student at home. The pupils get so much enjoyment reading and quizzing on Accelerated Reader and it’s a brilliant way for our teachers to identify which children need different levels of support, both now and for when they return to school full time.”

To further support schools and trusts in providing students with uninterrupted access to a full suite of tried-and-tested practice and assessment solutions, Renaissance has created the Continual Learning and Assessment Solution (CLAS) for MATs at a reduced rate.

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