Literacy, numeracy, writing and communication are fundamental skills that most children master with little difficulty.
However, some children find it difficult to grasp these essential skills and, even in the early years of education, they fall behind the standard expected of their age group. There is a great deal of evidence that shows the negative impact these gaps have on children’s life chances unless they receive help at an early stage.
These children may suffer low self-esteem which can lead them to become disengaged from school and more likely to have poor attendance. The effects can be far-reaching.
It is mainly children from disadvantaged families or those who have English as an additional language who are left behind. Most of them attend non fee-paying schools.
If we are unable to help these children early on, the education gap continues to widen.
It becomes more difficult for them to catch up once they move to secondary school and this can lead to poor performance in GCSEs, which then limits their prospects. Children with low literacy levels are more likely to find employment challenging later on.
Fortunately, there are tried and tested ways of supporting children to overcome these early difficulties and to catch up with their peers. Among the UK key players are charitable organisations, mobilising the expertise to make effective interventions and working alongside teachers and parents.
Get Involved – Volunteers reading practice
Volunteers are the Charity’s greatest asset. They are vital to ensuring the success of any additional teaching children receive. Volunteers act as adult ‘reading mentors’, visiting children in their school and giving them undivided attention.
Better Reading Partnership (Guernsey)
This programme will be delivered by teaching assistants who receive specialised training (based on the Reading Recovery Programme) to become reading partners.
Boosted Reading at Primary
BoostingReading@Primary programme supports the acquisition of good reading skills and is specifically designed to improve the way children read, enabling them to be independent problem-solvers who read with understanding and enjoyment.
ECOF provides funding to facilitate the specialised training high quality teachers in the structured Reading Recovery programme, including teachers capable of continuing training on-island in the future. Reading Recovery is delivered to the lowest literacy achievers in KS1.
First Class At Numbers
A trained and managed teaching assistant working with children in small groups in years 1-3 showing an average gain in number age of 8.5 months after 24 lessons in 2.2 months.