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What is Summer Learning Loss?

by 10tick

Posted on July 28, 2015 at 12:44


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Summer is an ideal time for students of all ages to strengthen their academic skills while still having plenty of time left over for summer activities.

When the school doors close for the summer, many children struggle to access educational opportunities. Summer Brain Drain is another term for learning loss and is the loss in academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer holidays. On average, children lose about 2.6 months’ worth of grade level equivalency in mathematical skills during their summer break! What’s more, children only need to spend 2 – 3 hours per week using educational resources during the summer break to prevent any learning loss!

Studies have found that all children, regardless of background, made similar improvement during term time. It is during the long summer break that differences occurred: children from wealthier backgrounds had better access to the kinds of activities that keep their brains active, be that summer camps, physical activity programs, formal tutoring or simply more conversation with adults. In short, summer brain drain affects all children, but unfortunately is much more apparent with children from less-wealthy families.

Summer Learning Loss Facts:

  • Equivalent of one month of overall learning is lost after summer break
  • Six weeks are spent re-learning old material to make up for summer learning loss
  • Two months of reading skills are lost over the summer
  • 2 – 3 hours a week during the summer break is need to prevent any learning loss
  • As early as Reception summer learning loss can be recognized
  • Two months of all subject focused learning is all it takes to improve specific learning skills
  • Two thirds of income based achievement gap is attributed to summer learning loss
  • It can take up to 2 months from the first day of school for a student’s brain development to get back on track.

How can you prevent the learning loss?

When it comes to helping to stop the flow of learning loss, parents have a key role to play. Learning loss is much less pronounced, if there at all, in families that provide learning opportunities. As a parent, we know that you want your children to have a break from formal learning this summer but it is also important for you to understand the importance of learning and try and introduce the opportunity to keep their brains active. Thanks to the 10ticks Home Learning System, the power to stop Summer Learning Loss is literally at your fingertips.

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Labels: 10ticks Education GCSE learning loss Mathematics Maths Maths Curriculum Maths News maths online Parents Students summer teachers

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Schools that ban mobile phones see better academic results

by 10ticks

Posted on May 22, 2015 at 12:46


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Banning mobile phones from schools saves one week's worth of learning per pupil over an academic year, it has been claimed.

According to new research by Louis-Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy, published by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, the effect of banning mobile phones from school premises adds up to the equivalent of an extra week’s schooling over a pupil’s academic year, according to research schools which banned the devices saw their 16-year-olds' test performance improve by 6.4%.

Mobile phone usage in Schools has only become a problem within the last 15 years. In a survey conducted in 2001, no school banned mobiles. By 2007, this had risen to 50%, and by 2012 some 98% of schools had opted to restrict them. In the UK, more than 90% of teenagers own a mobile phone; in the US, just under three quarters have one. The prevalence of the devices poses problems for head teachers, whose attitude towards the technology has hardened as it has become ubiquitous.

However, some schools are starting to allow limited use of the devices. New York mayor Bill de Blasio has lifted a 10-year ban on phones on school premises, with the city’s chancellor of schools stating that it would reduce inequality.

The study was run in schools in Birmingham, London, Leicester and Manchester before and after bans.

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GCSE maths papers to be changed amid concerns over difficulty

by 10ticks

Posted on May 22, 2015 at 12:45


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Exam boards have been ordered to change new GCSE maths papers just a few months before students are due to study them, amid concerns they are too tough.

There is a "significant risk" that assessments drawn up by three awarding bodies will be too difficult for the full range of pupils' abilities, according to research by Ofqual. Ofqual analysed the results of 4,000 mock tests of sample papers for GCSEs due to be studied in schools next term and found three of the four main exam boards had made their papers too hard for the broad spread of candidates, while the fourth, AQA, has been ordered to make its papers more "challenging". 

New maths GCSEs are scheduled to be introduced to schools and colleges from this September as part of the major education overhaul started by the previous government, to toughen up the qualifications. Former education secretary Michael Gove wanted the courses to include more challenging content, to better prepare students for studying A-levels.

As part of the research, thousands of students were asked to sit new sample maths papers. The study found average marks were very low compared with what would be expected in a real GCSE exam – even for students from the best-performing schools.

Overall, the level of difficulty in the sample papers was higher than in current GCSE papers. This is in line with the government’s demands for a more rigorous curriculum. The research found, however, that the higher-tier papers from WJEC Eduqas and Pearson were so difficult that the top grade was often no more than 50%.

"There is a significant risk that all but AQA's assessments will be too difficult for the full range of ability for the cohort for which the qualification is intended," Ofqual's report concludes. This is likely to prevent the reliable grading of students. "The additional challenge will be beneficial for the most able students but the assessments also need to support a positive experience for the rest of the cohort so as to ensure that all students become more confident and competent as mathematicians."

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Should Pupils be allowed to use Google when sitting GCSE and A-level exams?

by 10ticks

Posted on April 30, 2015 at 12:48


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Pupils should be allowed to use Google when sitting GCSE and A-level exams to adapt to the way they learn, according to Mark Dawe, the OCR exam board chief executive.

Introducing tools like Google or calculators will help teachers assess the way students draw on information and apply it to their learning. Mark said everyone has Google available to them and students will only have a limited amount of time to conduct online searches anyway.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Dawe said: “Everyone has a computer available to solve a problem but it’s then about how they interpret the results. We have tools, like Google, why would you exclude those from students’ learning?"

“Surely when they learn in the classroom, everyone uses Google if there is a question. It is more about understanding what results you’re seeing rather than keeping all of that knowledge in your head because that’s not how the modern world works.”

He compared the idea of introducing Google to examinations to the old-age debate about whether to have books available during a test. He said: “In reality you didn’t have too much time [to consult the book] and you had to learn it anyway.”

Despite his enthusiasm about the introduction of technology during examinations, he said this reality was at least a decade away in the UK. He added: “It is important that parents and teachers understand and believe this is fair. The government would need to ensure they have the right regulation to ensure the quality of standards are maintained.”

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Should maths be taught from state-approved textbooks?

by 10ticks

Posted on February 24, 2015 at 12:51


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Is England moving closer to having pupils taught maths through “state-approved” textbooks, modelled on those used in China and Singapore? That is the fear among some attendees of a meeting earlier this month, when the DfE told education publishers it wanted to see the introduction of a “quality framework” against which maths textbooks could be assessed.

One version of what this might look like has already been devised by the government-funded National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching ofMathematics. Now, under pressure from ministers, publishing organisations are working on their own version.

The move is being driven by Nick Gibb, the traditionalist schools minister running curriculum policy, following a paper published last November by Tim Oates, head of research at the exam body Cambridge Assessment. Oates argued that the quality of England’s textbooks has declined since the 1970s. Favourably citing Singapore, where textbooks are “state-approved”, he seemed to advocate such a structure here, saying publishers would have to raise their game to fulfil government expectations of the quality of their materials.

Ministers, who have set up a network of “maths hubs” around England which are welcoming visiting teachers from China, are impressed by textbooks used in the Far East.

Publishers hope that a voluntary code will assuage Gibb, who wants English schools to match the Pacific Rim in global education league tables. But the threat of a formal government approval process for maths textbooks still also seems to be around in the background.

(Full Article: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/feb/24/maths-state-approved-textbooks)

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