Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Is Catching Up Important?

As we start to see an end to the pandemic and the kids are generally back to school the discussion about missed education and catching up is becoming a big one. But what are the important things to think about here and is catching up a helpful term to even use?


Firstly, parents and teachers have been working so hard throughout the pandemic to provide the very best education they can. This must be recognised and celebrated. The concept kids have “missed” school can be a little hard to swallow for everyone who has been delivering education at home. Be it a working parent when they got some time to do a lesson or a stay-at-home carer ploughing through endless lessons for multiple kids every day without thanks it is all good education. So, it is important for everyone to remember they have helped their kids continue their education and missing out isn’t a thing.

The words “catching up” also imply a child is behind and that can be quite a horrible thing to hear. It certainly does not help confidence in a child of any age.

School and Learning

School isn’t for everyone, some very clever people didn’t get on well with normal education so it is really important to remember that catching up implies a child may not be reaching a certain target, but that target might not be suitable for them anyway. Do we really need our children to catch up is a very important question to ask especially when it depends on what they are catching up on. Socially many kids really have missed out and that is something that does need to be taken seriously but educationally perhaps some children have flourished in a home working space, perhaps they have walked more, learnt more about nature and even things like cooking?

Support Needed

In some cases, children really have suffered over the last 12 months. For many different reasons there are kids who have had no support, no home education and in some cases very little food or care at all. In these cases, support is needed to help them lead as anormal a life as possible until they are of working age or ready for further education and can support themselves. Covid has magnified many of the issues seen during holidays in low income areas so it is important to offer support.

A More Positive Approach

So, before we even look at how we can support kids to learn after Covid-19 it is really important we start thinking in a positive way. Let’s all say well done to kids, carers, teachers and parents!

The Next Step

Once we get to a more positive point, we can look at how to help kids continue learning and growing. While the catch-up term is a bit negative, we can agree some extra support might be useful. This is where extra tuition may well help. Rather than throwing mounds of extra work at kids’ tuition should be used as something positive and something to help as well as being fun!

Teachers may well start identifying areas where extra work might be needed but its how we deal with this that’s important. Its all about using tuition where it’s offered to help grow skills not to put pressure on kids to catch up. Life is stressful enough for children at school, let’s not make it more so.

The Government is running a catch up scheme but it is important not to take this as a general call for everyone to catch up. It is hopefully going to be aimed at supporting children who need support not pushing a catch up and work harder feeling on everyone.

Parents and Carers

If you are reading this then you are no doubt worried about the catch-up concept. Being worried is not a bad thing. But turning that worry into pressure is. Allow the kids time to get back into the swing of things before even talking about any tuition outside of school. There may well be government sponsored tuition on offer which should be taken if needed but in a way that feels like learning not slogging their guts out.

Let’s support our teachers, lets celebrate our care givers and parents and lets the kids know they are doing well and will be fine!!



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