Children have grown fatter and skipped work in lockdown, claim teachers

The last year has caused an unprecedented amount of disruption for children with many missing months of school.

Whether your child was at school or learning at home the return to full classes is a big change for all.

But, how are kids coping with the change?

Well, according to a Mumsnet survey by StarLine, 77% of children were happy to return to school – including 94% of reception children.

Year 10 students were the least happy to go back, with parents reporting only 56% were were pleased due to fears over sitting GCSE’s next summer.

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The main worries around the return to school were concern that the child may transmit Covid-19 to other family members and worries about the local infection rate.

MyLondon spoke to primary school teachers in the capital about how students are feeling since they returned on March 8.

The first teacher, from East London said: “I can definitely speak for everyone at my school and say that this time around the home learning provision has been much better.

“We’ve just had a big assessment week and the gaps aren’t as big, although there are still lots of gaps from the impact of the first school closure.”

However, she added that fitness needs to be paid closer attention to.

The teacher added: “Lots of [the pupils] are slightly larger…not much PE has been happening.”

It’s not surprising when sports clubs haven’t been running and children haven been running around playing as much.

A second teacher from Hackney agreed, saying “Yes, it’s the same for my school too.

“The only difference [in ability and where pupils are at] is among the children who didn’t hand in work at all over the eight weeks.”

Some pupils were reportedly surprised at how much work some of their peers had completed.

She said: “I have a bright child who’s had to be put into extra support for maths as he has no clue about fractions, he pretended to do the work for four week.”

A third teacher, who teaches in Tottenham said: “It’s definitely not as bad as the first lockdown.

“The gaps aren’t as big, a lot of them have made quite good progress.

“Especially my children with SEN [special educational needs] have made good progress from having one-to-one adult support in a quiet room.

“What they were handing in in home learning was amazing, but they’ve struggled coming back with all the sensory input in a classroom.”

However, the teachers have learnt that some children are a cause for concern.

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The Tottenham teacher noted: “They talk about their parents’ daily habits a lot more. I’ve been hearing a lot more reports of ‘My mum or dad sleeps all day’, which is concerning.”

And, the divide between affluent students and non-affluent students is apparently very clear.

She said: “There’s definitely a correlation between children who are pupil premium [in receipt of Free School Meals in the last 6 years], and not completing work.

“Those who weren’t vulnerable enough to get a place in school, but who were working at home.”

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