School Closure: timely practice classes. JUNE 2020

This is advice for teachers of learners already using timely practice, for learners not yet using timely practice please follow this link.

Mitigating learning loss

This page is about how timely practice has already and can continue to mitigate against the learning loss which we expect from extended school closure.  https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/jun/03/decade-of-progress-tackling-uk-pupil-disadvantage-wiped-out-coronavirus-school-closures

Ordinarily timely practice keeps

  • "old learning" ticking over - so that it is practised infrequently but sufficiently that it isn't forgotten: this learning has up to now, always survived a summer holiday
  • "recently mastered learning" on a retrieval practice program so that it becomes more deeply embedded over time: this normally survives a summer holiday 
  • "recent learning" - learning which is categorised as fragile or improving: some of the improving learning and more of the fragile learning is forgotten over the summer break - this is why we recommend for the last 2 to 3 weeks of  the summer term
    • continuing with timely practice every maths lesson,
    • and doing "project based" learning rather than "new content based" learning during maths lessons.


In the last few months, timely practice hasn't been used, so hasn't been able to do its job so things will be different:

  • "old learning" ticking over: I don't think we have to worry about this learning yet
  • "recently mastered learning": this normally survives a summer holiday and should be our priority.
  • "recent learning": my guess is that most of this learning will have been lost to forgetting but we should check as soon as practicable to avoid more being forgotten.

How to make the best of a bad situation

There is a month before the end of term - this is enough time to do a lot to help "double school holiday loss" becoming "quadruple school holiday loss"

Use the dropbox link given

  1. Start setting the assignments created for your class set 31st July (will probably be hard) and the most recent date (will probably be easy)
  2. Tell the truth to the learners re learning loss (see (info) box below) 
  3. Assess a little differently 
    • no  nor  
    • just  or 
  4. Decide which is best for each leaner
    • with working back from the 30th July, 29th July (best for maths, worst for self confidence) 
    • one dated 30th July and the most recent (similar to the first pair)
    • the next most recent date
  5.  Repeat steps 3 to 5

From the classes that have already started expect

  • at least a 1/3 of the class to be able to independently and accurately do 10/15 of the questions in the 31st July assignment, and 15/15 of the assignment with the most recent date,
  • about 1/3 learners to be unwilling to do the 31st July assignment, but be happy to do the assignment with the most recent date,
  • about 1/3 where a trial and improvement process and will be the best route through the assignments