Helping to Close the Education Gap in Local Schools
A Community Grant of almost £5,000 will help Walton Oak Primary School provide the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) programme for children in Reception (aged 4-5 years) who are at risk falling behind because of the recent school closures.
Research has shown that breaks in learning, like the annual summer holiday, can create a ‘learning gap’, particularly among disadvantaged children. Without interventions like this, the learning gap is expected to widen as schools close for a second time.
The extra costs associated with the Coronavirus pandemic – like additional cleaning and covering staff absences – are already putting pressure on school finances. High quality 1-1 and small group tuition is known to be an effective model in accelerating learning, but it is also an expensive one, meaning that many schools are having to make difficult decisions about which children are invited to participate.
By funding sessions that are tailored to each child’s needs, this grant will support children beginning their school journey to develop crucial oral language skills and promote longer term progress in reading comprehension.
Dan Sonley, headteacher of Walton Oak Primary School says: “We are mindful that oral language skills play a significant role in almost all aspects of learning and, particularly, in learning to read. The NELI programme will significantly accelerate the development of vocabulary, narrative skills, active listening and phonological awareness in some of our most vulnerable pupils and help them gain deeper access to learning opportunities and support them to feel successful in school. We are so grateful for the Walton Charity grant; for those taking part in the NELI, it will have a profound and lasting impact on their school experience.”