During today’s Curriculum Team meeting we had a very lively and engaging discussion around closing the poverty related attainment gap. The initial discussion stemmed from a very interesting article which was recently published by BBC News in their current series of articles examining Scotland as an unequal nation. The piece titled, ‘How a life of poverty begins in the classroom’ features a number of thought provoking statistics about the poverty-related attainment gap as well as some potential ways to address it as suggested by Professor Sue Ellis (Professor of Education at Strathclyde University). The article (and corresponding video) can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37993399.
We went on to discuss the types of supports and strategies which might be employed at a class, school and authority level in order to address the attainment gap and to reflect on this in line with the current work that we do. Education Scotland’s, “Twelve approaches that will support for improvement by helping practitioners to prioritise their focus on closing the equity gap and raising the attainment of children from the most deprived areas”, was use as a stimulus for reflection and discussion. These include;
- Promoting social and emotional wellbeing
- Identifying and driving strategies to improve attainment in literacy and numeracy
- Providing high quality learning and teaching
- Engaging families and communities
(All 12 “approaches” can be found on the National Improvement Hub: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Pages/sac11equitygap.aspx.)
These discussions were extremely helpful in ensuring that we are addressing national agendas and continuing to work hard to raise attainment so that all pupils in Aberdeen City are able to reach their full potential.
(Featured image courtesy of http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/)