The EYFS 2022 statutory guidance defines school readiness as ‘the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life’. Unicef highlights that school readiness is a product of the interaction between the child and the range of environmental and cultural experiences that maximise the development outcomes for children (and their consequential readiness to learn).
In this blog:
- What Are the Different Levels of Pupil Readiness to Learn?
- How Do Readiness to Learn and Safeguarding Fit Alongside Each Other?
- What Does Our Research Say?
- How Can You Promote Pupil Readiness to Learn?
What Does This Mean?
“Pupil readiness” encompasses all aspects of a pupil's readiness to engage with their learning environment. There are many interpretations, focusing solely on school factors. Still, we must consider their home life, personal wellbeing, and anything that may impact a student's readiness to learn.
Promethean, one of the leading Interactive whiteboard software and hardware companies in the UK education market, discusses pupils' readiness to learn in their blog series. They state that learning readiness refers to how well-equipped a pupil is to learn, including environmental factors. Their blog shows three examples of what it can look like, from not ready to learn to completely ready to learn.
Readiness to learn can be used to aid support and classroom differentiation. Schools can use an understanding of their pupils’ readiness to learn to differentiate how they engage their pupils with their learning and the support they can provide to improve their readiness to learn through wellbeing and safeguarding measures and policies.
How Do Readiness to Learn and Safeguarding Fit Alongside Each Other?
Following the research and development of our Pupil Safeguarding Survey, we included pupils’ readiness to learn as a module, as we believe that safeguarding will contribute to readiness to learn. An example often used by our Head of Insights, Iona, is, “if you are sitting in the classroom feeling scared or unsafe, you're not going to be concentrating on your timestables.”
The safeguarding of pupils is highly monitored and scrutinised by Ofsted assessors. By capturing the safeguarding picture, schools could deepen an understanding of how pupils' readiness to learn can be affected. Our research team felt that it was important to capture things like how happy pupils are, how much they sleep, how safe they feel and how much they enjoy learning in the context of safeguarding.
This is now one of the fundamental features of our new Safeguarding Survey. Within this blog, we are looking at why readiness to learn is important to children's wellbeing and their overall learning experience.
We will be looking at how pupils' perceptions of safety and school culture can affect their readiness to learn and how the monitoring of pupil safeguarding could help inform school approaches to improving or maintaining provisions.
As can be seen below, readiness to learn fits in with the other sections of our Pupil Safeguarding survey to allow for cross-analysis to measure the biggest impacting factors on pupils' wellbeing and readiness to learn.
What Do We Know about It?
The Edurio Pupil Learning Experience Survey includes several questions that relate to pupils' feelings of safety in and out of the classroom, which may affect pupil readiness to learn. Within this section of the blog, we will take a brief look at correlations between pupils' readiness to learn and safeguarding (specifically feelings of safety in the classroom) and the responses these students gave to some of the questions within our Pupil Learning Experience and Wellbeing Survey.
Whilst looking through the analysis of pupils’ responses to safety within the classroom, we compared responses to other questions based on their feelings of safety in the classroom. For example, we were able to explore students' perceptions about how able they feel to learn and understand new things.
There is a clear correlation between students who feel less safe in the classroom and how able they feel about learning and understanding new things. 71% of pupils who felt “very safe” or “quite safe”, felt they were either “Quite able” to or “very able” to understand new things compared to 33% of students who don't feel very safe. This suggests that pupils' feelings of safety are related to students' feelings of readiness to learn and understand new things.
If we also look at how pupils' feelings of safety affect their perceptions of how interesting what they are learning is, we can see that, again, there is a correlation between pupils' feelings of safety and their perceptions of how interesting what they are learning is. With 48% of pupils who felt “very safe” or “quite safe” also found what they learn interesting always or often, compared to only 17% of pupils who don't feel very safe.
Our new Pupil Safeguarding Survey looks further at pupils' feelings of safety. Analysis of your school's survey findings can help you to identify areas of improvement within your school/trust policies and practices that can help students to feel safer in the school environment and more ready to learn.
Pupil Perceptions of Workload and Teacher Support
As well as pupils' learning engagement, we can also look at the possible effects of students feeling unsafe in the classroom on how they feel about their workload.
If we take a look at how pupils who stated they didn't feel safe within the classroom, we can see that they consider feedback from their teachers as less helpful in developing their understanding of how they can improve their work. 28% of pupils who felt less safe in the classroom responded positively and said they found their teacher feedback helpful for understanding how to improve their work, as opposed to 65% of pupils who felt “very” or “quite” safe in the classroom.
If we look at pupils' perceptions of how clearly teachers explain the work they set, pupils who felt less safe in the classroom are almost half as likely to say that the teacher explained the work clearly. Those that responded to the survey saying that they felt “not very safe” or “not safe at all” in the classroom were less likely to understand the teacher's instruction, with only 32% saying that explanations were clear, as opposed to 74% of pupils, who felt “very safe or “quite safe” in the classroom, who gave positive responses. Suggesting that pupil safety is related to how easily pupils understand teacher instruction.
The same pupils that felt “not very safe” or “not safe at all” in the classroom also considered the amount of work they were set was “too much” for them to do in one lesson. Suggesting that they were less ready for the workload compared to their peers, that felt safer in the classroom. Only 24% of students who felt “very safe” or “quite safe” in the classroom said that there was too much work often. As opposed to 52% of pupils who felt “not very safe” or “not safe at all”, saying the amount of work set was often too much.
How Can You Promote Pupil Readiness to Learn?
Within this blog, we’ve spoken a lot about our new Safeguarding Survey and how it can be a great tool for measuring and analysing pupils' readiness to learn. It can also be used to explore the following areas of Safeguarding within your trust/school.
✅ Readiness to Learn
✅ Access to help
✅ Treatment of others
✅ Feelings of Safety
Gain a Deeper Understanding of Your Pupils’ Safeguarding Experience
Edurio and The Key have launched England’s largest safeguarding review. If you would like to better understand the impact of your school and trust’s safeguarding efforts, participating in The Edurio Safeguarding Survey can provide the feedback you need. Fill out the form below to find the best ways how to improve your pupils' readiness to learn.