FREE Grammar Guide

Many new secondary school pupils will lack ‘the three Rs’

10th July 2024

“More than one third of children will start secondary school in September without reaching the required standard in reading, writing and maths,” wrote Anna Davis in the Evening Standard. She was reporting on the results of the Year Six Standard Assessment Tests (SATs).

As each new school year begins, it is filled with fresh opportunities and challenges for students moving from primary to secondary education. However, this year, the excitement is tempered by that sobering statistic. This gap in foundational skills is particularly concerning in the context of English language proficiency, which is crucial not just for academic success but for overall life skills.

The importance of English Language proficiency

English language proficiency encompasses the essential skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These skills form the backbone of effective communication and are integral to all areas of learning. Mastery of the English language enables students to comprehend instructions, express their ideas clearly, engage in meaningful discussions and understand complex texts across the curriculum. Without a strong command of English, students may find it challenging to keep up with their peers, leading to a widening educational divide.

Moving forward

The responsibility of ensuring that all children meet the required language standards before entering secondary school is a collective one. It requires the concerted efforts of educators, parents, policymakers, and the community. By prioritizing English language proficiency and implementing effective strategies, we can bridge the gap and set our children on a path to academic success and lifelong learning.

Every child deserves the opportunity to start secondary school with the confidence and skills they need to succeed. Let’s all work towards making this a reality, ensuring that no child is left behind in their language journey.

Dallas Willcox,