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Pupils 'make more progress in maths than English in Year 7'

04/09/2017 Joanna

Children starting secondary school in this termare likely to make more progress in maths than English over the coming school year, the findings of a new report suggest.

According to research carried out by assessment software firm No More Marking, Year 7 pupils are much more likely to progress with their numeracy than literacy skills during their first 12 months at secondary school.

The company found that after a year at high school, 42 per cent of 11 to 12-year-olds have either regressed with their skills in English lessons or their literacy ability has stood still.

In contrast, just over one-third (37 per cent) of Year 7 students make backwards progress or none at all in maths classes, which suggests that more improve their numeracy skills than their English ability during their first year of secondary school.

To make these findings, No More Marking assessed more than 28,000 Year 7 pupils in both English and maths in the September they started their new school and again in the June.

It was also found that, across both subjects, ten per cent of pupils saw their test scores fall by the equivalent of two GCSE grades. Yet 18 per cent improved their ability by two grades in English and 25 per cent in maths, which again indicates stronger improvement in numeracy than literacy.

The authors of the report believe that there may be several reasons behind this, such as pupils having already been prepared by their primary school English teachers for the standard expected of them in Year 7.

In addition, there are typically a lot of new subjects for them to get to grips with for the first time at secondary school, like foreign languages, design and more advanced sciences.

Speaking to Schools Week, director of education at No More Marking Daisy Christodoulou explained: "They're suddenly studying a lot more subjects, they've got lots of new teachers, new peers - there's a lot more going on there."

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