Schools in Cornwall are having to provide extra support to help children catch up on learning lost during the coronavirus lockdown.

Inspectors from Ofsted have been carrying out monitoring visits this term in a bid to understand what schools have had to do since the start of the school year in September.

Several schools in Cornwall have now received the reports which show some of the impact that school closures earlier this year have had on education.

All the reports highlight the work that schools are doing to help children who have fallen behind during the lockdown and the extra support which is being provided.

During the first lockdown schools were only open to vulnerable children and children of key workers with the majority of children having to stay at home and do lessons set remotely by their schools.

Ofsted inspectors have been going to schools or contacting them remotely to find out what actions they have taken since September.

The visits are not inspections but a chance for Ofsted to see how schools are managing the return to full time education.


At St Mewan School in St Austell the inspectors found in October that attendance was slightly lower than this time last year but that some pupils were attending more often than they were before lockdown.

The school was found to have “...assessed pupils’ reading and identified the gaps in their knowledge. Teachers are reading and discussing texts more often with pupils. Pupils who need help to catch up are receiving extra teaching, focusing on their needs”.

In maths teachers found that some pupils need to revisit several topics and to help they are “providing extra daily practice for whole classes and small groups”.

Inspectors also reported: “You have found that some pupils are having difficulties getting along. You are providing more lessons in personal, social and health education to help them with this. Sometimes pupils’ difficulties are the result of spending more time online. To remind pupils how to use the internet safely, you have reorganised the computing curriculum. ”

At Falmouth School, which was visited in November, inspectors found that attendance was lower than typical for this time of year. The school had allocated staff to monitor attendance and “take actions to improve it”.

The report states: “All pupils are studying the school’s usual range of subjects. In the first half term, most pupils did not have access to specialist teaching rooms, which limited some of the activities they could complete. Since the start of this half term, all pupils have their lessons in specialist classrooms.”

It adds: “Teachers have used assessments to identify gaps in pupils’ knowledge. From their findings, teachers devised a four-week programme that prioritised the teaching of the most important knowledge that pupils need to know.”

St Neot Primary School was also visited in November and inspectors found that extra reading sessions had been introduced to help pupils “get back on track”. Extra sessions are also being provided in mathematics.

The school has also carried out checks to see what pupils know in other subjects such as writing, music and science.

“Teachers are using this information to identify gaps in pupils’ learning and to adjust their teaching accordingly,” the report states.

Inspectors also found that the school had done a survey of families’ access to the internet and used the information to plan remote education if needed.

All the information gathered in the inspections is to be used in Ofsted’s national reporting and shared with the Government and the education sector.

In every report the inspectors noted that they did not find any significant concerns during their visits.