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  • Writer's pictureKapow Primary

How has the Covid pandemic impacted primary school children's attention spans?

We are pleased to feature a guest post from Kapow Primary, an online education provider that offers comprehensive schemes of work for primary schools covering various foundation subjects. You can see Kapow Primary’s products on our Art & Design, Computing, Design & Technology, French, Geography, History, Music, RSE & PSHE and RE pages.



How has the Covid pandemic impacted primary school children's attention spans?


Kapow Primary recently made headlines with a survey of over 500 primary school teachers. The survey focused on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the attention spans of Generation Alpha children, the first to experience digital classrooms from early childhood. The goal was to understand the challenges teachers face in the classrooms and identify any tools they may find helpful.


What were the key findings?


The pandemic and the sudden shift to online learning have resulted in challenges still felt in the classroom today. Most striking were:


  • 8 in 10 teachers reported children's inattention has worsened since the end of the pandemic

  • 85% of teachers have observed a negative impact on children’s attention due to the swiping nature of social media

  • 85% of teachers are dealing with increased low-level disruption, such as needless chatter and inappropriate laughing

  • 57% of teachers noticed children complaining of boredom more quickly

  • 20% of teachers spend less than 10 minutes on an activity to maintain children’s attention


These findings, which resonated widely and were shared across various media outlets (The Guardian, TES, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Times, Daily Mirror, to name a few!), underline the ongoing implications of the pandemic on primary education.


The survey aimed not to criticise but to understand the real issues teachers face. During the pandemic, teachers, parents, and children grappled with various challenges. For solutions to emerge, it was essential first to understand the problem's scale and impact.


What can be done?


According to the survey, 64% of teachers expressed a need for assistance in developing a range of diverse lesson resources, finding it challenging to create their own due to various constraints. Among these, 20% identified heavy workloads and administrative tasks as significant hindrances, while 14% pointed to limited budgets as a contributing factor.


Kapow Primary addresses these challenges with a pedagogically rigorous, engaging, and varied curriculum. The aim is for children to go home not only repeating the facts they have learnt but also singing the songs developed to help with recall, showcasing their art projects, or enthusiastically discussing their “Come Dine with Me” inspired menus.


How can Kapow Primary help?


Each of Kapow Primary’s lessons follows a tried-and-tested format: recapping previous knowledge, grabbing attention, delivering the main event, and wrapping up.


Activities are carefully designed to provide variety and engagement in each lesson. These captivating activities encompass songs, quizzes, stories, real-life examples, recipes, games, interactive resources, classroom debates, carousel activities, and more.


Every subject follows a dynamic spiral curriculum structure. This approach helps to embed, revisit and build on taught concepts while giving children plenty of opportunities to acquire necessary skills and knowledge. Teachers are also supported with integrated continuous professional development (CPD) to help confidently deliver the lessons.


How is customer research used to develop resources?


Kapow Primary values the role of research in shaping effective curricula. Regular customer research provides important insights into the challenges faced by primary schools. Feedback received is thoroughly analysed and used to update resources, ensuring they meet the needs of both teachers and pupils.


Recent enhancements include improved Subject Leader Toolkits, a comprehensive RSE & PSHE Parent's Guide, and webinars to support the delivery of Design and Technology, a subject often seen as challenging.


All this and more is underway!


So, what’s next?


As post-Covid challenges in classrooms are addressed, it is important to recognise that there is no universal solution that fits all situations. Schools have responded to issues facing their own communities and updated behaviour policies.


And as an education provider, Kapow Primary is committed to providing exciting, varied lessons that fully engage children.


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