Learning Gaps and Building Blocks Explained

It’s not unusual for students to be behind in their studies- sometimes by a few months or even a few years. Often this is referred to as a ‘learning gap’, which simply means a student has struggled and started to fall behind with their academic progression. As learning is based on building blocks, students that are missing certain ‘blocks’ means catching up can seem almost impossible until these gaps are filled. For parents, closing these gaps and getting their child back on track is crucial. Here’s everything you need to know about learning gaps and building blocks, so you can start making progress together!

What is a Learning Gap?

A learning gap is described as the difference between what a student is expected to have learned by a certain timevs what they have actually learned up to that point. Put simply, a student is expected to have acquired a certain level by the time they complete each school year. For example, if a student is not able to read books at a Key Stage 2 by age 11, we might consider a learning gap in reading and comprehension exists.

How Building Blocks Work

Learning is based on building blocks, which means students are expected to expand on topics over time and apply each new ‘block’ they learn to new concepts as they progress through the school years. Each building block learnt works as a new foundation where students can start to understand and build on more complex ideas. When building blocks are missed this is where learning gaps start to form.

Why Do Learning Gaps Form?

Even though it’s not always easy to see why learning gaps form, often it’s due to students having gaps in key building blocks that are vital when understanding new academic material. Without these building blocks, a learning gap starts to form. As learning gaps are compounding, learning can start to get tricky for students and before they know it they’ve started to fall behind. This learning structure grows throughout a student’s academic career, with new skills developing from the skills the student has already mastered. It’s also important to realise that not every student learns at the same pace, which is why what starts out as a small learning gap can eventually become a more serious problem.

How Tutoring Can Help

One-to-one tutoring is an excellent solution for students dealing with learning gaps. It gives a highly qualified tutor the opportunity to help fill in missing building blocks by using material and giving instructions appropriate to their current level. It’s also important to remember that every student is unique in how they learn, which is why tutoring can be so effective. Tutors are able to cater specifically to each student and ensure that a student’s academic learning gaps are approached with the individual’s learning style in mind. For more information on our tutoring programmes, click here.