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Our Recovery Curriculum

What is our Recovery Curriculum?

As children return to St Barnabas CE Primary School in September 2020, there will understandably be concerns around the learning which the children have missed since the country was put into lockdown in March. There will also be worries  around the impact on pupils from an emotional wellbeing point of view as well. With these in mind, we would like to share with you the approaches we will be taking on how we aim to re-engage  children with learning in school as well as supporting their wellbeing.

There is something so momentous about the lockdown that it cannot just be ignored. Everyone will have a story to tell and many will want to share theirs. Of course, not everyone will want to share their experiences, and that should be respected. However, it should be an expectation for all that we listen to those who choose to recount their experiences. There can be a tendency only to focus on the negative arising from this pandemic, but we have so many inspiring examples of our pupils rising to the challenge and “letting their light shine,” not just for working extremely hard on their school work, but demonstrating many acts of kindness and thoughtfulness within our community during lockdown. These positive experiences will be shared and celebrated in our  school community. However, we are also mindful that children do not need constant reference to the pandemic and just want to return to normality and just need teachers to get on with the heart of the job: teaching and learning.

By investing some time at the start of staff and pupils’ return – through storytelling, speaking and being heard, and wrapping things up as a collective – we acknowledge what has happened, and can draw out the most positive aspect of all: that it is good to be back together and to get back to a sense of normality that school life offers.

Staff at St Barnabas CE Primary are already considering how to best address children's gaps in learning and have carefully planned our recovery curriculum for September. In doing this, we are considering current research from the EEF and mental health expert Professor Barry Carpenter’s think piece, ‘A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and life for our children and schools post pandemic.’ In this piece, he recommends five levers that can help recovery using a relationships-based approach to support with reigniting the flame of learning in our children.

 

Lever 1: Relationships

Relationships are key to all successful experiences and we cannot just assume that we can pick up where we left off in March. Time will be built into the first two weeks to re-establish expectations, routines and relationships: relationships between pupils, and between pupils and staff. Our wider curriculum timetable has also been redesigned to incorporate more quality personal and social sessions which will also help to support. Carefully designed activities and lessons will be planned by staff to aid the rebuilding of these relationships.

 

Lever 2: Community

For the majority of our children, September will be the first time that they have stepped foot in the school building since March. As staff, we need to acknowledge the momentous event that has happened within our community and initially take time to talk and understand the effects it may have had on some of our children – both positive and negative. As children transition back to school, it is key that we re-establish rules, boundaries, values and regain a sense of normality through familiar routines whilst remaining sensitive to the effects the pandemic may have had on some pupils. Learning at home is vastly different from learning in a classroom of 30 children and we must re-engage the children with their learning and recognise that some children will need work on increasing levels of independence, stamina and perseverance. We recognise that what children need most after a time of significant disruption to their lives is normality and being back in our school community will offer this.

 

Lever 3: Transparent Curriculum

As a school, we have already planned and designed a timetable and a curriculum for 2020-21 which allows for pupils to build on the knowledge and skills that are already established in order for them to continue to make progress. Greater opportunities for pupils to bridge any gaps that there may be alongside time for wellbeing and personal development are available. At St Barnabas CE Primary, chances for regular retrieval of prior knowledge are embedded in our curriculum and this will continue. Low stakes quizzes and tasks will be set to establish any gaps in a child’s knowledge of a subject.

 

Lever 4: Metacognition

During their time away from school, children will have been learning in lots of different ways in different environments. We will allow pupils time to share what worked well for them and what was difficult. Then we will incorporate the best bits of home learning into school and allow pupils time to rebuild effective learning skills. Our curriculum will give pupils the opportunity to solve problems, evaluate their learning, develop resilience, independence and self-motivation.

 

Lever 5: Space – to be, to rediscover self and to find their voice on learning

At St Barnabas CE Primary, we strongly believe that  if children feel safe and feel happy, then they will learn and this is always our first priority.  School has always been a safe place for our children but there may be some anxieties around this as they return in September, therefore it is our role to allay these fears and ensure that security and a love  of learning are re-established. Pupils will seek comfort in that familiar sense of routine that they find in school, and that they have so missed during the partial school closures. We owe it to them to provide this while providing more targeted support to those in specific need of it. Through re-building strong relationships as well as through a carefully designed rich curriculum which considers aspects of personal development as well as academic development, children will respond positively to the normality that school life offers.

We want to minimise any learning disadvantages our pupils may be at due to the pandemic and will seek further guidance using relevant and current research from the EEF:

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/best-evidence-on-impact-of-school-closures-on-the-attainment-gap/

 

 

 

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St Barnabas CE Primary School

Collin Street, Warrington,

Cheshire WA5 1TG

01925 633606