Brownmead Recovery Curriculum
As our school family begins to come together again, each pupil’s health and well-being will indisputably be of paramount importance. It’s therefore important that we do not try and forget what has happened over the last few months but instead acknowledge and learn from it.
The pandemic has been a shared experience across the world and all our families will have their own stories and experiences to share. A common thread that runs through the current lived experiences of our children is ‘loss’. There has been a loss of friendships and social interaction as well as loss of routine and structure. Therefore, it’s important that we give our pupils time to reflect and explore their feelings about the return to school.
Now is the time to ensure that we restore mental wealth in our children, so that their aspirations for their future, can be a vision that becomes, one day, a reality, Carpenter, B. et al (2015). During the first few weeks/months we need to ensure that our children feel safe and secure. Therefore, for the first period of the new term we will be implementing a ‘Recovery Curriculum’. Our teaching in the first term will have a relationship-based approach which will focus on; re-building relationships, re-establishing routines and re-connecting as a school community. We will use Hobfoll’s five key principles (Hobfoll et al., 2007) to support our children upon their return to school.
These principles are as follows:
- A sense of safety
We want the children to feel that school is an emotionally secure base. It is a place where they are listened to and valued.
- A sense of calm
We want to provide support that helps our children manage their emotions and stay calm.
- A sense of self and collective efficacy
We want the children to feel that they have control over what is happening to them, and a belief that their actions generally lead to positive outcomes.
- Social connectedness
It is important that our children in school feel they belong and have a network of people who can support them in school.
- Promoting hope
It has been a very difficult time and it is therefore important to promote hope. We want to provide all our children with reassurance and an understanding that things will get better in the future.
As we embark on an unpresented time in education, we are tasked with providing a recovery curriculum for children to compensate for potentially half a year of missed learning. The rationale for a recovery curriculum in terms of academia should aim to:
- Embed key skills across the curriculum
- Ensure children are well equipped to progress to their age related curriculum
- Ensure that what we teach reflects the gaps in learning.
- Ensure that the way we teach encourages deep understanding and retention.
This should be seen as an opportunity not only to provide a rapid and embedded recovery but then inform future practice because If a recovery curriculum achieves all of these things, then why wouldn’t we want to do that all time?
|Children have missed half a year’s curriculum.||For the core subjects, many strands are visited and revisited throughout the year so many of the missed objectives will be returned to in the next year. It would be advised to pinpoint key skills from the previous year for these subject and concentrate on these first to ensure a stable grounding before moving on to the current years curriculum.
For the foundation subjects many of the topics/knowledge and skills will have been completely missed so its recommended to map out the skills that have been missed and see where they can be taught in the next years topics. This will be different for each school.
In some cases there are things that won’t fit, in particular certain science topics, so mapping out a plan to teach this at some point during their school curriculum is advised.
|Analysing gaps.||A clear – non intrusive – baseline for the core subjects to be able to analyse which children have fallen behind, which children require recovery academically and which children have benefitted from quality home-schooling.
A clear plan should be formulated from the data that will inform teachers lessons and the curriculum they teach, not just interventions.
A clear follow up assessment should be in place to monitor the impact of the recovery curriculum.
It is felt that a baseline should be non-intrusive, not presented like a test, should be quick and only assess the key skills that a teacher is planning on teaching or has taught for the first half term.
|Prioritising of skills/subjects||Reading and in particular phonics in KS1 should be a huge focus upon returning. Many children will not have received good quality phonics teaching. As reading and phonics underpin writing and all other subjects, this should be a priority.
In Maths, clear Key performance Indicators (KPI’s) that underpin the entire maths curriculum (e.g. place value, four operations) should be prioritised.
Writing should concentrate on key skills and ensuring their use of these key skills have not regressed without the high expectations of a teacher for half a year. A suggestion would be for the new teacher to be able to see the children’s exercise books from the previous year to enable new teachers to know what they are capable of. (potentially photocopying the best piece and sticking it in the new exercise book may assist this.)
Potentially streamline the foundation curriculum to ensure all the skills both missed and need teaching are prioritised before enrichment/ non-essential lessons.
|Change in approach
|Ensure that depth of learning for the key skills is strong in order for children to successfully access appropriate age related curriculum. This may need ensuring concrete, visual and abstract is taught in maths to ensure the underpinning understanding is there.
Ensure that strong assessment for learning is in place to constantly monitor that gaps identified through the baseline are taught and achieved through the use of daily/ weekly / monthly quizzes. (see Rosenshine’s principles of instruction.)
Our main objectives for our children are:
- To reintroduce children to the tools to enable them to thrive and flourish, embracing both success and challenge
- Share experiences to develop children to gain understanding, knowledge and empathy to become confident, caring and active members of society
- Develop children’s confidence, independence and readiness to embrace a challenging, deep curriculum
- Actively re-engage children to be fully immersed in experiences and opportunities for deeper learning
- Ensure that, while maintaining integrity of bubbles might limit our usual extra-curricular offer, (lunchtimes and after school) our recovery curriculum is accessible to all, and responsive to children’s needs, interests and aspirations Our hopes for our children: Every child is able to continue to grow academically, socially, morally, spiritually and culturally in the knowledge they are valued within our school community.