We recognise that the global pandemic had impacted significantly on everyone’s lives and that there was a need to support all members of the school community.
When the pupils returned in September, we planned a ‘Recovery Curriculum’ based around the need of our pupils. At the heart of this planning were the 5 principles advocated by Professor Barry Carpenter (2020):
- Relationships – we ensured that pupils were given the time, space and strategies to re-establish relationships with their peers and staff within school.
- Community – we listened to pupils’ personal experiences and identified where further support was required.
- Curriculum – we listened to our pupils’ home learning experiences and identified where further support was required across the curriculum.
- Metacognition – we planned activities that rebuilt confidence and developed independence.
- Well-being – we planned activities where pupils had time to explore and process issues.
(paraphrased from ‘A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and Life for our pupils and schools post pandemic.’ Professor Barry Carpenter 2020)
During the school closure, our staff supported the pupils through the use of daily structured online learning as well as regular telephone and electronic communication. However, it was inevitable that our pupils had had different home learning experiences and that there were gaps in skills and knowledge as a result of being away from school for such a long period of time. Teacher assessments were therefore key for identifying these gaps. From their assessments, teachers can identify which objectives needed revisiting as well as opportunities for the children to challenge themselves with new learning.
To support the well-being and mental health of our pupils, staff built flexibility into the school day to enable the voice of the child to be heard. We then supplemented our PSHE lessons with the additional recovery materials produced by Jigsaw, where it was felt necessary and appropriate.