“Today we face a situation that is new to all of us; we are returning to schools where many children will have spent up to six months in isolation, experienced illness and bereavement in their family and watched as the world they knew at the start of 2020 fell apart. The role of teachers has always been about nurture, but now more than ever we need strategies and skills that renew confidence in safety, belonging, trust in adults and hope for the future. We achieve this through a strong school ethos backed up by daily, consistent classroom activities. The school ethos must prioritise community cohesion; a narrative of working and living together in harmony, recognising each other’s needs and supporting each other to meet those different needs.” Professor Barry Carpenter
Our approach to the reopening of school following lock-down has been inspired by a think piece written by Professor Barry Carpenter entitled: A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and Life for our children and schools post pandemic. This focused on a way for schools to help children come back into school life, acknowledging the experiences the children have had. We want our children to be happy, feel safe and able to be engaged in their learning.
We acknowledge that children will have had different experiences during this time. We know that an anxious child is not in a place to learn effectively. So with this in mind, we have thought about the most effective way to support your child’s ability to learn as they return to school.
This focuses on the Five Levers for the return to school proposed by Professor Carpenter.
- Lever 1: Relationships
- Lever 2: Community
- Lever 3: Transparent curriculum
- Lever 4: Metacognition
- Lever 5: Space – to be, to rediscover self, and to find their voice on learning in this issue.
Missed learning is a complex issue. Children’s needs will vary and not all gaps can – or should – be addressed immediately. We have developed our curriculum checklists based on key objectives in reading, writing and maths from the previous year groups to ensure that curriculum coverage missed during lock-down is revised and embedded to enable our children to move on in their learning. During Autumn term, our focus will be on ensuring our children catch up where necessary by doing less in more depth. This will help children become more secure in their knowledge and skills.
Our Transition Curriculum documents can be accessed below:
Barry Carpenter, CBE, Professor of Mental Health in Education, Oxford Brookes University explains why a Recovery Curriculum is necessary to successfully transition children back to school. Click here to read more.