Recovery Curriculum Transition Booklets:
Please take the time to read your child’s transition booklet. As we have not been able to hold our usual transition activities from one class to another we hope you find these books useful.
Recovery Curriculum Information:
The Recovery Curriculum Framework is based upon the work of Barry Carpenter and the Evidence for Learning team, which sets out the importance of recognising the trauma and loss that children will have been through during the Covid-19 pandemic. Successful transition for children to enable them to once again become efficient and confident learners is key. The way in which we do this is to acknowledge and accept the losses that we have all been through during the pandemic. It will be essential that each school must ensure they adhere to our aims and objectives with the content they believe is best for their school community.
Loss of routine: means that we are likely to have at some point had disrupted sleep patterns, change in coping mechanisms, worried or become confused at lack of routine.
Loss of structure: would indicate that we may not have been following the same structures for learning that we have previously been accustomed to, we may have worries over lack of control and in particular change, we may have lost out on our right to carry out important transitions in our lives such as SATS, secondary school visits, end of year parties, moving onto the next year group when Y6 and 11 leave school.
Loss of friendship: whilst we haven’t lost friendships and those people still remain in our lives we will not have been able to interact with them in the way we were previously used to, we grieve for the deeper social interaction and connectedness that friendship and relationships bring.
Loss of opportunity: many children and adults do not understand why school was closed, why we were no longer able to meet up with our friends and had to remain at home and indoors for most of the day. We do not understand fully why the decisions were made and for children in particular, they do not have the understanding that the Government made the decisions to partially close schools and that it wasn’t their teachers or other school staff who took those decisions. For this reason, it is vitally important that we help children to understand that their safety was and is our primary concern.
Loss of freedom: for some children and adults school offers a place of escape, somewhere that they can be who they want to be and allows a sense of freedom to explore, make mistakes and to learn from them.
The consequence of loss may mean some of our pupils will require support dealing with bereavement, attachment, anxiety and trauma.
The primary focus of the recovery curriculum is to ‘help children to recover from their loss of routine, structure, friendship, sleep, opportunity and freedom.
Those five losses, of routine, structure, friendship, opportunity and freedom, can trigger the emergence emotionally of anxiety, trauma and bereavement in any child. The overall impact cannot be underestimated.
Naturally we recognise that pupils may have a loss of knowledge, but this does not recognise the scale of impact. If we consider the definition of a relevant curriculum as the ‘daily lived experience’ we must plan for experiences that provide the space for recovery.
The Recovery Curriculum Framework is built on the 5 Levers, as a systematic, relationships-based approach to reigniting the flame of learning in each child. Some children may return to school disengaged. School may seem irrelevant after a long period of isolation, living with a background of silent fear, always wondering if the day will come when the silence speaks and your life is changed forever. Our quest, our mission as educators, should be to journey with that child through a process of re-engagement, which leads them back to their rightful status as a fully engaged, authentic learner.
Lever 1: Relationships – we can’t expect our students to return joyfully, and many of the relationships that were thriving, may need to be invested in and restored. We need to plan for this to happen, not assume that it will. Reach out to greet them, use the relationships we build to cushion the discomfort of returning.
Lever 2: Community – we must recognise that curriculum will have been based in the community for a long period of time. We need to listen to what has happened in this time, understand the needs of our community and engage them in the transitioning of learning back into school.
Lever 3: Transparent curriculum – all of our students will feel like they have lost time in learning and we must show them how we are addressing these gaps, consulting and co-constructing with our students to heal this sense of loss.
Lever 4: Metacognition – in different environments, students will have been learning in different ways. It is vital that we make the skills for learning in a school environment explicit to our students to reskill and rebuild their confidence as learners.
Lever 5: Space – to be, to rediscover self and to find their voice on learning in this issue. It is only natural that we all work at an incredible pace to make sure this group of learners are not disadvantaged against their peers, providing opportunity and exploration alongside the intensity of our expectations.
The Recovery Curriculum Framework is an essential construct for our thinking and our planning. Each school must fill it with the content they believe is best for the children of their school community, informed by your inherent understanding of your children in your community.
Professor Barry Carpenter, CBE is Professor of Mental Health in Education at Oxford Brookes University. Below is a link to his podcast on the Recovery Curriculum.