The Recovery Curriculum
The Thomas Harding Recovery Curriculum
At Thomas Harding Junior School our rationale is to deliver a challenging curriculum that builds on prior knowledge and develops cultural capital, is rich in written and spoken language, deepens understanding, and enables children to develop the powerful learner attributes which allow them to aspire and achieve highly. We develop learners who are positive, responsible and resilient, so that they can work and collaborate with others whilst developing knowledge, understanding and skills in order to reach their true potential. Our pupils leave us at year 6, ready for the challenges that face them in the next stage of their education and fully prepared to be happy, successful and responsible citizens in the future.
As we begin the process of returning to normal after Covid19, we are mindful that we need to reset, repair and rebuild our school community in response to the difficulties we have all faced.
As a school, we are putting the child’s well-being at the centre of our thinking. We acknowledge that the children will have had different experiences during this time. However, the common thread running through all is the loss of routine, structure, friendship, opportunity and freedom. These losses can trigger anxiety in any child. Some of you may have experienced this with your own children.
We know that an anxious child is not in a place to learn effectively. So with this in mind, the school community has thought about the most effective way to support your child’s ability to learn. This approach will encompass and support the academic expectations for your child.
Ensuring that the values represented by our school’s Vision, continue to be retained at the centre of our work is therefore key as we believe these values are intrinsic for providing a consistently high standard of support during this journey of reconnection, recovery and building resilience for our school community.
What is a Recovery Curriculum?
Professor Barry Carpenter has developed the Recovery Curriculum, as a response to the losses described above. It is a way for schools to help children come back into school life, acknowledging the experiences the children have had. We want children to be happy, feel safe and able to be engaged in their learning. We have decided that a way to achieve this for the children is to acknowledge the importance of helping them lever back into school life using the following 5 Levers.
- 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.
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.