To provide a curriculum, learning and support to enable all our children to achieve. We will ensure that we provide an appropriate curriculum. We intend to adapt our curriculum coverage 2020-2021 to ensure that children have strong foundations. Foundations that will prepare them for the next stage in their learning. We will need a highly flexible approach to curriculum planning.
To identify swiftly any needs both in terms of children’s leaning and mental health and to then meet these needs through high quality provision and/ or intervention. We aim for children to achieve targets that are not compromised by the school closure.
To provide a learning environment which enables our children to thrive. To develop positive relationships to ensure our children feel safe and ready to learn. What children need most after a time of disruption to their lives is normality. A sense of normality can provide security; a safe space.
The Wellbeing curriculum is not concerned with lessons regarding the pandemic that urge them to talk about it endlessly rather they will focus on building relationships. (Trauma aware not trauma led)
Relationships. This will be an important aspect of supporting children’s return to school.
As Barry Carpenter states:
‘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’.
We also need to build children’s perception of themselves as learners (meta-cognition). We may need to build their resilience as learners, their ability to focus, to engage fully with the learning.
The lockdown period may have affected children in different ways. For some children they will return to school happy and confident. For some children it may have had a detrimental effect on their mental health and wellbeing –with feelings of anxiety, loss, and attachment issues.
We know we need to prioritise the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of children. We know these areas are fundamental to ensuring that children can engage effectively in their learning.
We need to listen to our families, be alert to these feelings and how they might be ‘displayed’ and plan how to support children. This may need specialist support/provision.
Teachers will need to ‘know’ the curriculum and the sequence of learning. Missed learning is complex. The curriculum is sequential in terms of skills and knowledge-Teachers will need to plan a flexible route to ‘recovery’. Teachers /Subject Leaders will need to identify significant coverage that children may have missed during the spring and summer terms. They then need to include in their planning any aspects/concepts that need embedding before children can move on or to ensure that these are planned for future learning.
We will need to focus on learning across literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing. These curriculum areas will be the initial priority with increasing learning experiences across the curriculum.
Teachers will need to ensure that the curriculum can also be adapted and provided as home learning. There may be times when individual children or class bubbles may need to continue their learning at home. Teachers may need to adjust their plans and provision (with maybe only short notice) to ensure that our children can continue their learning and progress at home.
Plans need to be in sufficient detail that enables ‘other’ teachers to effectively continue to deliver the curriculum if a member of staff is unwell.
Assessment will be key. We must not assume that a child has learnt nothing in the lockdown we need to discover ourselves where children are in terms of their attainment. Where and when appropriate teacher should use ‘low-stakes’ quizzing and child-friendly testing to assess where extra support is needed or where learning needs to be covered/revisited.
Provision in the classroom and additional provision can then be tailored to the learning needs of the children.
We recognise that children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds may have faced multiple barriers to learning over the period of the school closures. Applying the principle of equity, we need to consider how to provide additional and appropriate support where it is most needed in order to maximise engagement with learning and continue the work to close the poverty related attainment gap.
We will need to carefully plan any specialist support for children in terms of both academic and mental health.