Coronavirus Recovery Curriculum
Coronavirus Recovery Curriculum at St John’s
What does the new normal look like in the classroom and how do we adapt new strategies in order to ensure every child reaches their potential in all subject areas?
At the heart of the recovery curriculum at St John’s School is the trust and mutual respect that is shared between all members of our school community including staff, pupils, parents, St John’s church and the wider community of Walsall Wood. School closure has allowed us to work as a closer knit community and all members of this community have adapted in order to put the needs of our children first. School staff extends from teaching staff, support staff, senior leaders, school care takers, kitchen staff, office staff, lunchtime staff, school governors, Reverend Babbington and most importantly our cleaning staff. This community effort is key to the success of the coming academic year. The roles of all staff have evolved and may overlap. A supportive team effort is key to the academic success and health and safety of our children.
Mental wellbeing of all members of this community from our new nursery children leaving home for the first time to parents leaving children in the hands of other people for the first time in six months to our senior leaders shouldering such a responsibility is key to our school curriculum. This is embedded into the ethos of the school and links carefully with our school values. In order to support the mental health of all members of our community we have a fully trained Adult Mental Health Lead within school as well as a member of teaching staff who is taking on responsibility for the mental health of our children who will work alongside our subject lead for PSHE.
Barry Carpenter identifies 5 losses, of routine, structure, friendship, opportunity and freedom, which may have triggered the emergence emotionally of anxiety, trauma and bereavement in any child. The overall impact cannot be underestimated. It may have caused a rapid erosion of the mental health state in our children.
Carpenter goes on to identify 5 Levers of Recovery to consider, which may help a school firm up plans that are already in place and give structure to staff.
- 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.
Carpenter suggests that a Recovery Curriculum is built on the five levers, as a systematic, relationships-based approach to reigniting the flame of learning in each child. 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. These levers will therefore, be built into recovery plans at St John’s.