The Recovery Curriculum (Teaching & Learning) at Joydens Wood Junior School
From September 2020, we intend for our pupils to return fully to school and begin the year group curriculum that is expected. We aim to increase the amount of ‘work’ around wellbeing throughout the school week from Term One. Our Recovery Curriculum will based around the five levers of recovery as suggested by the work of Professor Barry Carpenter. Professor Carpenter is the UK’s first Professor in Mental Health in Education. The five levers are:
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.
A Recovery Curriculum – Evidence for Learning
Based on these levers, we will work hard to ensure that our curriculum, for this time, works towards these ideas to support our children. As a results, we feel that our curriculum aims and objectives should remain the same as they were when we introduced our new ‘Experience’ approach in the 2019/2020 academic year. This curriculum will be modified to ensure the above approach is taking. We will aim for teachers to assess pupils’ wellbeing and academic progress to determine the correct support that is needed to support our children returning to school life. Through a range of approaches and teaching styles, our aim is to ensure that our children are able to settle safely and happily from September 2020. Depending on government guidelines, we are hoping our plans will be in place for a short term and will have long term gains. Nevertheless, if this is not the case we feel this plan can easily be adapted to support the school community for the entire academic year.
Relationships, Wellbeing & Transition
Our first priority is the wellbeing of our pupils on their return, especially with our Year 3 pupils starting. Our first week back will be designed to support our children with the transition to their new classrooms and teachers as well as support them with their full time return to school. Rebuilding relationships between staff and pupils as well as between pupils is important. To aide this we launched part of our transition package in Term 6 of the 2019/2020 academic year, where information was shared with parents and carers explaining which class their child will be in for September 2020 (presentations were uploaded to our website). This was followed up with videos from members of staff for each class (uploaded to the school website). In this first week there will be a ‘wellbeing’ session each day, led by the class teacher that will engage our pupils in a range of activities they can do safely in their classes linked to their return to school. At the end of this first week, teachers and teaching assistants will assess how well pupils are approaching school life and will determine if their class or individuals need further support. If more work is required, then this will continue and reviewed on a weekly basis by class teachers. Certain ‘wellbeing’ activities introduced from the first week will remain as part of the daily class routine. A majority of this work will be an expansion to our established PSHE curriculum and Values curriculum. We will encourage and support our children in rebuilding relationships with those they have not seen face-to-face since the school closure. Staff will encourage positive play during break and lunchtimes through either structured or unstructured activities, depending on the needs of their class or particular children.
Curriculum, incl. Attainment & Progress
On the whole normal subject lessons, such as Maths, English, etc. will resume as planned with some slight alteration in our Experience Curriculum. We want to encourage some normality so children do not feel that much has changed in school, while at the same time ensuring that the opportunities created from our recovery curriculum allows teachers and pupils to address any gaps in learning in an appropriate and enjoyable way. We plan to combine elements of previous knowledge that would have been taught that may have been missed (e.g. spelling rules, mathematical concepts, etc.).
We also are aware that since the absence of regular daily school routines that a majority of our children may crave the return of strong routines and structures. Along with this we are aware that some of our children returning to school may have lower concentration/attention spans or have developed further independence and resilience while being home schooled. To aide them in being happier at school, we plan for our lessons to be slightly shorter and there will be times during the day for children to take short breaks within class before moving on to another activity. Each class will follow a strong daily routine so children are aware of what is happening, when it is happening and how. Every minute of the day will be given to provide opportunities for children to learn either it be through wellbeing activities or ones aimed academics. We will not having any holding activities as these will not assist in children’s progress.
Through their teaching, staff will use a range of assessment strategies to determine if there are any gaps in children’s knowledge or skills especially in English and Maths. Where there are gaps, children’s work will be focussed to ensure those gaps are filled in a rapid manner.
As part of quality first teaching, these strategies will be more prominent in teaching practice due to the fact they are deemed by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to have the greatest impact on pupils’ progress in Maths and English:
Reading (Comprehension skills)
At JWJS, reading comprehension is central to our guided reading sessions as well as in other lessons to ensure children fully understand the texts they are reading. We provide children with the opportunities to read a range of questions and answers them orally or in the written form. As such this approach will be more prominent in our lessons from September. Our texts are already carefully selected as part of our curriculum to engage our children in a range of subjects including History, Geography, Science, etc.
With the correct approach, the EEF believe that six months of progress can be made when children are exposed to comprehension strategies that focus on the learners’ understanding of written text. Pupils will be taught a range of techniques which enable them to comprehend the meaning of what they read. These can include: inferring meaning from context; summarising or identifying key points; using graphic or semantic organisers; developing questioning strategies; and monitoring their own comprehension and identifying difficulties themselves.
We will be using an assortment of methods that allows for our children to still enjoy a wide-range of texts to enhance their English skills. This will include whole-class reading activities as well as individual reading comprehension that is targeted at their ability. Our aim is to consolidate their existing reading skills and develop them further.
Spellings, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG)
In regards to sentence structure construction, the EEF highly recommends that spellings are taught explicitly. Through our Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) lessons that we already do, we will continue to teach our children the different rules and patterns that appear in their spellings. We will do this through the use of understanding morphology and etymology and engaging the children in a range of activities that make spellings engaging (these will be similar to what we did for our Home Learning Grids).
Through our punctuation and grammar lessons, we will combine elements of the curriculum that would have been covered in the previous year as revision, alongside what would need to be covered in the current year curriculum (where appropriate). As stated by the EEF, pupils should practise sentence combining and other sentence construction techniques. We will do this strategy in our SPaG lessons so children are able to see how matters like word order and punctuation can make a difference to the meaning behind a sentence.
These lessons will then be expected to be referred to and applied in children’s writing (see below).
Another major part of our Experience Curriculum includes the application of writing in other subjects, not just English. As part of our recovery plan, we intend to carry on using many of our current teaching strategies to ensure children’s writing abilities are in line with what is expected of them. This will include high amounts of modelling and practise. Purpose and audience are central to effective writing. Pupils need to have a reason to write and someone to write for, as a result they will use our Experience Curriculum as the stimulus. Teachers will teach pupils writing techniques around the following processes:
- editing; (purple polishing)
Effective writers use a number of strategies to support each component of the writing process. To ensure our children’s writing abilities are assessed properly, we will cover these processes in our English lessons so pupils become familiar and are reminded about them when they go on to write in other areas of the curriculum (e.g.: history, RE, geography, science, etc.).
Following guidance released by the Department of Education (6th July 2020), our Maths curriculum will be slightly altered to follow it. The purpose of it is to identify the core concepts that are needed for pupils to progress in their study of mathematics. As a result of this, we will continue to follow the White Rose Maths scheme (which we will adapt for our classes) and use other resources to supplement learning opportunities (this will include supporting children who are struggling with certain concept in the curriculum that is being covered for their year group or who need further challenge to master the concept fully). We will this approach will be a strong structure for pupils as it will be familiar to them, based on the home learning we created during the ‘lockdown’ period. As well as this, our teachers will be able to manage assessment in a more direct, straightforward approach as any misconceptions will be easily noticed. Normally we would have children in maths sets that are catered/personalised to their needs, however we cannot break classroom bubbles. As a result it will be vital for our teachers to use a range of differentiation strategies to support learning from all pupils. Where appropriate, teachers will plan lessons and combine elements from the previous school year into their lessons to ensure no concepts or knowledge is missed. It is vital when developing children’s mathematical understanding and knowledge that any gaps are filled to avoid any misconceptions.
Experience Curriculum (our broad and balanced approach)
As stated we will continue with our Experience Curriculum, albeit modified from September. Our approach allows for a range of subjects and topics to be taught in a cross-curricular approach, ensuring that children are exposed to a range of skills and knowledge. Where ‘experiences’ are modified, any areas/skills that teachers feel further work is required will be included in later experiences. Progression of Skills and Long Term/Medium Term plans will be adjusted accordingly by the curriculum leader (Deputy Headteacher), subject leaders and class teachers.
We are aiming for the following to happen for our children when they return in September 2020:
- Where possible, if not all, a majority of our children will settle back into school life well by the end of Term 1. They would have adjusted to the new changes around the school to ensure that everyone is safe and well. The relationships they build with the adults in the room would have developed well, so they feel confident, happy and safe at school. The relationships with their peers would begin to develop further and any social issues that arise will hopefully not be related to any concerns or worries based on the global pandemic. Where there are concerns and worries about this matter (as well as another issues), our children will feel comfortable in being able to approach the adults they interact with on a daily basis to discuss these matters, seek advice and get the help they require.
- Where possible, if not all, a majority of our children will be able to access the curriculum that is age appropriate to them without any significant support. Teachers would be able to successful identify where there are gaps in knowledge and skills and by the end of Term 1 would have already started work to reduce/remove these barriers to progress. Where children are requiring further support, due to their own needs/learning difficulties, the teacher (with advice from our SENCo) would have begun a set of well-planned and structured interventions within the class (supported by the Teaching Assistant). Progress would have been achieved through a personalised approach that is suitable and right for these children. Baseline assessments will be shared with parents by the end of September 2020. This will include assessment of where teachers believe their pupils are within the English and Maths as well with their wellbeing. Aspirational targets will be set to ensure children continue to make progress. Parents will be informed of any further difficulties and suggestions on how home life could support within these areas, if appropriate.
- Teachers and Teaching Assistants will feel confident they know every child in their class by the end of Term 1. This includes their emotional state, their academic abilities and how confident they are in their own social interactions with others. Based on this knowledge, any support that is necessary will be provided in any of these areas.
We are hoping that by the end of Term 1, we are able to review the effect these approaches and adjustments to our curriculum have had on pupil-wellbeing and academic progress through the ongoing use of a range of assessment methods.
Below are our long term plans for our Curriculum, alongside this each year group also has medium term plans for each experience, which contains more details on what is planned for teaching and learning.
Long Term Plans
Medium Term Plans