Recovery Curriculum 2020

We have been thinking about what a curriculum might look like for children in this next phase of school and have used some guidance from a researcher of education for children with complex learning needs and difficulties to help us with this. We will be implementing for this period and into next term a “recovery curriculum” which acknowledges that there have been big losses to children as they have stayed at home and that these losses can contribute to pupil’s mental health with anxiety, trauma and bereavement playing a large role. Children will perhaps have experienced these aspects all at once and in a sudden and unplanned fashion which can leave children feeling vulnerable. Equally whether we have intended to or not, children will be have been exposed to adults who are anxious and may not be acting in their normal way or maintaining the normal routines which they are used to.

To help us support children with this, our recovery curriculum will focus on four areas.

Letter to Parents/Guardians

1. Supporting me to build positive relationships with others

What this area will help me to learn?

Supporting pupils to rebuild relationships and re learn how to interact and build relationships with others including sharing, turn taking, greeting and interact with others positively, play alongside and with peers, respond to my familiar and ne adults, seek adults to help, support and comfort me when I need them, know which adults help me and can support me to keep safe when I need them.

What that may look like?

There will be opportunities within the day where the focus is on rebuilding relationships with peers and adults. This may be in the form of:

  • Independent learning to nurture parallel and joint play.
  • Turn taking games and activities.
  • Sharing games and activities.
  • Intensive interaction opportunities using call and response games and songs.
  • Time where adults can give sole attention to pupils re-building relationships
  • Games and activities where pupils can work together such as board games or outdoor PE games.
  • Safety work about who keeps us safe and who can keep us safe at school and at home and in the community.
  • Safety work about how adults can help us.
  • Activities that link to children’s interests to show we are interested in them.

2. Supporting me to manage my feelings and behaviour

What this area will help me to learn?

Supporting pupils to understand their emotions and feelings and begin to process the experiences they have had. Supporting pupils to relearn some positive behaviour which they may have forgotten being outside of the school environment. Supporting pupils to engage with self-regulation strategies and tools which help me to feel safe and calm. Supporting pupils to understand the world we live in with tools and strategies to help them process what is different and what we can do to help.

What that may look like?

There will be clear routines which are supported by visuals and clear communication which may include use of visual timetables so pupils know what is happening each day and at each part of the day. Some structures and boundaries may be different in school because of social distancing and processes related to this so some tools we will use are social stories and use of visuals to guide and support.

The structure will be supportive and provide opportunities within this that enables and allows pupils to express themselves and express the experiences they have had whilst they were not at school. We will do this by being clear with boundaries and using therapeutic approaches to supporting behaviour and emotions. We will also be using therapeutic tools to support pupils in communicating with us such as building in regular circle time, therapeutic play times, tools like sunshine circles and use of comic strip conversations.

There will be regular sessions where we explore and express emotions through what’s in the box using zones of regulation, using zones of regulation to open up discussions about emotions and circle time which will support pupils to explore their feelings as well as modelling processing and talking about feelings and emotions linked to this experience.
There will be regular opportunities for pupils to engage in self – regulation activities such as with sensory breaks, active breaks, and use of resources which support individuals. In addition there will be lots of opportunities for pupils to practise their communication so that they are able to feel like they have a voice and are able to express their wants and needs.

3. Supporting me to enjoy and achieve

What this area will help me to learn?

Supporting pupils to have moments here they feel success and can engage in moments of enjoyment and achievement which may feel usual to being in school. This will be within pupil’s abilities and easily accessible recognising that when pupils have experienced trauma, their abilities to learn new concepts and be challenged is less. Pupils often use schemas of learning which they are familiar to explore when processing events in their lives and planned provision will focus on what is familiar. I.e. play provision that enables schematic exploration, familiar structures in the day like what’s in the box? Relaxation time, independent learning, hello and circle time, phonics.

What that may look like?

We will use familiar curriculum type sessions that pupils will be used to that provide children with experiences that feel like “the norm”. Using what we know about schematic learning and how children process, this will look like familiar structured sessions in pupils day and opportunities to engage in play opportunities. We will be providing enjoyable activities which provide children with “fun” so that they can rejuvenate with positive endorphins and want to engage.

Sessions which will feel familiar will be different for each learning hub and class group but ideas will be:

  • What’s in the Box
  • Hello times
  • Curriculum sessions that provide familiar structures (like phonics, maths, guided reading)
  • Independent learning where provision takes account of schematic learning.
  • ICT songs and learning on whiteboard where these are familiar
  • Outdoor play
  • Storytime

Learning in these sessions will link to previous and current topic learning or children’s key interests and motivators. Children will have missed out on many opportunities being at home that they are naturally exposed to at school like peer play, active opportunities and experiences which develop their cognition and learning and these will be built into each day to support children to have a broad range of opportunity, experience and fun.

4. Supporting my physical health and wellbeing

What this area will help me to learn?

Supporting pupils to re-engage with physical health and well being routines as well as learn new routines which will support pupils to keep safe and enable infection control. This will include hand washing, social distancing, understanding of new school routines as well as supporting pupils with their personal care and tolerating differences in these routines such as use of an alternative hygiene room facility or being supported in a different way for eating/ drinking. Supporting pupils to be independent through their own dressing and undressing where needed and supporting pupils to be physically well through active sessions, use of outdoor space and understanding about keeping physically well.

What that may look like?

We will be planning in lots of time where children are able to explore and re-investigate their environments to become familiar with what might be different (i.e. one way systems in school, different markings in school, different access to resources in the classroom, some rooms which are closed) and understanding these differences will be supported with social stories, photos and pictures.

Learning in supporting my physical health and well being will focus on managing and coping within new processes keeping safe. This will include:

  • Understanding what is different about school and how to navigate this environment.
  • Hand washing and hygiene measures.
  • Adapting to using areas of the school that may not be usual and being in environment and with staff that are not usual.
  • Keeping and maintaining social distancing.
  • Catch it, kill it, bin it messages.
  • Health and hygiene sessions focusing on washing, being independent and looking after yourself.

For more information

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