Salesbury this week!Blogs Page
Salesbury this week!Blogs Page
We do not know, for sure, the impact the Covid-19 Pandemic and its associated experiences has had on our pupils and their families. Each family’s circumstances will have been different but we do share a common thread – this common thread is loss.
This may be the loss of routine, structure, financial security, emotional security, opportunities, freedoms, friendships and familiarity. We know that this situation can trigger anxiety – and we know the anxious child is not a learning child. It is therefore crucial that at Salesbury Church of England Primary School, we do not overlook this and simply try to do what we have always done.
All of our learners will need a holistic recovery, some may need a focused recovery intervention programme, personalised to their needs; others may need a deeper, more sustained recovery period. We know that schools are so much more than places which provide education - they are about people, relationships and communities. We exemplify values; we model relationships required for modern life to function: we nurture collaboration and friendship.
In June 2020, we supported some of our learners back into school with a bespoke curriculum ‘All Creatures Great and Small.’
This allowed time for routine, restorative discussions, activities, and reflections. Our learners were supported with the addition of visual timetables, and for some supportive resources such as Social Stories, Wellbeing Boxes and Journal Activities were used. Collective Worship happened at the start of each day within our Bubbles providing prayer, reflection and guidance. We also made minor adaptations to our 5 minutes for heart, body and mind to allow this to become learning habits within our own Bubbles. The children enjoyed some super experiences and quickly settled into a learning rhythm and enjoyed their new routine. Lots of laughter, activity and learning!
We know that this short experience at school will not be sufficient to meet our learners needs; we know that some of our children have not attended school at all. We will therefore be extending our Recovery Curriculum into September with a whole school unit which has been specifically designed for purpose.
This is a framework for children to re-engage socially with each other and their wider community and provides children with
opportunities to engage positively with the outdoor environment;
stimulation for thinking and talking about world events and the impact of these events on individuals and the wider world;
a safe forum to share thoughts, concerns, ideas and personal responses;
the use of art and writing to help children respond personally to experiences they have had.
We will then transition into our historical biased unit. Again, this has been adapted to allow children to engage with narrative, thought and emotion while developing their historical skills, knowledge and understanding. Our units have been inspired by high-quality historical fiction which we know will engage and ignite our pupils.
Our recovery curriculum needs to balance how to learn best with what to learn. This is summarised from the work of Barry Carpenter, taken from his Recovery Curriculum model:
“A learning community’s well-being has a lot to do with the quality of relationships, cohesion, inter-dependence and belonging.”
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.
These levers have been incorporated into our curriculum design for all our children. We will begin to address identified needs immediately. For most children, this will occur within the classroom lesson and through the adaptation of daily teaching. We will also implement Morning Mentoring for a small group of children each day.
Throughout, we will be carefully monitoring, sharing our findings with parents, adapting our teaching, routine and practice and ensuring meeting the needs of all our learners is our priority.
We wish to assure our parents, our community and our children of our commitment to do what we need to do.