St John's C of E Primary School

Recovery Curriculum

Recovery Curriculum  Recovery Curriculum Poster Subject Recovery


When pupils return to school there must be a Recovery Curriculum in place which addresses not only the potential gaps in their academic attainment but health and mental well-being, too. It would serve no purpose to pupils or staff to start the academic year by testing children to find ‘gaps’ in their learning or by reminding them of what they have missed.

All children learn at different paces and all children have times when they find learning a challenge. Staff are able to support our pupils when they may need a little more support.

Time out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children. This impact can affect both current levels of learning and children’s future ability to learn, and therefore we need to ensure all pupils can return to school sooner rather than later.              

Guidance for full opening: schools (DFE, 02 July 2020)

Research places emphasis on acknowledging the losses which children will have encountered: This includes:

  • Routine
  • Structure
  • Friendship
  • Opportunity
  • Freedom

Without these this can lead to increased levels of anxiety, attachment, bereavement and trauma

Professor Barry Carpenter has developed the Recovery Curriculum, as a response to the losses described above. It is a way for schools to help children come back into school life, acknowledging the experiences the children have had. We want children to be happy, feel safe and able to be engaged in their learning

Lever 1: Relationships - We won’t expect our students to return joyfully, we know many will be feeling uncertain following a long break from school. Many of their relationships, that were thriving, will need to be invested in and restored with friends, teachers and the whole school community. We will plan for this to happen, not assume that it will. We will reach out to greet them, use the relationships we build to cushion the discomfort of returning.

Lever 2: Community - We will recognise that students’ learning will have been based at home for a long period of time. We will 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 will show them how we are addressing this to heal this sense of loss.

Lever 4: Metacognition - in different environments, students will have been learning in different ways and this will be acknowledged. 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 – We will allow students to be, to rediscover self, and to find their voice on learning. It is critical that we all work at an incredible pace to make sure our group of learners are not disadvantaged against their peers, providing opportunity and exploration alongside the intensity of our expectations.