Dear Parents, Carers, Pupils & Visitors,
You may have heard a lot of talk Nationally about a ‘Recovery Curriculum.’
This term is being used to describe how schools will support pupils to ‘recover’ from the period of lost teaching and learning as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
At St. John’s we have already started to think carefully about the impact of Covid-19 on education and the progress of our children and we are developing plans with careful thought and clear determination.
We believe it is vital that we do not instil panic in our children and will avoid at all costs them feeling like they are behind.
The first step to re-engaging our children with their learning is through building on their confidence and capturing their interest with exciting and engaging topics. It will serve no purpose to children or staff to start the next 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 where they find learning a challenge – this is healthy, and staff are well-prepared for how to support children during this time.
As always, we maintain the belief that relationships are at the heart of good teaching. Our absolute priority is to reach out and greet our children in September and to rebuild those strong home-school links. Many children have been disconnected from their friends and teachers for five months. Time will be made to listen to children, their experiences and to support them with the transition back into school routines – both pastorally and academically.
The second thing we must do is look carefully at our curriculum and prioritise what children must learn, what skills and knowledge do they need to move forward rapidly? Nobody fully knows how children have been affected by the absence of school routine.
At St. John’s we have spent time looking at evidence and research by Barry Carpenter, Mary Myatt and Tom Sherrington, to name a few. The evidence available suggests children (and parents) are likely to feel anxious about the return and will need support, reassurance and positivity when they come back. Time will be made for children who require additional support and all staff are clear on supporting the re-connection with school whilst maintaining an ambitious curriculum for all our children.
As a positive start in September, all classes will focus their learning around a shared text ‘Here we Are by Oliver Jeffers.’ Staff are already planning lessons which combine pastoral and academic expectations for each year group around this shared theme.
As a leadership team, it will be our priority to ensure all staff welcome and support children to re-engage with the ’20-21 (Recovery) Curriculum’ around 4 key elements, these are referred to as The 4R’s – Routine, Relationships, Relevance and Reflection. More on these areas are in the documentation attached below.
We know already that the Government still plan to assess children in Phonics in Year 1, and across Reading, Writing and Maths in Year 2 and Year 6. For these children there may need to be adjustments to the curriculum as the year progresses. We will monitor Government announcements and developments with care and adjust our teaching routines accordingly.
I hope this has explained some of the thinking behind our approach and provided some re-assurance as we prepare for September.
I am confident that by working together we will make up for lost time.
Many Thanks to you all for your continued support.