Professor Barry Carpenter 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 wanted our children to be happy, feel safe and able to be engaged in their learning in the way they did before the pandemic. Helping the children achieve this we acknowledged the importance of helping them lever back into school life using the following 5 Levers.
• Lever 1: Relationships – we could not expect our children to return without support, as many of the relationships that were thriving, may need to be invested in and restored. We needed to plan for this to happen, not assume that it would. Supportwith building relationships we focused on cushioning the discomfort of returning.
• Lever 2: Community – we recognised that curriculum was based in the community for a long period of time. We need to listen to what 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 children will feel like they have lost time in learning and we had to show them how we are addressing these gaps, consulting and co-constructing with our children to heal this sense of loss.
• Lever 4: Metacognition – in different environments, children had been learning in different ways. It was vital that we make the skills for learning in a school environment explicit to our children to re-skill 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.
Barry Carpenter, CBE, Professor of Mental Health in Education, Oxford Brookes University explains why a Recovery Curriculum is necessary to successfully transition children back to school. Click here to read more.