Woodlands Primary Academy

Recovery Curriculum - March 2021

“The common thread that runs through the current lived experiences of our children, is loss. From loss emanates three significant dynamics that will impact majorly on the mental health of our children. Anxiety, trauma and bereavement are powerful forces. For them all to appear at once in an untimely and unplanned fashion is significant for the developing child. Our children are vulnerable at this time, and their mental-health fragile. And on top of that, they are witnessing a sea of adult anxiety, which they unwittingly are absorbing.”

(Carpenter and Carpenter, 2020).

Following the Pandemic, Woodlands developed and implemented a Recovery Curriculum to ensure we could meet the needs of our whole community. Although now a historical curriculum, this work was invaluable in driving the current curriculum offer at Woodlands and the detail belwo is still very relevant to the work we continue to do in school

What is a Recovery Curriculum ?

The Woodlands recovery framework is based upon the work of Barry Carpenter and the Evidence for Learning team, which sets out the importance of recognising the trauma and loss that children will have been through during the Covid-19 pandemic. Successful transition for children to enable them to once again become efficient and confident learners is key. The way in which we do this is to acknowledge and accept the losses that we have all been through during the pandemic.

Barry Carpenter identified 5 losses that children have suffered throughout this time:

  • Loss of routine means that we are likely to have at some point had disrupted sleep patterns, change in coping mechanisms, worried or become confused at lack of routine.
  • Loss of structure would indicate that we may not have been following the same structures for learning that we have previously been accustomed to, we  may have  worries  over  lack of control and in particular change, we may have lost out on our right to carryout important transitions in our  lives such as SATS, secondary school visits, end of year parties, moving onto the next year group when Y6 and 11 leave school
  • Loss of friendship whilst we haven’t lost friendships and those people still remain in our lives we will not have been able to interact with them in the way we were previously used to, we grieve for the deeper social interaction and connectedness that friendship and relationships bring
  • Loss of opportunity many children and adults do not understand why school was closed, why we were no longer able to meet up with our friends and had to remain at home and indoors for most of the day. We do not understand fully why the decisions were made and for children in particular, they do not have the understanding that the Government made the decisions to partially close schools and that it wasn’t their teachers or other school staff who took those decisions. For this reason, it is vitally important that we help children to understand that their safety was and is our primary concern.
  • Loss of freedom for some children and adults school offers a place of escape, somewhere that they can be who they want to be and allows a sense of freedom to explore, make mistakes and to learn from them

The primary focus of the recovery curriculum is to ‘help children to recover from their loss of routine, structure, friendship, sleep, opportunity and freedom’

Aims of the Recovery Curriculum

Our recovery curriculum aims to restore the mental health and rebuild the resilience of our children to allow them to become engaged learners again by:

  • recognising the experiences had by all
  • restoring trust and relationships with staff
  • re-establishing friendships and social interactions
  • regaining structure and routine
  • rebuilding a sense of community
  • regulating their emotions and managing behaviours
  • re-engaging them in learning

At Woodlands, we follow a Graduated Response in our approach to an inclusive environment. The Recovery Curriculum will embody this approach in a three phased model:

What will Recovery look like at Woodlands?

Please download our full Recovery Curriculum here;

Woodlands Recovery Curriculum

If you have any questions or queries about this, please contact your child's class teacher and we will be happy to discuss further with you.