As you are aware some children have been returning to school and we felt that it was important for you to know of the approach that we are taking in school. We have provided a summary and time line of our approach and our thinking behind it.
We hope that you are happy with our approach and feel that it will support your child both with their education and well-being as they begin their re-engagement back into St. Patrick’s.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like more information.
Agreed School Recovery Plan – September
At St. Patrick’s we have put the child’s well-being at the centre of our thinking. We understand that the children will have had different experiences during this time. However, we also understand that all children will need support with school routine and structure, social interaction, friendship and freedom into the wider world. The sudden change to their daily lives could have triggered anxiety in any child, which come of you may have experienced with your own children.
We know that a child will not learn effectively if they are worried or anxious. Therefore, we have thought about the most effective way to support your child’s ability to learn. This approach will encompass and support the academic expectations for every child in our care.
Professors at Oxford Brookes University have developed a Recovery Curriculum to support children with their transition back into school. It is a way for schools to help children come back into school life, acknowledging the experiences that they have had. We want off of our children to be happy, feel safe and able to be engaged in their learning. There are a few stages of recovery that need to be considered in order for this to happen.
The 5 Levers of Recovery
Lever 1: Relationships
We understand that not all children will not return to school joyfully and many of the relationships that were thriving, may need to be invested in and restored. We will plan for this to happen and not just assume that it will. We will reach out to greet all of our pupils and use the relationships we build to support the children when they return.
Lever 2: Community
We realise that your child’s curriculum will have been based at home for a long 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
Our children may feel that they have lost time with their learning at school and we want to show them that we understand this and that we will help them to become confident school learners. We will address any gaps and adapt our school curriculum to allow this to happen.
Lever 4: Metacognition
In different environments, students will have been learning in different ways and may have developed new different styles of learning. It is vital that we acknowledge this.
Lever 5: Space – to rediscover self and to find their voice on learning in this issue.
It is only natural that we will 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.
It would be naive of us to think that any child will pick up the Curriculum at exactly the same point as the day they left St. Patrick’s. When children have returned for their short face to face sessions, it has been clear to us after listening to them that a lot has happened. They have all experienced many different situations that did not follow the usual pattern of a school year.
We will ensure that in September we will familiarise the children with the daily school routine while providing them with opportunities to regain a love of learning. We will personalise each year groups approach so that prior knowledge can be developed and new learning can be built on this firm foundation. We will also consider the needs of each child, focusing on their well-being as well as keeping high expectations to ensure each child reaches there full potential.
Children returning to Year 1 will begin on Thursday 3rd September and spend the morning sessions in the reception classroom with their reception teacher. These morning sessions will focus on addressing children’s anxieties and their wellbeing. In the afternoon, children will move to their new year group room to meet their new class teacher. The activities will focus on transition between the year groups.
Children returning to year 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, will also return on Thursday 3rd September and spend these two days focusing on pupils’ wellbeing and transition. No formal lessons as such are expected, this time will be used to get to know the children and ensure they feel happy and safe at school.
Children in Reception will start on Monday 7th September and will spend either a morning or afternoon session in nursery with Mrs Manning and Mr Khan. During this time, teachers from Reception will spend time with the children so they can familiarise themselves with any new faces. From 14th September, these children will be integrated into the reception classroom and spend more time with the reception staff. They will begin on a reduced timetable and leave school at 1.30pm after eating lunch. Depending on ‘readiness’, this will be increased to a full day from Monday 21st September. Some children however may need to stay on a reduced timetable until needed. This decision will be made by the EYFS lead and Principal.
Children who will continue in Nursery will begin on Monday 14th September for afternoon sessions. Mrs Manning will complete admission meetings from this date and will aim to begin all new starters by Monday 5th October. Staff may feel that some children will be ready to start before/after these suggested dates. This decision will be made by the EYFS lead and Principal.
Adaptation of Curriculum
We are aware that some children may have lost learning so we aim to spend the first few weeks identifying gaps in their learning. We have made changes to each year groups weekly timetable so that additional ‘skills’ sessions can be implemented to cover any lost learning from the previous academic year. These will mainly focus on arithmetic and grammar skills and each year group will differ depending on misconceptions identified.
Teachers have also created a list of objectives that should have been covered in the summer term for all core subjects. These objectives have been shared with new class teachers and each long term plans has been adapted to ensure all lost learning is covered before new objectives are taught.
During afternoon sessions, Teaching Assistants will be used to work with targeted groups of children, including disadvantaged children to further develop knowledge and skills. All of the activities for these sessions will be practical and fun to promote a love of learning.
For Phonics, all children in Reception – Year 1 will begin with an amended RWI timetable where children will recap on all sounds and complete basic writing activities. During this time the Phonics Leader will begin to assess all children so they can begin at a level appropriate to their learning.
All children in Year 3 – Year 6 will take part in four guided reading sessions each week. To begin with, children will focus on reading for stamina as well as discussing and understanding the text. The Reading Comprehension learning journey will begin with a focus on teaching of the skills. When children are ready, teachers will return to the two-week learning journey.
These amended timetables will be followed from the Monday 7th September. The aim is to return to Pre-Covid timetables by spring term, however this will be reviewed consistently by the class teacher, phase leader and Principal.
Like many other primary schools in the authority, St. Patrick’s will be participating in the baseline assessments which are being created by the Wolverhampton Local Authority CLL team. These assessments will be carried out in October and will allow staff to identify individual or groups of children who may need targeted support. Each year group teacher will be provided with an analysis of these results which will then be used to inform future planning.
Children in Nursery and Reception will complete a baseline assessment which will inform teachers of each child’s starting point.
Getting Ready Documents
During the summer holiday if you wish to continue any home learning activities with your child, each class teacher has created a ‘Getting Ready’ document for parents. These documents outline key objectives for maths, reading and writing that will help you to prepare your child for their next year group. Please remember that these are based on end of year expectations.