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Recovery Curriculum

A Recovery Curriculum for after National Lock-Down



The Recovery Curriculum is built on the 6 Levers, as a systematic, relationships-based approach to reigniting learning in each child. Many children will return to school disengaged. School may seem irrelevant after a long period of isolation. Our mission as educators, should be to journey with that child through a process of re-engagement, which leads them back to their rightful status as a fully engaged, authentic learner.


Levers of recovery

Lever 1-Relationships

We cannot expect our children to walk back into school as though nothing has happened. Many of the relationships that were thriving may need to be invested in and restored. We need to plan for this to happen, not assume that it will. Reach out to greet them, use   the relationships we build to cushion the anxiety that many may feel on returning.

What this area will help me to learn?

Supporting pupils to rebuild relationships and re learn how to interact and build relationships with others including sharing, turn taking, greeting and interact with others positively, play alongside and with peers, respond to my familiar and new adults, seek adults to help, support and comfort me when I need them, know which adults help me and can support me to keep safe when I need them.

What that may look like?

There will be opportunities within the day where the focus is on rebuilding relationships with peers and adults. This may be in the form of:

  • Independent learning to nurture parallel and joint play.
  • Turn taking games and activities.
  • Sharing games and activities.
  • Intensive interaction opportunities using call and response games and songs.
  • Time where adults can give sole attention to pupils re-building relationships
  • Games and activities where pupils can work together such as board games or outdoor PE games.
  • Safety work about who keeps us safe and who can keep us safe at school and at home and in the community.
  • Safety work about how adults can help us.
  • Activities that link to children’s interests to show we are interested in them.
  • Using restorative approaches to build friendships.


Lever 2: Supporting me to manage my feelings and behaviour

What this area will help me to learn?

Supporting pupils to understand their emotions and feelings and begin to process the experiences they have had. Supporting pupils to relearn some positive behaviour which they may have forgotten being outside of the school environment.  Supporting pupils to engage with self-regulation strategies and tools which help them to feel safe and calm. Supporting pupils to understand the world we live in with tools and strategies to help them process what is different and what we can do to help.

What that may look like?

There will be clear routines which are supported by visuals and clear communication which may include use of visual timetables so pupils know what is happening each day and at each part of the day. Some structures and boundaries may be different in school because of social distancing and processes related to this so some tools we will use are social stories and use of visuals to guide and support.

The structure will be supportive and provide opportunities within this that enables and allows pupils to express themselves and express the experiences they have had whilst they were not at school. We will do this by being clear with boundaries and using therapeutic approaches to supporting behaviour and emotions. We will also be using therapeutic tools to support pupils in communicating with us such as building in regular circle time, therapeutic play times, tools like sunshine circles and use of comic strip conversations.

There will be regular sessions where we explore and express emotions through what’s in the box using zones of regulation, using zones of regulation to open up discussions about emotions and circle time which will support pupils to explore their feelings as well as modelling processing and talking about feelings and emotions linked to this experience.

There will be regular opportunities for pupils to engage in self – regulation activities such as with sensory breaks, active breaks, and use of resources which support individuals. In addition there will be lots of opportunities for pupils to practise their communication so that they are able to feel like they have a voice and are able to express their wants and needs.


Lever 3-Supporting me to enjoy and achieve

What this area will help me to learn?

Supporting pupils to have moments here they feel success and can engage in moments of enjoyment and achievement which may feel usual to being in school. This will be within pupil’s abilities and easily accessible recognising that when pupils have experienced trauma, their abilities to learn new concepts and be challenged is less. Pupils often use schemas of learning which they are familiar to explore when processing events in their lives and planned provision will focus on what is familiar. I.e. play provision that enables schematic exploration, familiar structures in the day like what’s in the box? Relaxation time, independent learning, hello and circle time, phonics.

What that may look like?

We will use familiar curriculum type sessions that pupils will be used to that provide children with experiences that feel like “the norm”. Using what we know about schematic learning and how children process, this will look like familiar structured sessions in pupils day and opportunities to engage in play opportunities. We will be providing enjoyable activities which provide children with “fun” so that they can rejuvenate with positive endorphins and want to engage.

Sessions which will feel familiar will be different for each learning hub and class group but ideas will be:

  • Hello times
  • PSHE circles
  • Curriculum sessions that provide familiar structures (like phonics, maths, guided reading)
  • Independent learning where provision takes account of schematic learning.
  • Outdoor play
  • Storytime

Learning in these sessions will link to previous and current topic learning or children’s key interests and motivators. Children will have missed out on many opportunities being at home that they are naturally exposed to at school like peer play, active opportunities and experiences which develop their cognition and learning and these will be built into each day to support children to have a broad range of opportunity, experience and fun.


Lever 4-supporting my physical health and mental wellbeing

What this area will help me to learn?

Supporting pupils to re-engage with physical health and wellbeing routines as well as learn new routines which will support pupils to keep safe and enable infection control. This will include hand washing, social distancing, understanding of new school routines as well as supporting pupils with their personal care and tolerating differences in these routines such as use of an alternative hygiene room facility or being supported in a different way for eating/ drinking. Supporting pupils to be independent through their own dressing and undressing where needed and supporting pupils to be physically well through active sessions, use of outdoor space and understanding about keeping physically well.

What that may look like?

We will be planning in lots of time where children are able to explore and re-investigate their environments to become familiar with what might be different (i.e. one way systems in school, different markings in school, different access to resources in the classroom, some rooms which are closed) and understanding these differences will be supported with social stories, photos and pictures.

Learning in supporting my physical health and wellbeing will focus on managing and coping within new processes keeping safe. This will include:

  • Understanding what is different about school and how to navigate this environment.
  • Hand washing and hygiene measures.
  • Adapting to using areas of the school that may not be usual and being in environment and with staff that are not usual.
  • Keeping and maintaining social distancing.
  • Catch it, kill it, bin it messages.
  • Health and hygiene sessions focusing on washing, being independent and looking after yourself.


Lever 5-Transparent Curriculum

Many of our children will feel like they have lost time in learning and we must show them how we are addressing these gaps, consulting and co-constructing with our children. When the children first return, teachers will complete both formal and informal testing to see where their gaps lie. Interventions and extra support will then be given in order to support ‘bridging the gaps.’  Emphasis will be placed on Maths and English but we believe that this can also be taught through the other National Curriculum subjects in order to give the children the rich, balanced curriculum. During the INSET days-staff will have time to discuss with previous teachers as to the strengths and next steps for children. We would also like to hear from parents as to how your child has coped during lockdown as this again will help us support your child on return. If you feel that there is information which teachers need to know, please Dojo message the current teacher who can pass on information.

Last year we began co-constructing the curriculum with children in the form of child-led plans.  This follows the national curriculum but also:

  1. We can make the curriculum bespoke and vibrant for the children
  2. Children have more input into their learning
  3. Teachers and children can SEE the overall plan and contribute ideas for learning as an ongoing process
  4. All are clearer about the purpose and intent of our curriculum and where my lessons fit into the bigger picture
  5. We have greater ownership of our curriculum
  6. We have the freedom to take it in a direction that inspires and engages both us and the children
  7. We can seize the moment to move in different directions and still ensure full coverage of the National Curriculum

In order to move forward we have:

  • Evaluated the curriculum content missed or taught remotely
  • Class teachers have looked back on what would have been covered in school while pupils were learning from home. They have prioritised what has been missed or not understood.
  • Assessed the children informally through questions, quizzes and formative assessment in order to decide what areas have been missed, what has been retained and what areas need consolidating.

Discussion prompts that help us decide what to teach

  • What are the essential concepts in our curriculum that pupils need to understand before moving on? What do we not want pupils to leave their Key Stage without knowing? 
  • What parts of our curriculum are less essential, that we touch on quickly? E.g. in geography, knowing the length of the river Nile isn't essential, as long as pupils understand the main features of a river
  • What are the threshold concepts that enable pupils to better understand other ideas/concepts? As mentioned above, these are the ideas that underpin multiple other aspects of the curriculum – e.g. pupils need to understand the characteristics of 2D shapes before they can understand those of 3D shapes, so we'll prioritise reteaching this
  • Is there a common thread running through the units we've missed, that we'll return to in a future unit? 
  • If there is a common thread, which unit do we think is most important to the aims of our curriculum, or most meaningful to our pupils? 
  • Pupils can recall previous knowledge in ‘knowledge organisers’


We will not present pupils with written tests as soon as they come back to school. Instead, teachers will carry out some low-stakes quizzing and low-threat knowledge checks during lessons to find out what pupils can remember and where they have gaps. Depending on the subject, these could take the form of:

  • A quick quiz at the back of exercise books, e.g. 10 minutes to write down everything you can remember about the cold war
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Discursive pair work, e.g. read the textbook for 10 minutes, then can you tell your partner the 10 features you read about?
  • Checking knowledge through discussion, e.g. can they explain a concept in their own words?


This low-stakes approach should help pupils feel secure in what they already know and confident about what else they need to learn.


Teachers will feed the findings of these knowledge checks back to subject leaders or phase leaders – informally, not in the form of data


Adapt what we are consolidating 


Based on these findings, teachers might choose to adapt:

  • The content they are consolidating
  • How long they are consolidating for – e.g. if the majority of pupils have fewer gaps than anticipated, they might decide to consolidate for a shorter period of time

Teachers should also adapt their short-term planning in light of what they're finding out about where pupils are (e.g. if there's one concept the majority of pupils in a year group are struggling with, devote more time to reteaching this).


For some pupils, consolidation lessons won't be enough to fill these gaps. In which case they will be considered for intervention programmes such as small group or one-to-one tuition. 


At our school we are setting aside up to daily lessons each week for catch up and consolidation lessons.  These lessons will take place in addition to the daily Maths and English lessons that we normally teach.  

Teachers must ensure that interventions are rotated so that over time children experience all subjects and the key knowledge/skills within them. 


Continue with our normal curriculum

At some point, we will need to start our normal, planned curriculum. As soon as pupils have mastered the key knowledge identified as missing, we will continue and run our curriculum as normal, however, we will remain mindful that gaps in learning may still appear and support will be given at this time.



Lever 6-Developing Metacognition and Growth Mind Set

In different environments, our children will have been learning in different ways. It is 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.  Metacognition and self-regulation approaches aim to help pupils think about their own learning more explicitly, often by teaching them specific strategies for planning, monitoring and evaluating their learning.  Interventions are usually designed to give pupils a repertoire of strategies to choose from and the skills to select the most suitable strategy for a given learning task.

Self-regulated learning can be broken into three essential components:

  • cognition - the mental process involved in knowing, understanding, and learning;
  • metacognition - often defined as ‘learning to learn’; and
  • motivation - willingness to engage our metacognitive and cognitive skills.


Having a Growth Mindset helps children become independent, confident and resilient learners. They embrace challenges and are not afraid of making mistakes. Children see struggling as the point of new learning and are not afraid to take risks. Having a Growth Mindset means that children learn to be better learners and are able to deal with learning as it becomes more challenging throughout their life.


We teach our children that the brain is a muscle which can grow. The way we think and talk about our learning is vital in the development of our brain and our mindset.


Success in school depends on children’s attitudes to learning. We believe that developing a positive Growth mindset is crucial for all our children both at St George’s and to make them successful lifelong learners in the future.


Just changing what you say to children can have a huge impact on how they see themselves and how they approach their learning. Our children know that if they are finding their learning easy, they are not necessarily learning anything new. If they are struggling, then this is the point of new learning.


Learning is a journey and they will always get there in the end.


We say:

“I can’t do it…YET!”


Respect for All, Ambitious in Aspirations, Bold in Actions