Covid- Our Response to Teaching and Learning
Our Recovery Curriculum – Recover not Replicate
At Fairlight Primary and Nursery School, our pupil’s well-being is the priority for our curriculum as we begin our new academic year. As a school, we have thought carefully about what our curriculum should look like for our children now they have returned. We are implementing, for this period, a ‘recovery curriculum’ which acknowledges that the children will have had different experiences due to the Covid-19 situation.
Our ‘Recovery Curriculum’ has been designed to allow pupils to revisit key knowledge and ensures the children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. We shall also focus on ensuring that the pupils are ready to learn and social and emotional learning will be prioritised. “The anxious child is not a learning child.”(Evidence for learning)
Within the first few weeks there will be a focus on the reinforcement of learning routines, our ‘School values’ and our Learning Superheroes in order to re-build relationships and re-establish a sense of belonging.
Nobody quite knows how adversely affected our children have been by the absence of daily routine which schools provide. So our recovery curriculum needs to balance how to learn best with what to learn. We have used the research of Barry Carpenter, a leading educational consultant, to plan the initial phase of our ‘Curriculum Recovery’ to ensure our Fairlight Curriculum has “uncompromising aspirations for every individual and to provide a quality of education, which is broad, balanced and challenging for all – regardless of their starting points” and that this continues to be at the forefront of our planning.
Our ‘Recovery Curriculum’ has been designed to support our children’s transition back into school so that they are then able to make accelerated progress in class.
(For all children)
- Time spent on mental health, wellbeing and social skills development. This will be at the core of all catch up work as many children will have not been in a formal school setting for a number of months. Our school day will include lots of opportunities for PSHE sessions as well as ‘body breaks’; mindfulness and movement (within a covid-19 secure environment).
- Focus on consolidation of basic skills. The core skills which enable successful learning will require increased curriculum time across all year groups. These include daily sessions of, where appropriate to age: handwriting; spelling of high frequency words; basic sentence punctuation; times tables recall; number facts recall; and reading skills relevant to age.
- Working through well sequenced, purposeful learning schemes. Our curriculum schemes are being adapted to focus on missed objectives (where appropriate) and consolidate the basics. In maths, we will be using the White Rose maths scheme to support the identification of objectives that will need revising.
- Additional lesson time on core teaching. Reading, writing and maths teaching will require increased teaching time in order to cover missed learning. However we will still be teaching a broad and balanced curriculum. To facilitate this, some subject areas may be taught as blocked days rather than weekly lessons
- Particular focus on early reading and phonics. This is always a focus in our school and will continue to be so in order to develop children’s reading ability and vocabulary.
- Assessment of learning and of basic skills to identify major gaps. Teachers will work to identify gaps in learning and adapt teaching accordingly.
- Memory and Metacognition. We will be using a range of strategies to ensure the children remember their learning and to aid them in activating their prior knowledge. These will include: memory games; 5-a-day maths skills revision; Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling daily retrieval work; maths fluency sheets; frequent low stakes retrieval quizzes to ensure the acquisition of knowledge.
Covid-19 ‘Catch up’
In June 2020, a £1 billion fund for education was announced by the government. Further guidance has now been released (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-catch-up-premium) showing that the money is split between a catch-up premium and a national tutoring scheme.
The catch-up premium is funded on a per pupil basis at £80 per pupil. This will be based on the previous year’s census and will not include Nursery numbers, meaning we are predicting that Fairlight will be in receipt of £28,240 (336 x £80). The spending of this money will be down to schools to allocate as they see best. To support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students.
At Fairlight Primary and Nursery School, this money will be used in order to provide:
- Additional support staff to develop the outcomes of children who have been identified as needing “catch up” in their learning.
- Participation in the National Tutoring Programme to develop the outcomes of children who have been identified as needing “catch up” in their learning.
- Supporting parents and carers by ensuring children have greater opportunities to access appropriate online learning &/or ensuring children have access to appropriate paper based home-learning if required.
- Possible participation in the National Mentoring Programme (we are waiting to hear from the government to see if we have been successful in being allocated a mentor).
There are two broad aims for “catch up” at Fairlight Primary and Nursery School:
- Attainment outcomes at end of 2020-21 for all year groups will be in line with those at the end of 2019-20.
- The mental health needs of pupils are met and supported by the school.
Catch Up at Fairlight is
(For some children)
- Additional support and focus on basic core skills. Supported by additional staffing utilising catch up premium – dependent on need as identified through ongoing assessment.
- Additional time to practice basic skills. This again will be dependent on need of children in order to re-establish good progress in the essentials (phonics and reading, increasing vocabulary, writing and mathematics) and there will be flexibility on timetables to allow this.
Catch up at Fairlight IS NOT
- Cramming missed learning
- Pressuring children and families into rapid learning
- Teachers time spent highlighting missed objectives
- Teachers time spent ticking off assessment points and extra tracking