Great Sankey Primary School

Recovery Curriculum (COVID Response)


(Written in September 2020)

As we prepare to welcome back all of our pupils to Great Sankey Primary following the summer break, there will understandably be some concerns around the academic and social learning which the children have missed since March 2020. For some pupils, covid will have impacted their mental health and emotional wellbeing also. With these in mind, we hope to share with you the approaches we will continue to take on how we will endeavour to mitigate against the gaps which have been created through lost learning as well as supporting their general wellbeing.

By investing some time at the start of staff and pupils’ return – through our themed weeks around 'Together We Learn and Grow' we can acknowledge what has happened, and can draw out the most positive aspect of all: that it is good to be 'properly' back together without the restraints of bubbles and to get back to a sense of normality that school life offers.

Staff at Great Sankey Primary have given great consideration to how to best address children's gaps in learning and have carefully planned our continuing recovery roadmap for September. In doing this, we are considering current research from the EEF and mental health expert Professor Barry Carpenter’s think piece, ‘A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and life for our children and schools post pandemic.’ In this piece, he recommends five levers that can help recovery using a relationships-based approach to support with reigniting the flame of learning in our children.


Lever 1: Relationships
Relationships are key to all successful experiences and we cannot just assume that we can pick up where we left off before bubbles became part of our normal everyday life. Time will be built into the first two weeks to re-establish expectations, routines and relationships: relationships between pupils, and between pupils and staff through our usual whole school theme of ‘Together We Learn and Grow’. Our wider curriculum timetable has also been redesigned to incorporate more quality personal and social sessions which will also help to support. Carefully designed activities and lessons will be planned by staff to aid the rebuilding of these relationships.



Lever 2: Community
For the majority of our children, September will be the first time since March 2020 that they have been able to visit one another's classrooms and share the lunch hall and playground with peers from different classes. As staff, we need to acknowledge the momentous event that has happened within our community and take time to understand the effects it may have had on some of our children – both positive and negative. As children transition back to school, it is key that we re-establish rules, boundaries, values and regain a sense of normality through familiar routines whilst remaining sensitive to the effects the pandemic may have had on some pupils. We must re-engage the children with their learning and recognise that some children will need work on increasing levels of independence, stamina and perseverance. We recognise that what children need most after a time of significant disruption to their lives is normality and being back in our school community will offer this.



Lever 3: Transparent Curriculum
As a school, we have already planned and designed a timetable and a curriculum for 2020-22 which allows for pupils to build on the knowledge and skills that are already established in order for them to continue to make progress. Greater opportunities for pupils to bridge any gaps that there may be will be built in through interventions and school-led tutoring for identified pupils. Time for wellbeing and personal development will also be available. At GSP, chances for regular retrieval of prior knowledge are embedded in our curriculum and this will continue. Low stakes quizzes and tasks will be set to establish any gaps in a child’s knowledge of a subject.


Lever 4: Metacognition
As educators, we always acknowledge the different learning styles of our pupils and this will not change as we move into the new academic year. We recognise the need to build in opportunities for solving problems, self-evaluation and analysis as well as to encourage tasks which allow pupils to explore aspects of personal development such as resilience, independence and self-motivation.

Lever 5: Space – to be, to rediscover self and to find their voice on learning
At Great Sankey Primary, we always say that if children feel safe and feel happy, then they will learn. School has always been a safe place for our children but there may be some anxieties around this as they return in September, therefore it is our role to allay these fears, to lift spirits and ensure that security and joy in learning are re-established. Pupils will seek comfort in that familiar sense of routine that they find in school, and that they have so missed during the past 18 months or so. We owe it to them to provide this while providing more targeted support to those in specific need of it. Through re-building strong relationships as well as through a carefully designed rich curriculum which considers aspects of personal development as well as academic development, children will respond positively to the normality that school life offers.

We want to minimise any learning disadvantages our pupils may be at due to the pandemic and will seek further guidance using relevant and current research from the EEF:




Continued Curriculum Online Offer

On our return in September, all new classes will be set up with Google Classroom once again. Staff will continue to use this as resource and signpost children and staff to this to share homework, spellings, wider learning projects etc. The guidance issued by the DfE is clear in its expectations that pupils who have to self-isolate should be able to switch to remote learning immediately.  Any remote learning offered because a pupil is self-isolating or due to a further period of local or national lockdown should be of “high quality” and should “align as closely as possible with in-school provision”. Therefore, our online offer will be maintained from September should the need arise.

Catch-up funding and the National Tutoring Programme

Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus, and returning to normal educational routines as quickly as possible will be critical to the recovery process. To support schools with this, the government have announced that funding will be given to schools to help children from Reception to Year 6 to ‘catch-up’ through 2020-21 and 2021-22.

It is vital that we ensure this money is spent effectively, therefore careful analysis of the needs will be undertaken. This will then enable us to direct the funding successfully. To support us with how to make the best use of the funding, we will be considering the guidance given in the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) ‘Support Guide for Schools’ and ‘School Planning guide 2020-21’ which has evidence-based approaches for pupil catch-up. This will also be coupled with effective interventions which we have tried and tested ourselves as a school.

Alongside this, the government have recognised that many disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils will be among those hardest hit, therefore they are also launching the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) which will provide additional, targeted support for those children and young people who need the most help to catch-up.

School continue to follow government guidance around the catch-up funding and NTP

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Great Sankey Primary School
Liverpool Road, Great Sankey, Warrington, WA5 1SB
Mrs Lisa Wilding | Headteacher 01925728176
Mr Phil McEwan | Chair of Governors
Mrs Nia Williams | SENDCo
Great Sankey Primary School

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The Challenge Academy Trust