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Recovery Statement from Mr Warrender

The term ”Recovery Curriculum” is being used to describe how schools will support pupils to ‘recover’ from the period of lost teaching and learning as a result of the Covid-19 crisis during the 2020-21 academic year.

At St. Mark’s we have thought carefully about the impact of Covid-19 on education and the progress of our children and we have developed plans for the upcoming year with careful thought and clear determination. We have spent time looking at evidence and research, for example that of Barry Carpenter, Mary Myatt and Tom Sherrington. Based on this evidence, we have been mindful that some children (and parents) may have been feeling anxious about the return and would benefit from support, reassurance and positivity when they came back. We knew that time may need to be made for children who required additional support. We have been keen to ensure that all staff were clear on how they might support reconnection with school whilst maintaining an ambitious curriculum for all our children. Nobody fully knows how children may have been affected by the absence of school routine last term, however we are delighted to have welcomed every single one of our children back to school since the start of term. We are also pleased to have seen them so positive about the chance to return to school. In the words of Mary Myatt, we have been able to “draw out the most positive aspect of all: that it is good to be back together.”

As always, we maintain the belief that positive relationships are at the heart of good teaching. Our absolute priority during the early part of September has been to reach out and welcome our children back whilst rebuilding strong home-school links. We are grateful to parents for the time they took to speak with class teachers at the start of the month to explain their children’s experiences of lockdown. This has helped us to build a picture of individual needs within each class. Time has subsequently been made in the classrooms to listen to children, their experiences and to support them with the transition back into school routines – both pastorally and academically. In order to help us rebuild our feeling of community, all classes have focused their learning around a shared text: Here we Are by Oliver Jeffers. Lessons have combined pastoral and academic expectations for each year group around this shared theme.

After many months of disruption to school routines, it is inevitable that children may have missed aspects of learning that would have been covered during the Summer term and the latter half of the Spring term. As a leadership team, we will make it a priority to ensure all staff continue to support children throughout the 20-21 academic year to address any negative consequences of the extended period of partial school closure. With this in mind, as well as adapting our usual schemes of work in order to address possible gaps in learning and to accelerate progress wherever possible, we will also supplement our plans with a ‘Recovery Curriculum’. This will be based around 4 key elements: Routine, Relationships, Relevance and Reflection- The 4R’s. Details of these can be found in the documentation attached below.

We believe it is vital that we do not instil panic in our children and will avoid at all costs them feeling like they are behind. All we ask of our children at St Mark’s is that they continue to work as hard as they can and to do their best. I am confident that by working together we will make up for lost time.

I hope this has explained some of the thinking behind our approach and provided some reassurance as we continue to navigate our way through these uncertain times.

Mr  M Warrender

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