Since Friday 20th March 2020 until September 2020, our school was closed to all but a few children.
As a result of lockdown and school closure, our children have experienced several losses: loss of routine, loss of structure, loss of friendship, loss of opportunity, loss of freedom. These losses will have impacted every child. We understand that these losses can trigger the emergence of four significant dynamics that could majorly impact on the mental health of our children: anxiety, attachment, trauma, bereavement. We also recognise that for some children, additional factors may have made lockdown particularly difficult.
However, we also recognise the critical role that our school can play in providing a safe, secure, nurturing environment for our children as they return to school. It is our role to support every child as they resettle in school and as new norms are established.
Therefore we recognised it was really important for us to understand the impact of lockdown on the well-being of our children so that we could most effectively plan and prepare for their return and the support and provision they need. We spent a long time reading and researching and used this to help us create and build our Recovery Curriculum – the curriculum to support our school community rebuild and recover.
Our Recovery Curriculum is filled with content that we believe is right for our children, with the knowledge and understanding we have of our school community.
Our Mission, Values and Behaviour Framework are at the heart of our work and will be used to guide our judgements.
Our Recovery Curriculum is a systematic, relationship-based approach to re-igniting the love of learning in each and every child.
‘The Recovery Curriculum is an essential construct for our thinking and our planning. Each school must fill it with the content they believe is best for the children of their school community, informed by your inherent understanding of your children in your community. What were the aims and values of your school before this pandemic? Use them now to guide your judgements, to build a personalised response to the child who has experienced loss.’
‘No Government can give you the guidelines for that. It is down to you, as that skilled, intuitive teacher, who can lift the mask of fear and disenfranchisement from the child. You can engage that child as a learner once more, for engagement is the liberation of intrinsic motivation.’
Dr Barry Carpenter
Over time our Recovery Curriculum will enable every child to settle at school, to rebuild confidence and enable them to see themselves as learners and achieve as learners.
Our Accelerated Progress Model is integrally related to our Recovery Curriculum and outlines key strategies we are implementing to identify children’s learning needs at this time and how we plan to meet those needs through effective teaching in the classroom and through targeted provision.
“Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds will be among those hardest hit. The aggregate impact of lost time in education will be substantial, and the scale of our response must match the scale of the challenge.’
At Tyntesfield, we are an inclusive school and we are committed to securing excellent outcomes of all pupils, especially those most affected by the closure of school during COVID. We fully recognise that continually striving to achieve the highest quality of teaching in EVERY classroom is the most impactful focus a school can have when tackling the impact of COVID on our children. Raising standards of teaching to underpin an ethos of progress for all, as opposed to chasing specific attainment gaps, we believe will result in sustained impact.
Therefore, fostering the highest standard of Inclusive Quality First Teaching (IQFT) consistently in every classroom across school will continue to be our first priority. We view progress as a clear consequence of this high quality care and teaching across the school, and seek to create a culture that support our teaching staff to provide the high quality education that enables pupils to make strong progress.
With this in mind, we strongly believe that the high quality care, expertise and standard of teaching needs to be present in all of our interventions and this is the reason why we have chosen to release qualified teachers to provide those children impacted socially, emotionally and academically by COVID with high quality, targeted and personalised intervention support built upon strong relationships between children and teachers.
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Pupils very much enjoy coming to school... They feel safe in the stimulating environment into which they are warmly welcomed... One pupil stated that, ‘You can be yourself here.’