and mental wellbeing for children and young people
Recovery Curriculum background / further information
“When I return to school please start with where I am and not where you think I should be. I don’t want to catch up, I want to see my teachers and my friends. I want to feel safe and secure while I try to make sense of the ‘new normal”.
Context for preparing the reflective toolkit
- Government Guidance
- Local recovery planning / support from Cornwall Council Together for Families
- The school's Core Values / ethos and circumstances / needs of school community
- Short / Medium / Long term recovery plans
- Whole School Approach
- The broad spectrum of lockdown experiences* that students will return to school with and changing - needs including ‘newly vulnerable’ children – not previously identified… ‘Trauma Gap’ as well as Attainment Gap…
*Including students who will have found lockdown an opportunity to learn in different ways, reconnect with family and, perhaps a blessed relief from the anxieties / difficulties they face in school.
All students may have experienced Loss to some degree (routine; structure; friendship; opportunity; freedom) during lockdown potentially leading to anxiety, trauma and bereavement.
Our response needs to include:
- Universal, whole school – all learners, holistic recovery (rebuilding relationships / adjusting to new rules and behaviour requirements / re-engaging with learning – and ‘learning to learn’ again) - ‘space for recovery’.
- Targeted - Focused recovery intervention programme personalised to individual need – space and time needed
- Specialist – for students needing a deeper, longer lasting recovery period – partnerships with families and external agencies.
Important to identify who’s vulnerable - record of individual experiences (bereavement; family break up; parent/carer losing job…) – all staff made aware (vulnerable if not details). Using risk assessments and / or tools like WMF, START questionnaire “I wish my teacher knew…” about lockdown / return to school).
Support staff / students / parents – help-seeking, how to access (find / ask for) support in school and out of school
Self-care strategies and resources e.g. Wellbeing Action Plans and tools and peer support.
Areas to reflect on
- Staff wellbeing / resilience – the foundation and success to any other aspect of the curriculum…
- Environment and Ethos – creating an environment that does not add to harm but rather seeks to support recovery by clearly demonstrating safety / belonging… and a Whole School Approach.
- Relationships and connectedness (including wider school community) - Relationships are key. (With specific support / training differentiated to be suitable for all staff –e.g. from 3hr WSI trauma informed session to Emotion Coaching to 10-minute video explaining PACE) and the development of a co-produced relationships policy alongside / part of behaviour policy)
- Learning – what did we learn during lockdown? What do we want to keep? …do more of? Solution-focused…
- Transparent Curriculum (phased / more time for SEMH / clarity for students about how it will ‘fill gaps from lost learning’ and enable them to reconnect to their learning) Making sure all students are involved can see where they are going.
- YP voice – worries / concerns / hopes / ideas for moving forward… how school can help them if they have been bereaved etc.)
- Time (to adjust, reconnect with each other and with staff; talk about their experiences; Time out if things get too much)
- Space / spaces - space for reconnecting; more pastoral care; play; outdoor activities and creativity; social activities… spaces - for staff and students – quiet, relaxing, places for time out.
- Permission – giving ALL staff permission to put recovery into action, removing pressures, changing priorities and providing them with tools, skills and confidence to do so.
A Recovery Curriculum - Think Piece by Professor Barry Carpenter and a range of podcasts, "Exploring a Recovery Curriculum"
Search recovery in the Resources Ring Binder for more.
Have a look at our RUOK? survey results - completed by around 1200 young people in Cornwall during May 2020.