Recovery Curriculum Approach


In thinking about medium term planning for topics this half term teachers will make reference to and reflect the following themes through their planning. Based on the levers of Barry Carpenter’s Recovery Curriculum these 5 themes will be embedded to provide a systematic, relationships-based approach to teaching and planning for children returning to school this term.

1. Rebuilding relationships

Positive relationships are vital for child development. The Loss the children experienced during this pandemic will have caused issues around attachment – in their relationships in school that they have forged over years; these will be some of the strongest relationships the young people have, but bereft of the investment of those daily interactions, will have become fragile. Children may have experienced loss during the pandemic, including the loss of relationships with their peers. They will need help to re-establish friendships, reconnect with staff and work with others.

2. Understanding the child’s experience

Each child’s experience of ‘lockdown’ will be unique and based very much on their individual home circumstances, culture and environment. Planned classroom activities can help children tell their stories, strengthen their sense of self, family, community, and better understand place in the wider world. Supporting and using appropriate communication strategies will be key in developing this.

3. Personalised approach: Know, acknowledge and address the gaps in learning through a personalised approach to each child’s curriculum

Missed learning is a complex issue, especially for children with Severe, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties. Children’s needs will vary and not all gaps can – or should – be addressed immediately. However, personalised planning via Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs) that reflect each child’s individual needs in place and linked to an appropriate sequenced knowledge and skills framework can be used to plan a flexible route to recovery.

4. Learning to learn: Ensure the children re-establish & continue to develop the skills for learning

If children are to get ‘back on track’ and have self-efficacy, it is vital that they re-engage with the skills they need to learn. The children need to be appropriately scaffolded to re-establish and develop their problem-solving skills, imagination, creativity, language and observation skills, and memory and concentration. Pupils need to be given a range of opportunities and contexts for  play to test their theories about the world beyond their home as well as help rebuild relationships with peers and and better understand their place in the wider world (themes 1 and 2 above).

5. Engagement: A curriculum that engages and inspires

The process of engagement is a bridge that connects a child and their environment (including people, ideas, materials and concepts) to enable effective learning. Understanding the people, rooms, resources, activities, approaches and times that will motivate a pupil to anticipate, initiate, explore and persist in their learning are vital in securing optimum engagement and, as a result, developmental progress. Knowledge of what these look like for each child will facilitate a greater level of realisation and, ultimately, learning. In developing the medium term planning related to curriculum connectors this term teachers will be aware of and incorporate this knowledge into their planning. Teachers will also be mindful that the engagement profile for each child may now look significantly different for each child following prolonged absence from school and its diverse environments. It may be necessary to re-gather and record this information for many pupils.


Whole School Curriculum Connectors Autumn 2020




Autumn 1

Whole School




Understanding People & Creatures



Autumn 1




Faces & Bodies



Who am I?

(My body, Myself)



Who are they?

(Other people &

their bodies)



What is that?

(All beasts &




Example Sub




My Body/ Other Peoples Bodies/ Emotions/ Differences & Similarities/ Race/ Gender, Sex/ Biology/ Anatomy/ Physiology/ Relationships/ Others/ Animals & their Characteristics/ Eco-systems/ Habitats/ Caring for Animals

We will ‘swap’ the Autumn 2 and Summer 2 curriculum connectors. Autumn 2 will now be:

Summer 2

Whole School







Summer 2




Myself & Others



Friends &




My World and

Everyone Else



Making New




Example Sub




My likes and dislikes/ Classmates & Friends/ Relationships/ Meeting New People/  Strangers/ Safe Relationships/ Friendship/ Online Safety/ Socialisation/ Safe Relationships/ Online Safety/ Socialisation/ Boyfriends & Girlfriends/ Transitions

J. Waller Sept 20



Carpenter, B. et al (2015) ‘Engaging Learners with Complex Needs’, London, Routledge.
Liberty, K., (2018) ‘How research is helping our children after the earthquakes.’
Young Minds (2020) Coronavirus; the impact on young people with mental health needs.
5 Areas of Engagement-