Larkspur Primary School
Recovery Conversation 2021-2022
Larkspur’s Recovery Conversation will look at how we can support pupils to ‘recover’ from the period of lost teaching and learning as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
At Larkspur, we have already started to think carefully about the impact of Covid-19 on education and the progress of our children and we are developing plans with careful thought and clear determination.
We believe it is vital that we do not instill panic in our children and will avoid at all costs them feeling like they are behind.
The first step to re-engaging our children with their learning is through building on their confidence and capturing their interest with exciting and engaging topics. It will serve no purpose to children or staff to start our full return to school by testing children to find ‘gaps’ in their learning, or by reminding them of what they have missed. All children learn at different paces and all children have times where they find learning a challenge – this is healthy, and staff are well-prepared for how to support children during this time.
As always, we maintain the belief that relationships are at the heart of good teaching. Our absolute priority is to reach out and greet our children on their return and to build on the strong home-school links we have established during the last term. Time will be made to listen to children, their experiences and to support them with the transition back into school routines – both pastorally and academically.
The second thing we must do is look carefully at our curriculum and prioritise what children must learn, what skills and knowledge do they need to move forward rapidly? Nobody fully knows how children have been affected by the absence of school routine.
At Larkspur we have spent time looking at evidence and research available which suggests children (and parents) are likely to feel anxious about the return and will need support, reassurance and positivity when they come back. Time will be made for children who require additional support and all staff are clear on supporting the re-connection with school whilst maintaining an ambitious curriculum for all our children.
As a positive start in March, all classes begin with a transitional week - Staff are already planning lessons which combine pastoral and academic expectations for each year group around a shared theme.
As a leadership team, it will be our priority to ensure all staff welcome and support children to plan and deliver a curriculum which focuses on what is necessary in the short term to :
- ensure pupils and staff are safe and feel safe
- Support and promote mental health and wellbeing of pupils and staff
- engage and motivate pupils to learn and re-engage with parents and wider community
- identify significant gaps and provide learning sequences and opportunities which address them
- prioritise the curriculum content which is most important for pupils
A clear curriculum plan will be created to ensure we deliver a programme of learning that improves basic skills whilst maintaining a broad range of curriculum experiences. We will be mindful of ensuring children’s mental, physical, social and emotional health is carefully supported across the curriculum.
On our return to school, following a settling in period, assessments will take place to identify baselines and to identify how much intervention and support is needed for each child. Realistic targets will be set with ideas for intervention discussed and rolled out over the Spring and Summer Terms.
We will continue to assess children in the Autumn Term and beyond as they begin to make progress towards their current year group expectations. Those children who are more significantly behind will receive further support through target intervention.
English Catch Up
As we return teachers will implement a basic skills recovery curriculum to focus on closing gaps for all children particularly in reading. Maths and literacy lessons will be delivered throughout the morning and basic skills catch up and interventions will be delivered throughout the afternoon.
Phonics will be prioritised in EYFS and KS1 as well as Year 3/4. UKS2 pupils who require further phonics support will be given additional intervention.
Floppy’s Phonics lessons will be delivered daily and phonic interventions will be provided throughout afternoon sessions, to support the gaps in learning.
A series of non-negotiable reading opportunities will be established within key stages to ensure progress is rigorous whilst avoiding any undue pressure.
Activities may include:
- EY Reading to an adult 2-3x weekly (this can include a shared reading group session)
- KS1and KS2 Reading to an adult 1-2x weekly (this can include a shared reading group session)
- Reading Plus daily for KS2
- Whole school story share at the end of every day
- A whole school reading challenge – The Larkspur Café points scheme
Handwriting intervention will include KS2 Handwriting Recovery Programme for all pupils (letterjoin)
KS1 and Reception will have daily handwriting lessons (using letterjoin scheme)
Nursery will ensure handwriting is part of daily funky fingers sessions. Handwriting opportunities are also woven into the Early Years challenge areas and free play.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
Weekly Spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons to be delivered in discrete sessions to support with gaps in learning.
Weekly Spellings will continue to take place and targeted to catch up on previous year group focuses to cover gaps in learning.
Teachers may need to cover the previous year’s spelling objectives as well as integrating high frequency vocabulary and common spelling errors throughout spelling and phonic sessions.
Early Years will have a strong focus on use of language. Vocabulary will be shared visually around the department. High frequency word walls can be introduced to begin to develop their sight vocabulary.
Word walls across the curriculum will be encouraged, especially at the start of a unit of work to develop word knowledge and spelling skills.
Mathematics Catch Up
Larkspur's daily mastery lessons will continue across all key stages. Initially teachers will be identifying gaps in learning; particularly in those topics that were taught remotely. In the Summer term, teachers will prioritise the skills that will be taught for the remainder of the academic year. During the Autumn term teachers will continue to review gaps in knowledge and scaffold children’s learning accordingly.
TTRS, Numbots and Mathathletics will be used and promoted regularly to support children’s basic number skills. Teachers will continue to use The White Rose Recovery document. This enables teachers to teach the basic skills of each topic before moving on
In Key Stage 2, White Rose maths will be used to plan and teach maths. Teachers will use the Recovery document to identify potential gaps - this will be planned for before moving on to later topics.
Daily maths lessons will continue across all 3 age phases. Initial teacher observation and informal assessments will be made in order to identify common gaps in their learning.
A greater focus on basic skills will be placed on each lesson, ensuring that children have the foundation of skills for the topic. Daily Reflection time will be used to continue their Fluent in 5 focus, as well as any additional times table practice and rapid recall of number facts.
We will endeavor to continue to offer the full curriculum, however some sessions will adopt a more cross curricular approach with greater emphasis on well-being, physical health and basic skills development.
We will create topic focuses where we will cover many subjects and objectives based around a theme every half term. This will also focus on wellbeing of the children as well as knowledge and skills.
Topic Vocabulary will be shared at the start of each unit of work with reference to these throughout a topic. KWL activities will be set in each subject to assess where the children are in that subject area.
Quizzes will be used to assess knowledge and skills of children across the curriculum. They will be set at the end of each new topic across the curriculum and will be used to inform planning and assessment. Knowledge organisers will also be used across topics to aid with skills and knowledge.
We understand that the process of ‘catch up’ will be teaching from where the children are and carefully scaffolding their learning, as we always have to ensure progress is made. Our key focus will be one that ensures pupils are settled, happy and confident learners where individual needs are recognised and addressed on a day-to-day basis.
PE will become even more important than ever in the 4 weeks leading up to the Easter break, as we will be concentrating on embedding, improving and developing basic skills in a variety of different sports and games. Pupils will be provided with a range of fun and engaging lessons and resources from the School Sports Network, to rebuild confidence, increase activity and exercise levels as well as providing a fun social atmosphere that will not only build on basic skills missed during the lockdown, but the wellbeing skills children will need to settle back into school life.
This idea will be carried into the classroom, where all pupils will continue to participate in ‘Daily Active Breaks’, which will have an extremely positive impact on pupil activity, pupil wellbeing and pupil development and progress in all other areas of the curriculum. Consequently, this will benefit children in the summer term, as the basic skills instilled in the next month, will support pupil development when returning to the full PE curriculum after Easter, as well as, preparing the children for school games competitions and events. We will build on this in the summer term and continue to provide pupils with a variety of sport and PE inside and outside of the classroom, to improve and develop across the whole curriculum, as well as, maintaining their mental health and wellbeing, as this is a top priority. An active ‘Shine’ rewards sessions will be put in place in the Autumn term to reward children’s recognition of our School Values led by our specialist PE coach.
Mindfulness approaches are now prioritised in most classrooms. Activities such as Guided Meditation, Yoga, The Daily Mile, Shine Club and whole school virtual Creative Mindful Art support mental health, resilience and confidence.
Displays around school outside of all classrooms encourage children to reflect on their feelings.
Throughout the end of lockdown, Wellbeing Wednesday has been introduced where all children across school spend the afternoon focusing on Wellbeing and Mindfulness which has included cooking, physical activities and creative activities.