Over the last two academic years the global pandemic has continued to impact all our lives. As educators, we need to acknowledge that there have been big losses to children as they have stayed at home, both in 2020 year and at the start of 2021. Although the vast majority of children are now fully settled back into daily school life we need to accept there are some who still face periods of isolation, become unwell or have been personally affected by recent events. Our ‘recovery curriculum’ ensures that pupils are ready to learn and as such well-being needs will be prioritised. The act of recovery is as much an emotional and social one as it is academic, and our ability to recognise and plan for this will be at the heart of our learners’ eventual success.
During the academic year beginning 2021-2022 we have altered the staffing in school slightly to offer additional support to children in our school. We have employed an additional teacher to work in year 2 and another qualified teacher who works in Year 1 and Year 3 to support children with any needed catch up. One of our long standing HLTA’s now works primarily in year 4 to help support these children. We also now have a specific part-time Teaching Assistant who supports children with their speech and language needs.
Currently children in school have been impacted by two lockdowns which prevented face to face learning for many. This may be on top of periods of isolations and the personal impact of this terrible disease.
Fundamental to a successful education is to ensure that children feel safe, listened to and supported by their teachers, parents and peers. Our primary focus at Regent Farm will always be their wellbeing and happiness. Each child will require differing amounts of support this year and we aim to ensure that the pastoral support on offer will be effective and can help all pupils to engage successfully in their learning. Children have also not been able to mix with as many peers in school and at home for some time so our aim is to provide a framework within school to support these relationships as things return to some sense of normality.
As a school, we need to accept that it will not be possible to cover every National Curriculum objective to the same depth as usual, or meet every expected standard for the current year given the level of disruption to schooling this year (on top of the disruption last year). During the most recent lockdown and loss of face to face education, our home learning offer mirrored the objectives taught in school exactly; whether this was a core subject, such as reading or maths, or a topic area with foundation subject objectives such as history and DT. Therefore, our focus in not simply re-teaching the work done during lockdown; we need to identify missed objectives and misconceptions for each child. The time we have in school is not infinite, therefore we will need to work swiftly to identify those children who need catch up support in specific areas, we will also need to prioritise need.
At Regent Farm, we will categorise the national curriculum objectives in different ways, thinking about:
By maintaining a clear focus on a smaller number of priority areas of learning we will ensure children have the best opportunities to acquire deep, embedded learning that they will be able to build on as they move forward.