Recovery Curriculum 2020-21 - milefield primary school - parent's guide

During the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers and families across the country have provided extraordinary support to help children learn at home. However, for many children, the disruption caused by school closures will have had a negative impact on learning and wellbeing. With this in mind, as a school, we will be providing a recovery programme which will run from the return on March 8th 2021.

This document is designed to summarise the strategies that MFPS is putting in place as part of our response to the pandemic.

Research behind our approach...

The EEF state that it is important to recognise that every school will have been affected by Covid-19 differently and school leaders and teachers are best placed to understand the needs of their school communities. The right way to support pupils will differ between schools and must be informed by the professional judgement of teachers and school leaders.

They also make note that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are likely to have been affected particularly by school closures and may need more support to return to school and settle back into school life. This will be addressed in more detail in our PP spending plan.

In designing our recovery programme we have used the EEF COVID-19 support guide to ensure our practise is informed by extensive research.

Research to support our recovery

When considering our Recovery Curriculum we used Evidence For Learning's reference to building on the 5 Levers, as a systematic, relationships-based approach to reigniting the flame of learning in each child. Many children will return to school disengaged. Our quest, our mission as educators, should be to support children through a process of re-engagement, which leads them back to their rightful status as a fully engaged, authentic learners. Our curriculum through the initial stages will prioritise identifying gaps and re-establishing good progress in the essentials (phonics, reading, increasing vocabulary, writing and mathematics) whilst remaining broad and ambitious for all. They have a strong use of real-life experiences to motivate and engage pupils in lessons.

Transition Support...

High expectation, high quality and high engagement have been the key strands to our remote learning and we promote this throughout our remote education offer. We have taught the same broad & balanced curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. This consistency of approach through mirroring the school timetable will ease transition, as the planning and sequencing of lessons has continued to follow the same routines as in school.

During the first spring half term, class teachers have continued to use formative assessment and tracking documents to monitor pupil progress. This rigorous approach to assessments will support class teachers to identify areas where pupils are likely to require additional support and provide opportunities for teachers to share information about pupils’ strengths. This ensures that curriculum planning, on return, is informed by an assessment of pupils’ starting points and gaps in their knowledge and an understanding of what is the most critical content for progression.

To motivate and engage our children upon return to school, teasers and snippets of engaging hooks and lesson content will be shared with them at home to re-establish early relationship building.

Targeted pupils were offered a place for 3 or 2 days in the final week to get used to returning to school and the routine.

On Friday 26th February, staff have posted postcards by hand to all homes. These contained details about the return to school on 8th March and pictures of key staff working with pupils. They may have even seen you to say hello and provide any answers to questions you may have had. Contact has been made with all pupils/parents weekly via telephone or online. We ensured all pupils had the opportunity to speak to their teacher(s) or leaders in school.

We led coffee and chat sessions for parents alongside our weekly chat and check-ins with pupils online in the week commencing 1st March 2021. These were set up per year group so parents and pupils had the opportunity to share any worries/concerns and to ask any questions they may have. Parent's weekly coffee mornings were run throughout the lockdown. Pupil check-ins occurred weekly from Spring 2.

We also offered a time to visit the playground, stay socially distanced and see school leaders on the final Friday afternoon (5th March) before the full return to school. Regular updates were sent via text/email/arbor/Seesaw and Twitter. Key documents were updated on our website and re-sent to all parents.

Our approach to Teaching & Learning

We will continue to use accelerated learning as our teaching and learning approach for the delivery of our curriculum. Supported by EEF metacognition research, this has ensured the pace of learning is appropriate and has enabled pupils to secure rapid and sustained progress which has improved outcomes and standards within each lesson. Adopting the accelerated learning approach provides opportunities to build on prior learning and develop skills and knowledge through a consistent cycle of connection, activation, activity, demonstration and consolidation. High levels of engagement are achieved through purposeful and stimulating activities which absorb pupils in learning and also through providing opportunities for pupils to work collaboratively.

Core knowledge and skills are at the heart of the learning process. A gather, skills, apply approach to planning and delivery of lessons is taken across school to ensure children develop a deep understanding and are able to apply these in a range of situations.

What about Seesaw/Teams?

If your child is at home shielding or isolating but well enough to complete work, they will have their lessons shared via the same methods used during lockdown/bubble closures. This will be live learning via Teams and they will be expected to post work to Seesaw. They will not receive instant feedback at this time due to staff being in school with the rest of the class. Teachers will mark work at the end of the school day so they receive feedback and do not fall behind.

We will continue to use Seesaw as a method of communicating with home as well as to direct home learning opportunities. Following ongoing assessments, tasks will be assigned to individuals and groups to address gap needs. This will be introduced during targeted support and booster sessions to be continued at home and check at the next session.

Catching up...

The curriculum we will offer will still be broad and balanced; however, opportunities for Reading, Writing and Maths links, in wider curriculum subjects, will be made to maximise opportunities for learning to be embedded. This will be achieved by identifying opportunities across the curriculum so children read widely, and develop their knowledge and vocabulary.

The taught curriculum for each year group will be carefully planned ensuring it meets needs. Curriculum planning will be informed by autumn term assessments of pupils and employing the effective use of regular formative assessment to identify gaps in their knowledge. As a result, this will be 'dove tailed' into the current spring and summer term curriculum to ensure a recovery approach is taken and not just the teaching of the missed curriculum. This ensures children are 'catching up' and not just 'keeping up'.

Assessments were made prior to school closures in January. These have been used during pupil progress meetings to discuss strengths and next steps. During the Spring term return, staff will be regularly reviewing children's understanding in order to inform future planning for particular areas where pupils have forgotten or misunderstood key concepts, to ensure that new material being covered builds on secure foundations. This data will also be used to identify pupils who would benefit from additional, catch-up support.

Through this academic year, including during recent school closures, trackers have been used to identify current attainment and gaps in learning. This, alongside HCAT year on a page documents, will be used to identify missed learning from the summer term. Where necessary, in certain year groups, 'mini' baseline assessments will be used to identify particular areas where pupils have forgotten or misunderstood key concepts, to ensure that new material being covered builds on secure foundations. This data will also be used to identify pupils who would benefit from additional catch-up support.

Pupils will be grouped according to findings in pupil progress meetings, all staff are prepared to consistently teach to fill gaps in learning. This will be tracked using in-school tracking systems and reported to you in Spring 2 parents' meetings.

In order to further promote progress, effective formative assessment, marking and feedback and adult interaction within lessons is firmly embedded into our approach to teaching and learning. All pupils are supported to develop, progress and move their learning forward through support, questioning and feedback. Pupils demonstrate the impact this has on improving their learning through editing and response.

Possible Timetable

This is a typical week at Milefield for most pupils. Not EYFS. Boosters will be held after school from Y1-Y6 on Mondays from second week back.
Intent: Knowledge, skills and the National Curriculum

Our approach to the curriculum is through themed-based learning underpinned by the accelerated learning cycle. The key concepts, principles and themes from the National Curriculum have been developed into a range of progressive knowledge & skills through which the children are helped to grow and develop to succeed in 21st century Britain. This knowledge and skills-based curriculum allows a creative way of teaching and learning, enabling us to move away from discrete lessons into a more meaningful, engaging, topic-based approach for the curriculum.

Following the recent pandemic of COVID-19 in the world and school-wide closures, Milefield Primary School have amended the offer for pupils starting in March 2021. We will still focus on the key skills as mentioned above but these will now have a strong link to Literacy and Mathematics skills in all areas of the curriculum. This is to ensure pupils catch up and do not lose any of the key skills in order to progress throughout their primary school career. We aim for pupils at Milefield Primary School to develop their Maths and Literacy skills whilst being engrossed in a thematic curriculum which ties all learning together and works towards an end goal/outcome.

Emphasis will be placed on children's wellbeing in all areas of the curriculum and will be the theme of our weekly assemblies (conducted online). Children's emotional wellbeing and social skills will be developed throughout our curriculum in weekly PSHCE sessions. We will also ensure PE is taught weekly to develop their understanding of healthy bodies & healthy minds. Children will be given the opportunity to share any worries or concerns regularly and discuss these in small groups or as a class. We will emphasise the importance of being open and honest and sharing issues to support one another to feel comfortable and calm in school again. All necessary safety measures will be catered for and pupils will have signage around school as well as being reminded of the need to maintain hygeine standards.

What about pupils with SEND?

As we move into re-integration of all pupils in March 2021, the provision for pupils with SEND will not be neglected. As mentioned previously, the curriculum will be a catch up system where pupils are included in interventions regularly in order to address any gaps in learning from the COVID-19 lockdown. Pupils with SEND will be a part of this and classteachers will work closely with our Director of SEND, Mrs J Walker, who will be resident at Milefield Primary 1.5 days per week (remotely where needed). This will allow classteachers the opportunity to keep using the graduated approach with their pupils with SEND and ensure support plans and EHCPs are updated regularly. Meetings with parents may have to be conducted online but this will be clarified when necessary. All current EHCPs and support plans have been shared with new classteachers and will be ready to share with parents in the next meetings.

Please remember that there is an information gathering process and evidence needs to be collected before any referrals can take place.

We are in discussions with the Educational Psychologist service, Social Communication and Interaction, Little Acorns (Wellbeing for KS1) and TADS (Mental Health support for KS2) about how they can be successfully re-integrated back into supporting our pupils. This may take a while to re-commence with observations and support work back in school.

We will also be utilising our well-trained PSHCE lead and Pupil welfare lead to run in-house sessions about wellbeing and mental health dealing with everything from bereavement to anxiety. We will focus on our pupils' happiness and wellbeing first and foremost before considering their academic progress. If you need to share any concerns from lockdown, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


The curriculum has been reviewed in light of autumn assessment. We amend planning and teaching in terms of gaps in knowledge and key areas of weakness so pupils are well prepared.

The curriculum we offer is designed to meet the needs of all our pupils. It is rich, varied, imaginative and ambitious and meets the needs of individual learners but can easily be adapted for pupils with additional needs. Through regular assessment, tasks are matched to the ability of each child through differentiated activities, adult support, providing a level of challenge that is stimulating for pupils and questioning skills.

To ensure correct coverage over time, cohort maps are filled in to ensure breadth of study across school. All pupils have their understanding assessed regularly which assists teachers to plan to cater for gaps in knowledge and build on foundations.

Implementation: Accelerated Learning

The Accelerated Learning Cycle, based on the work of Alastair Smith, is applied in all lessons. It stems from the idea of a supportive and challenging learning environment. The cycle has active engagement through multi-sensory learning, encourages the demonstrating understanding of learning in a variety of ways and the consolidation of knowing.

We value the importance of direct experience within the curriculum so that teachers draw out and develop children’s thinking and capacities in meaningful contexts. Real-life contexts are used wherever possible and linked to life experiences for pupils. We aim to provide a plethora of experiences for our pupils which they may not normally experience in daily life. We want to broaden their horizons and ensure they leave us with high expectations of themselves and the world around them.

Core knowledge and skills are at the heart of the learning process with the children exploring a wide range of topics, to prepare them for life.

Targeted Support

Careful timetabling of the school day will allow for teacher-led whole class and small group interventions outside of the daily literacy and maths lessons. These sessions will vary in focus but will address identified gaps to allow for learning to be built on a secure knowledge base. These sessions will be delivered by teachers to ensure they are high-quality and meeting need. At times, appropriately qualified TAs will lead other groups while the intervention groups are led. These sessions will be run daily. They will be tracked daily and groups adjusted as necessary.

After school boosters will be open to all pupils from Y1-Y6 to fill gaps in knowledge in Literacy and Maths. There will also be targeted support for specified pupils in reading/phonics. Daily, 10 minute interventions will occur in Phonics for targeted pupils.

What if a bubble is closed?

In the event of a wider lock down or bubble closure, the school will move to a blended approach to home learning including live lessons on Microsoft Teams and Seesaw. Microsoft Teams is completely free and can be linked with any Microsoft account (EG: hotmail/outlook 365). Please click the button to set this up so you are prepared in case of a closure/lockdown. We would hate for any pupils to miss learning opportunities. If you require any support, please let us know as soon as possible.

Parents will receive information to assist with logging onto live lessons and Seesaw via their email addresses using our Arbor system. If we do not have your email address, please email parents@milefieldprimary.org.uk

Mental health and wellbeing

Research is showing that COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on children's mental health. Our response to this will be through the use of our nurture provision, TADs/Little Acorns, PE and PSHCE lessons.

All teaching staff have accessed Trauma Informed Schools training allowing staff to offer nurturing approaches within all classrooms so that children are supported wherever they are learning. Select staff have completed bereavement and mental health training courses.

Nurture sessions offer a short term, focused intervention strategy, which addresses individual barriers to learning in an inclusive, supportive manner. Central to the philosophy is attachment theory: an area of psychology which explains the need for any person to be able to form secure and happy relationships with others in the formative years of their lives and our ongoing knowledge of neuroscience.

We also support families to help them develop strategies to use with their children at home when they are displaying difficult behaviours. We work alongside professionals from a range of agencies to support our children and families to ensure they are able to reach their full potential and become well-rounded members of society.

Throughout the pandemic, we have provided extensive pastoral support to pupils and families. As school restarts in March 2021, we will continue to provide regular and supportive communications with parents, especially to increase attendance and engagement with learning. As mentioned previously, we will continue to use Seesaw as a method of supporting learning at home, including extended learning tasks.

Home-school links...

Throughout the pandemic, we have provided extensive pastoral support to pupils and families. As school restarts in March, we will continue to provide regular and supportive communications with parents, especially to increase attendance and engagement with learning. We will continue to use Seesaw as a method of supporting learning at home, including homework.

Impact: Assessment

Formative assessment is ongoing throughout each lesson. It judges progress and enables the teacher to make flexible adaptations to their planned teaching. As Literacy and Maths skills will now be embedded throughout Curriculum teaching, we will see some skills twinned with these subjects to ensure rapid progression.

Insight Online Tracking is used as a summative assessment to assess foundation subjects. The knowledge and skills based curriculum is regularly highlighted to identify any gaps or misconceptions to be addressed or passed onto the following teachers.

Our Progressive Skills and Knowledge Curriculum
Some examples of our skills-based progression documents.

100% Attendance = 0% missed learning opportunities

Don't forget: In order to take part in all these exciting opportunities and keep up with your peers' skills and knowledge, attendance is the key word we all need to remember. Make sure you are at school, on time, every single day! If you miss a day or two, this could be the day your class make their own rockets, play games in the woods or learn about a fascinating country! Don't risk it, come to school every day...

If you have any questions or would like to see our curriculum, don't forget to follow us on twitter @MilefieldP @mfps_parents or email parents@milefieldprimary.org.uk with your questions. The school website will also have key documents for curriculum www.milefieldprimary.org.uk.


Created with an image by Zach Lezniewicz - "untitled image"