We hear from a leader in Special Education, Martin McKenna, currently Deputy Head of Palmerston School in Liverpool, and about to take up the Headship of Foxfield School on the Wirral.
Martin articulates his philosophy around interdisciplinary teamwork which has a shared focus on a personalised curriculum through a pedagogy rooted in Engagement. The Evidence for Learning app (EfL) is used to capture each pupil’s learning against their personalised goals.
In this episode the leadership and management of the Recovery Curriculum is discussed by the Senior Leadership Team of Whitfield Aspen School, a primary school in Dover.
This is a unique, inclusive primary school with over 300 pupils, and over 130 in the resourced provision for children with severe and profound learning difficulties. The discussion focuses on the leadership challenges the SLT are experiencing, between Jason Cook, the Executive Headteacher, and the two Heads of School, Ali Erskine and Anne Mason and some of the ideas and steps that the school has already been taken to commence the recovery process.
In this episode Vijita Patel considers the strategic implementation of the Recovery Curriculum for her school, Swiss Cottage School, Development & Research Centre in London. She does this from a stance of compassionate leadership, with a clear focus on engagement in learning.
Her penetrating analysis shows how child need should inform organisational judgements, and that a constant focus should be the emotional well being of the child. A mutually respectful relationship with families as co educators, is vital at this time she says.
‘International evidence is clear that using picture books in primary schools post-disaster is an important and useful pedagogical tool. The picture books we have selected provide opportunities to discuss significant issues from living in lockdown and what the return to school means, to the fears and worries children might now have about the future.’
In conversation, Barry and Matthew reflected on the origins of the Think Piece, and Matthew, who is Principal at Baxter College, a mainstream secondary school, shares his thinking behind the 5 levers and how he and his team are applying them to plan the recovery process at Baxter College.
Reflecting on each of the 5 levers, Mat talks about the importance of ‘nimble leadership’ and being responsive to the individual needs of the whole school community in co-constructing the post pandemic curriculum, ensuring transparency throughout the journey.
The prolific Dr Tina Rae, is offering series of Coffee Time chats on youtube. This second in her series covers the really important issue of Anxiety, which will be a major emotional well being factor for many children, during and post pandemic.
The are easy to listen too, packed with information, and refreshingly practical. Highly recommended.
Oxford Brookes University, in partnership with SEBDA offers two online postgraduate certificate courses for professionals working with children and/or young people with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Each course carries 60 credits at Masters level and we are currently taking applications for a September 2020 start.