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.
How will it be for children when they return to school? It would be naive to think that they will pick up where they left off on the day their school went into lock down.
We have been analysing the loss children have suffered during this time, and the potential anxiety and trauma it may cause, with significant impact on their ability to learn effectively.
We have built the construct of a Recovery Curriculum, enabling schools to consider the processes they will need to put in place to successfully transition children back to school. As the word ‘construct’ suggests, this is a process of building, of co -constructing, a curriculum that is responsive to the needs of children, that harvests their experience and makes sense of it emotionally as well as cognitively.
In the coming weeks six school leaders will discuss their responses to the implications of a Recovery Curriculum in their school setting ( Primary, Secondary, and Special) In particular the pedagogy, resources and also the mental health of the children, will be considered. This podcast series will be available on: https://www.evidenceforlearning.net/recoverycurriculum
More details will be posted in the coming days.
We hope you find this thought provoking and insightful.
Stay well – stay strong.
Professor of Mental Health in Education,
Oxford Brookes University
Matthew Carpenter Principal, Baxter College, Kidderminster
At this present time , when teachers and teaching assistants are home based, and looking for worthwhile on line professional learning , you may like to visit http://www.complexneeds.org.uk
16 modules of teacher training , at 4 levels . Level A is specifically designed for Teaching Assistants. Level D , for example , is for those in Leadership roles, whether as SENCO, Assistant, Deputy or Headteacher/Principal.
The attached article details what the modules are , and their aims and purpose.
When first launched the user friendly nature of each module and the accessibility were highly praised.
It is important as more children born prematurely enter our school system, (and that is some 50,000 per annum) that their story can be shared with their peers.
The Champion Centre in New Zealand has been a pioneer in developing evidence based interventions to enhance and enrich the development of children born prematurely.
Now their Founder Dr Patricia Champion , MBE , has collaborated in developing this beautiful and poignant story for all children, ‘Earlybird’.
As she says:
“As a children’s story about premature birth, it is unique internationally. Parents of premature babies frequently told me that they did not have a good, or a special story to share with their growing children about their early birth. So, we decided to create a beautiful picture book that would help parents support children born as ‘earlybirds’ to make sense of their early experience,”
Champion Centre Founder and book co-editor, Dr. Patricia Champion, MBE.
For many years I have spoken about the need for teachers to be aware of children born prematurely, and the range of learning needs these children present in all classrooms in all settings at all ages and stages.
Indeed, evidence for the Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project ( Carpenter et al 2011,;2015) showed that children born prematurely, were presenting profiles of learning need the likes of which we, as teachers , had never seen before. They were re-writing the Special Needs Registers of our schools.
In training I always advise teachers and school leaders to ask on the admission forms of every school (secondary included!)
“Is there anything in the birth history of this child that we need to know?”
This new resource for educational professionals, developed by Professor Samantha Johnson and her colleagues at Leicester University, now articulates through easy to access , high quality research and practice evidence, why we need a fuller and deeper understanding of how children born prematurely will learn and progress in our school system ,and what some of their learning challenges may be.
The e-learning resource can be accessed online for free here:
Some years ago I worked with a brilliant Architect, Christopher Beaver, to create new learning spaces for children with Autism and Complex Needs.
The information I used drew on two PhD’s I had been involved with, namely those of Dr Diana Pauli and Dr Tamara Brookes.
Linked below are a series of articles that reflect those discussions, deliberations and developments. These may be helpful in the context of the current expansion of specialist provision
To download these articles, please visit the below website link and click the blue ‘Download’ button.