At the Reflections on Recovery Conference today (www.recoverycurriculum.org) on 15th July, Hinton House Publishing MD, Sarah Miles, launched this latest contribution from the prolific author and Psychologist, Dr Tina Rae.
Professor Barry Carpenter , CBE , ( Professor of Mental Health in Education , Oxford Brooks University) said of this new book:
“This is a timely and invaluable contribution to the work all schools will be undertaking to re- ignite the flame of learning when children return to school . As ever Tina Rae brings her deep and profound understanding of children’s emotional needs to bear on the rich array of strategies , interventions and activities presented in the book. Modelled on the principles of the Recovery Curriculum this is easy- to- use book, will enable teachers to one more embrace each child as an active, engaged learner. Highly recommended, in fact.. a must!”
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.
Forest Oak School in Solihull have developed SMILE, and ethos based approach to prompting positive Mental Health and emotional well being in children and young people. It is built on the NHS 5 ways to well being.
The approach is currently nearing the completion of a two year research evaluation with 10 other schools being led by Professor Barry Carpenter (Oxford Brookes University), Jo Egerton (Schools Research Consultant) in conjunction with Isabel Gerrard, (Well Being Lead, Forest Oak School), and Amanda Mordey, (Headteacher)
In the current climate we need to be mindful of the support our CYP will need as the gradually return to school . This approach is the perfect example of the Recovery Curriculum in action, and will be the subject of a future podcast with Amanda Mordey, OBE, Executive Headteacher , Forest Oak and Merstone School, Solihull, which will be posted on www.recoverycurriculum.org
Dr Tina Rae endorses the Recovery Curriculum. Leading author, prolific writer and academic, famed for her Boxes series with NurtureUK, has endorsed the Recovery Curriculum
“A recent survey undertaken by the charity Young Minds in March 2020 revealed that the current coronavirus pandemic is having a profound effect on young people with existing mental health conditions. Although they understood the need for the measures taken in response to the virus, the report says, this did not lessen the impact. Many of those who took part in the survey reported increased anxiety, problems with sleep, panic attacks or more frequent urges to self-harm.
We know that the impact upon all of us is significant and for those who already have mental health issues the on-going sense of fear and anxiety this is especially concerning. The sense of uncertainty and the transition to a new and insecure reality and ways of living will continue to impact upon all of us – adults and children alike.
The need to understand the impact of such trauma on the whole community has never been more vital. Although young people in this survey were able to identify some of the factors that they found helpful in a time of trauma, we recognised that there will be an on-going need for us all to develop and make use of trauma informed approaches in the aftermath of this pandemic. Children and young people will need to find and build upon their inner resources of resilience and adults will need to do likewise alongside learning how to talk to them about their fears and to do so in a therapeutic way which enable them to heal and to cope in their new reality.
The on-going concern.
We know that our children and young people who already have existing mental health issues will be finding the current lockdown experience particularly stressful and increased levels of anxiety will be the norm. However, it is probably also the case that every child will be experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety at this time and that when they do eventually return to the school context there will enormous emotional and psychological hurdles to overcome. The need to provide support for increased levels of anxiety and managing the transition to a ‘new normal’ will be on-going.
Never has there been a time when knowing how to manage your own well-being and how to support our children in doing this has been so vital.
This is why we need the Recovery Curriculum in every school across the country. This will be an essential element in ensuring that children and young people and the adults in every school community can safely return to the school context during this on-going pandemic. The Recovery Curriculum identifies the need for compassionate and trauma informed leadership at this time which oversees the development of curricula which therapeutically meets individual needs. This will be a new and more humane and compassionate approach which addresses the embeds the essential elements of relationship, community, transparent curriculum, metacognition and space.
Without such an approach we will not be able to effectively support our traumatised school communities and be able to build a new and more nurturing approach into the ‘new normal’. As a psychologist working with traumatised children and young people and their carers, I fully endorse this approach and hope that every school in the UK ensures that it is adopted and put in place at the earliest opportunity”