There are, understandably, significant concerns about the learning that pupils have missed whilst unable to attend school due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result of this, we have amended our curriculum with the aim of closing the gap as much as possible. We have looked carefully at the content missed since March and have built in sessions to allow our catch-up curriculum to be the most effective it can be. For this reason, we have blocked time for non-core subjects, allowing us to concentrate on the basic skills within the English and Maths curriculum. Topic weeks will take place at the end of each half term, and will ensure children receive their full entitlement to the National Curriculum.
In maths, the long-term plan has been restructured to include ‘recovery’ blocks, which will be taught in addition to the usual maths curriculum.
There will be two daily maths sessions. The children will receive an hour of their usual maths in the main session and an extra 30 minutes of the recovery curriculum in the extra session.
This extra session will be devoted to catching up on learning missed from the spring and summer term of the previous year and the consolidation of basic skills. Basic number skills, such as number bonds and multiplication facts, remain a priority and children are encouraged to practise these daily as their homework.
This targeted focus should ensure that, by end of the year, children are back on track with their maths learning.
English Recovery plan (2020-21)
It is important that all children achieve sufficiently secure foundations to their understanding and that Covid-19 does not leave a legacy of ‘gaps’ for years to come. However, the good news is, the English curriculum is both cumulative and recursive. Every time we read and write, we draw on the same set of skills. As fluency increases in the basic skills, we introduce slight differences and explore the impact of these. The National Curriculum identifies a clear progression in skills so that as teachers, we just need to ‘notice’ where they are not yet embedded from the previous year and then enable opportunities to do so in a rich and engaging environment. Therefore, our aims are to:
- To revisit learning from the previous year’s curriculum
- Quickly close the most vital gaps in knowledge, skills and understanding
- To focus on more complex aspects of the previous year’s curriculum.
- To align revision and catch up coverage with the new year’s curriculum – enabling catch up for 2020-21.
The school timetable has been adapted to provide more time to teach reading (including phonics) and writing. Extra handwriting, Read Write Inc phonics and SPAG sessions will be taught daily.
During our English lessons, (Year 1 – Year 6) we will be using a special Catch-Up Curriculum. This is a 12-week programme which uses high quality, age-appropriate, quality picture books and film clips that are intended to inspire the children’s writing. There will be a specific writing outcome for each text -these are intentionally shorter than would normally be expected, focusing on gap filling skills and rebuilding writing stamina rather than extended pieces (it is more about quality not quantity).
Here is an example taken from the Year 2 programme. Initially, children will be focused on closing learning gaps from the Year 1 English Curriculum, and as the weeks progress, the Year 1 statements reduce and the Year 2 statements increase.