School Recovery

School Recovery Programme

Covid-19 has turned the world upside-down. It's forced us to completely rethink our offer. So we've set up the Recovery Curriculum Action-Research Project to learn about the fears, anxieties, and emotional needs of pupils coming out of lockdown, and to help us devise suitable materials for Leicester(shire)'s recovery curriculum.

With an investment from Pathways (a partnership involving the University of Leicester, De Montfort University, Loughborough University, and Leicester College), and following consultation with teachers, we have developed a programme of CPD and Sandpits and then, following the outcomes of these, a number of micro research and development commissions will seek to address how, through our collective efforts, we can create work that place recovery and wellbeing central to children's learning.

Sandpit #2

Wednesday 2nd December, 4.00-5.30pm

Following our successful first Sandpit back in September, we continued our discussion with Professor John Maltby on the theme of resilience, but this time we broadened the discussion to look at how we can support the resilience of the whole school community - pupils, teachers and families. As well as John, Louise Katerega, City Classroom artist shared her thoughts on this as a parent, and Kathryn Sugars, Headteacher at Foley Primary School, Kidderminster joined us to share her successful approach to working with families and the community during the first lockdown.

24 participants including teachers, academics, artists and organisations joined us for 90 minutes of the most engaging and thought-provoking discussion.

CPD - Room to Grow; Renewing Wellbeing Creatively

Three virtual CPD sessions focusing on Wellbeing and Learning Readiness, took place in August and September. There were separate sessions for Primary, Secondary and SEND/Vulnerable pupils, and each was packed with information and strategies for use in the classroom. These sessions were aimed at Heads, Senior Leadership and those with a responsibility for whole school mental health and wellbeing.

115 City Classroom Members and teachers from schools engaged in the Pathways Programme have accessed these CPD sessions.

Feedback included:

"I just wanted to say a huge thank you. [This session] was just what we needed to see the situation in a more positive light."

"Thank you for some really useful content and suggestions. I will be sharing with staff and using in our curriculum."

Sandpit #1

The first City Classroom Sandpit took place on Tuesday 15th September, 4-5.30pm. 37 teachers, academics, artists and organisations joined, via Zoom, to listen to our three guest speakers offer their thoughts around resilience.

Professor John Maltby (University of Leicester) shared with us his Resilience Model, which framed subsequent discussions; Andria Zafirakou, Associate Deputy Head and Art Teacher, Alperton Community School, Brent spoke about 'Why do we teach? Understanding your Value', and Sameena Khan (City Classroom Member artist) spoke about 'Supporting resilience through creativity/artistic practice'.

After the guest speakers, we were treated to a communal drawing activity, led by Andria, after which participants joined one of four breakout groups to reflect on what they'd heard, and to discuss their own challenges, and how we might support teacher, pupil and whole school resilience going forward.

Artist – School Peer Mentoring Programme

In the academic year 2020/21 we piloted the development of an Artist – School Peer Mentoring Programme. The programme aimed to explore how artists can work with teachers and schools to support the immediate challenges being faced due to COVID.

The programme supported an artist to work with a school, offering a different perspective, to help wrestle with the daily challenges of working safely, managing socially distanced relationships, nurturing a positive learning environment and supporting the school community to develop its resilience.

The Artist – School Peer Mentoring Programme enabled a school to access 10 hours of an artist's time to support incremental changes across the school. These could have be identified through joining conversations with the Senior Leadership team, wellbeing and/or subject areas leads; attending staff meetings; or engaging with the school council, Governors or the PTA. Result may have seen whole school schemes of work, more playful playtime, or simply identifying creative ways to welcome the children at the start of each day. There was a focus is on knowledge between the artist and school as a means to open up school processes to inform thinking and shape the conversation. There were no prescribed outputs as the aim of the programme was to work collaboratively across a school to find creative solutions to the multiple challenges thrown up by the current and ongoing crisis.

Below you will find reviews and responses to this work from the partnership work carried out by Lousie Katerega and Ash Field Academy, demonstrating the impact and possibilities which stemmed from the partnerships.

1. Ash Field Review – Teacher Reflections & Impact on School
2. Distance Travelled – Commentary on a Plan by Louise Katerega. A possible framework for this specific model of partnership working.

"This project is probably – on the surface - one of the most time-limited and yet the most satisfying I have ever been involved with. And what continues to strike me is how economical it was on time, money and practical effort." Louise Katerega