SMILE Recovery Curriculum

Curriculum Intent Implementation and Impact from September 2020.

Encapsulated in the words Loving, Learning and Living are the core aims and values of our Church school. They embody our commitment to respond to the particular needs of our community and are the ‘curriculum drivers’ that shape the implementation of our curriculum.  They guide our pupils' learning journey and inform the outcomes for them both personally and academically:

Loving God, ourselves, each other and being thankful and reverent about the world around us

Learning from all our experiences, good and bad, to gain the endurance, wisdom and humility to become our best selves

Living together in peace, friendship, trust and forgiveness, with the belief and compassion to enable everyone in our school to flourish and thrive

The breadth and scope of our curriculum is designed in pursuit of our three main principles:

  • To give all pupils appropriate experiences to develop as happy, healthy, confident and responsible citizens

  • To provide a coherent, structured, academic curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable

  • To provide access to a rich diet of arts that reflects the best of human endeavour ‘cultural capital’ for all pupils 

September 2020

We believe that given recent events our children will need time to recover both personally and academically. The following paragraph summarises the ideas of Professor Barry Carpenter who advises the provision of a ‘Recovery Curriculum’ in all schools.

‘The common thread that runs through the current lived experiences of our children, is loss. 

From loss emanates three significant dynamics that will impact majorly on the mental health of our children. Anxiety, trauma and bereavement are powerful forces. For them all to appear at once in an untimely and unplanned fashion is significant for the developing child. Our children are vulnerable at this time, and their mental health fragile’

As a result of the loss of routine, structure and friendship, it is possible there may have been an emergence emotionally of anxiety, trauma and bereavement in some of our pupils. Whilst the severity of need will vary enormously from pupil to pupil we believe that all of our learners will need some form of recovery plan and some may need a more focused recovery intervention programme, personalised to their need. 

Our focus in the first few weeks will be to establish where children are in their learning so that we can best plan for their needs. This will be done in a way that puts children’s wellbeing at the centre of learning. We know that children who feel safe and happy in school learn best and we will work extra hard to provide opportunities to explore their feelings about being back at school, re-establish relationships and routines  and remind them how much fun learning in school can be! We will ensure that all children, whatever their starting point in September, will be supported to transition back into full time school. 

Nationally, there is an understandable focus on the need for the recovery of lost knowledge. Whilst  we of course want to ensure all children are able to catch up, our first concern will be to ensure we are safeguarding the wellbeing of the children and staff in our school.   We will do this by building learning onto the recovery of secure emotional and academic foundations. The levers for this recovery are identified by Professor Carter as: 

Lever 1: Relationships – we can’t expect all our students to return joyfully, and many of the relationships that were thriving, may need to be invested in and restored. We need to plan for this to happen, not assume that it will. Reach out to greet them, use the relationships we build to cushion the discomfort of returning.

Lever 2: Community – we must recognise that curriculum will have been based in the community for a long period of time. We need to listen to what has happened in this time, understand the needs of our community and engage them in the transitioning of learning back into school.

Lever 3: Transparent curriculum – all of our students will feel like they have lost time in learning and we must show them how we are addressing these gaps, consulting and co-constructing with our students to heal this sense of loss.

Lever 4: Metacognition – in different environments, students will have been learning in different ways. It is vital that we make the skills for learning in a school environment explicit to our students to reskill and rebuild their confidence as learners.

Lever 5: Space – to be, to rediscover self, and to find their voice on learning in this issue. It is only natural that we all work at an incredible pace to make sure this group of learners are not disadvantaged against their peers, providing opportunity and exploration alongside the intensity of our expectations.

We have developed the SMILE initiative to sit naturally within our existing vision for our curriculum.  From September our ‘Recovery Curriculum’ will be built on our core principles but  will also apply the five levers described above, as a systematic, relationships-based approach to re-engage all children with learning. 

The SMILE initiative  - a basis for recovery.


Socialise and enjoy time to reconnect with each other to re-establish relationships and trust so that we can all work and play successfully together  (Lever 1: Relationships)

Providing time and opportunities for:

  • Engaging in positive social interaction with peers and adults 

  • Building self esteem

  • Recognising the qualities in others 

  • Building trust and cooperation 

  • Reminding each other of what makes a good friend  

  • Reestablishing old and developing new friendships  

  • Managing any conflict that arises


Manage and understand our feelings and focus on our well being both physical and mental (Lever 5: Space)

Providing time and opportunities for:

  • Building self esteem

  • Building trust and cooperation 

  • Thinking about how we feel and why - appreciating that we have all dealt with events and change in our lives in different ways 

  • Refocusing on the strategies we can use to manage negative thoughts  and feelings 

  • Using our creativity as a focus for mindfulness and wellbeing 

  • Playing, exercising and learning outside 

  • Appreciating and engaging in the world around us 

  • Reading and listening to stories and poems that talk to us about how we feel, make us smile and give us hope


Investigate and explore what we have remembered and where we need time to catch up (Lever 2: Community)

Providing time and opportunities for:

  • Building self esteem

  • Building trust and cooperation 

  • Celebrating and sharing  new skills we have developed 

  • Unpicking what we need to do to  catch up

  • Identifying the different ways and rates that everyone has developed and learned 

  • Supporting  everyone to develop core skills, including those who have missed out

  • Learning  from others and with others

  • Developing effective support programmes that mean no one is disadvantaged  


Learn how we learn best and use what we know to learn more (Lever 4: Metacognition)

Providing time and opportunities for:

  • Building self esteem

  • Building trust and cooperation 

  • Re-establishing  routines, systems, structures and consistency to support a successful return to learning

  • Reflecting on the resilience, perseverance and thinking skills that make us all successful learners

  • Remembering and celebrating  what we already know 

  • Achieving success and building on  and developing new skills 

  • Re -igniting a love of learning

  • Understanding what we need to do next 



Engage with an exciting learning journey designed to help rediscover our love of learning and realise our potential (Lever 3: Transparent curriculum)   

Providing time and opportunities for:

  • Learning through exciting and appropriately challenging activities and experiences 

  • Developing knowledge and understanding in all subjects but particularly in reading, writing and maths 

  • Applying core knowledge and understanding through exploration of the foundation curriculum

  • Exploring and Creating for ourselves 

  • Developing the emotional resilience needed to be independent thinkers and learners 

  • Incorporating the best of online learning into our school based activities 

  • Establishing a familiar and accessible system for online learning that can be quickly re-established should the need arise 


Finally, we will ensure all our practice is In line with DfE guidance for the full reopening of schools  and  its key principles that will underpin all our curriculum provision and development planning from September which are:

  • All pupils have the right to receive a high-quality education that promotes their development and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life

  • Our curriculum must remain broad and ambitious: all pupils will continue to be taught a wide range of subjects

  • Remote education, where needed, is high quality and aligns as closely as possible with in-school provision

  • We will continue to build our capability to educate pupils remotely, where this is needed

©S Connolly 2020
Adventurers SMILE!
In Adventurers, we read 'The Colour Monster' by Anna Llenas.  We talked about the emotions we feel when we're faced with something new or different or difficult and how we deal with it.  Putting this to the test, we embarked on a project that was new, different AND difficult.  We sewed some colour monsters of our own which required us to pin templates to fabric, cut accurately and then sew them up.  Every Adventurer found at least one part tricky but we did not give up and made some amazing monsters.
In PE we have been playing football.  As part of our session, we play lots of quick games that mean we have to be aware of others and use the space well.  We have to keep control and find our balance which mirrored something we learned from the Colour Monster too.
We want to show respect for our school and our environment by caring for our garden and playing kindly during Forest Based Learning.