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Recovery Curriculum

The Recovery Curriculum



The Recovery Curriculum is built on the 5 Levers, as a systematic, relationships-based approach to reigniting the flame of learning in each child. Many children will return to school disengaged. School may seem irrelevant after a long period of isolation, living with a background of silent fear, always wondering if the day will come when the silence speaks and your life is changed forever. Our quest, our mission as educators, should be to journey with that child through a process of re-engagement, which leads them back to their rightful status as a fully engaged, authentic learner.

Levers of recovery


Lever 1: Relationships – we can’t expect 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.

Evaluate the curriculum content missed or taught remotely

Class teachers have looked back on what would have been covered in school while pupils were learning from home. They have prioritised what has been missed or not understood. 

Decide what to reteach and what to let go

For all aspects of the curriculum that were missed teachers decide whether to:

  1. Edit curriculum content down so it can be recapped in a few weeks, or

  2. Not recap this content (or only touch on it lightly)


We have divided our curriculum into:

  1. Non-negotiable key concepts, knowledge and skills all pupils need to understand

  2. Deeper concepts and knowledge you'd like pupils to learn if there's time (i.e. if you master the key concepts quicker than expected)

  3. Details that are a bonus for pupils to learn, but aren't necessary for a good level of understanding (if pupils master 1 and 2 in the time you have, you can dip into these)

You'll have to make trade-offs and tough decisions. Use the principles and questions below to help you make the best decisions for your pupils.

Guiding principles from Mary Myatt to help you consolidate your curriculum

  • Don't try to reteach every lesson pupils missed. The whole school population is in the same boat – everyone is losing at least 4 months of education and no school will be able to reteach every lesson pupils missed

  • Focus on what you can control, including smartly planned curriculum coverage and sensitive, high-quality teaching

  • For most subjects, pupils aren't only taught something once – concepts reappear across Key Stages and are built on over time, e.g. if year 1 missed gathering and recording data in science, they will do this again in year 2; if year 2 missed this they will have done it in year 1

  • Think in terms of key concepts that run through your curriculum, rather than specific topics or units: as long as your curriculum is sequenced properly, there will be main threads running through it, e.g. a unit on ancient Greece and a unit on the Magna Carta are linked by the concept of 'democracy' 

  • Focus on the most important, threshold concepts: pupils just need to understand enough of these concepts in order to access the next stage of their learning. Not knowing all the small details won't hold them back

  • Pupils are entitled to a broad, balanced curriculum: teaching all subjects will help them get back on track (e.g. vocabulary they learned in history will impact overall learning), so don't sacrifice foundation subjects to prioritise core ones

  • Dedicate time to this work, but be mindful of staff workload: you don’t want to replace or rewrite your existing curriculum if you’ve already thought it through and it’s working for your pupils. Consider dropping meaningless marking and excessive data collection so teachers can focus on thoughtful lesson planning, and accurately assessing where pupils are - and avoid burn-out

Discussion prompts that help us decide what to teach

  • What are the essential concepts in our curriculum that pupils need to understand before moving on? What do we not want pupils to leave their Key Stage without knowing? 

  • What parts of our curriculum are less essential, that we can miss or just touch on quickly? E.g. in geography, knowing the length of the river Nile isn't essential, as long as pupils understand the main features of a river

  • What are the threshold concepts that enable pupils to better understand other ideas/concepts? As mentioned above, these are the ideas that underpin multiple other aspects of the curriculum – e.g. pupils need to understand the characteristics of 2D shapes before they can understand those of 3D shapes, so we'll prioritise reteaching this

  • Is there a common thread running through the units we've missed, that we'll return to in a future unit? 

  • If there is a common thread, which unit do we think is most important to the aims of our curriculum, or most meaningful to our pupils? 


Cross-curricular questions:

  • Which skills or knowledge from one subject can children not access the rest of the curriculum without? E.g. learning to read in Year 1

  • Which topics or units have cross-curricular value so are worth focusing on? E.g. vocabulary from history or science that feeds into reading and writing in English

  • Which subjects (if any) did we focus on, or not focus on, while pupils were learning at home? E.g. if reading was your main focus over English and maths, there might not be as much of a focus on reading when pupils return

Use knowledge organisers 

Record the key knowledge identified in knowledge organisers . Knowledge organisers won't necessarily be right for every subject. 

The most important thing is that staff can see at a glance what needs to be retaught, and pupils can see what they need to know.

Use low-stakes assessment to find out where pupils have gaps in knowledge

When pupils return, we need to find out where the gaps are in the key concepts and knowledge. 

We will not present pupils with written tests as soon as they come back to school. Instead,  teachers will carry out some low-stakes quizzing and low-threat knowledge checks during lessons to find out what pupils can remember and where they have gaps. Depending on the subject, these could take the form of:

  • A quick quiz at the back of exercise books, e.g. 10 minutes to write down everything you can remember about the cold war

  • Multiple choice questions in a Google Form

  • Discursive pair work, e.g. read the textbook for 10 minutes, then can you tell your partner the 10 features you read about?

  • Checking knowledge through discussion, e.g. can they explain a concept in their own words?

This low-stakes approach should help pupils feel secure in what they already know and confident about what else they need to learn.

Teachers will feed the findings of these knowledge checks back to subject leaders or phase leaders – informally, not in the form of data

Adapt what we are consolidating 


Based on these findings, teachers’ might choose to adapt:

  • The content they are consolidating

  • How long they are consolidating for – e.g. if the majority of pupils have fewer gaps than  anticipated, they might decide to consolidate for a shorter period of time

Teachers should also adapt their short-term planning in light of what they're finding out about where pupils are (e.g. if there's one concept the majority of pupils in a year group are struggling with, devote more time to reteaching this).

For some pupils, consolidation lessons won't be enough to fill these gaps. In which case they will be considered for intervention programmes such as ‘Rapid’ or one-to-one tuition. 


Set aside time for consolidation lessons

We want to get your pupils up to speed quickly without rushing through content. 

How long? 

At our school we are setting aside up to three lessons each week for catch up and consolidation lessons.  These lessons will take place in addition to the daily Maths and English lessons that we normally teach.  

Teachers can use their timetable to replace up to three foundations subjects each week e.g. history, with a catch up lesson.  However, they must try to rotate the subjects that are missed so that over time children experience all subjects and the key knowledge/skills within them. 

We expect, by Easter, for children to  catch up with their learning and make the usual expected progress. 

Running effective consolidation lessons

  • Welcome pupils back, and get back into the learning as soon as you can

  • Begin these lessons by celebrating what pupils achieved while they were learning at home

  • Decide on the minimum amount of home learning work you want pupils to finish before moving on

  • Be explicit about what you're going to be covering:

  • Share knowledge organisers 

  • Give pupils the opportunity to practise what they're learning and show you that they understand

  • Keep low-stakes assessment going throughout 

We will make  sure what we teach in school aligns with any home learning. If some pupils are still learning from home we will consider live-streaming or recording these consolidation lessons via a remote learning platform such as Google Classroom


Continue with our normal curriculum

At some point, we will need to start our normal September curriculum. As soon as pupils have mastered the key knowledge identified we will  jump straight into this and run our curriculum as normal



General mark making and giving meanings to the marks they make

Writing their name



Initial phonics sounds

Recognising initial sounds in their name and their friend's names



counting objects to 5

sometimes matching quantities and numerals correctly

using positional language



Independently choosing an activity

Draw lines and circles using gross motor movements 

Holds pencil between thumb and two fingers, no longer using whole hand grasp

Holds pencil near point between first and 2 fingers and thumb and uses it with good control

Can copy some letters eg. from their name 


Year 1 


-Review, recall, writing and application of Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds

-Blending of Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds

-Comprehension: verbal answers of retrieval based questions when listening to a story.



-Letter formation of capital and small letters in line with the school handwriting policy

-Name writing

-Using sounds to write CVC words

-Basic sentence writing using the key SPAG concept of capital letters, full stops and finger spaces.



-Number formation, recall and writing of basic numbers from 0-20

-Counting forwards and backwards from 0 – 20

-Recap of 2D and 3D basic shape names.

-One more / one less of numbers up to 10 and 20

-Count and match quantities up to 10 and 20

-Counting in 2’s and 5’s


Year 2 


-Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds: recall and application to spelling words

-Comprehension skills: Verbal answers focusing on the Reading Domains / Skills of retrieval and inference

-Comprehension skills: Written answers focusing on the Reading Domains / Skills of retrieval, inference, analysis, language and prediction. 

-Focus on full sentence answers for written comprehension responses.



-SPAG: review, recap and apply skills of capital letters, fingers spaces and full stops to form simple sentences.

-SPAG: review, recap and apply skills of adjectives, connectives and adverbs to form complex sentences.

-Application and spelling of Year 1 Common Exception words.



-Recall, apply and write number bonds to 10 and 20

-Recall and write focusing on the number formation of numbers from 50 – 100.

-Addition within 10 and 20

-Subtraction within 10 and 20

-Recap on the naming and properties of 2D and 3D shapes.

-Time: o’clock, half past, quarter past and quarter to 



Year Group: Y3



Not embedded/Covered

·  Summarising non-fiction/information texts

·  Making inferences about things other than clear feelings

·  Predictions about longer stories (lack of imagination about what might happen)

·  Independent comparisons

·  Identifying why language has been used or what the author is trying to do when using specific punctuation

·  Decoding words that don’t have a known word within them

·  Phase 2/3 sounds and blending (Freddie)


Not embedded/Covered

·  A wide range of connectives

·  Similes/metaphors

·  Poetry, formal letters, newspaper reports

·  Suffixes -ment, -ness, -full, -less, -ly

·  Proof-reading

·  Handwriting 


Not embedded/Covered

·  Speech marks

·  Apostrophes to show possession


Not embedded/Covered

·  Exchanging and regrouping

·  Other times tables (some children embedded and competent)

·  Digital time

·  Intervals of time and lengths of activities

·  3D shape names and properties

·  Partition numbers in different ways

·  Inverse x and /

·  Finding money totals and change

·  Using measurement tools

·  Interpret and construct simple pictograms, block diagrams and tables



 Year Group: 4 



Not embedded/Covered

Children must continue to practise summarising and inference. These strands must be revisited and focused on.

-   Children must also continue to read further exception words, noting the unusual correspondences between spelling and sound, and where these occur in the word.

-   To also discuss words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination.

-   Children must start to recognise some different forms of poetry.

-   Children to continue asking questions to improve their understanding of a text


Not embedded/Covered:

-   Children must use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.

-   Children continue discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar.

-   Children compose and rehearse sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures.

-   To assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements

-   To propose changes to grammar and vocabulary to improve consistency, including the accurate use of pronouns in sentences

-     increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting.


Not embedded/Covered:

- To use further prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them.

-  To continue spelling further homophones.

- To learn how to place the possessive apostrophe accurately in words with regular plurals and in words with irregular plurals.

- Children spell words that are often misspelt.



·   Not embedded/Covered:

·   Unit 11: Measures (15 lessons)

·   Unit 12: Securing multiplication and division (5 lessons)

·   Unit 13: Exploring calculation strategies and place value (10 lessons)



Year Group: 5


Not embedded/Covered

· Summer term text: ‘Boy in the Girl’s Dress’

· Whole text analysis (how components/parts of the text aid understanding of the


· Retrieve information from indexes and pages in non-fiction texts

· Appraise / evaluate the text

· Show awareness of audience when reading aloud, selecting a range of

Appropriate techniques to suit.

· Understand themes and conventions

· Comment on the effectiveness of the authors’ choice of language (started)


Not embedded/Covered

Explanation texts

Discussion text

Non Chronological reports

 Play scripts


Not embedded/Covered

1. Standard and non-standard English

2. hyphens

3. Consolidating Tenses

4. Consolidation of Writing Paragraphs in Standard and Non-Standard English

5. Past Tense

6. Present Tense

7. Present Perfect or Simple Past?

8. Using Paragraphs

9. Negatives

10.  Statutory Spellings Challenge Words

length strength purpose history different difficult separate suppose therefore


11.  Plural Possessive Apostrophes with plural words

girls’ boys’ babies’ parents’ teachers’ women’s men’s children’s people’s


12.  Adding the prefix anti- (meaning ‘against’)

antiseptic anticlockwise antisocial antidote antibiotic antivenom anti-ageing antifreeze antiperspirant antigravity

13.  Adding the prefix auto- (meaning ‘self’ or ‘own’)

autograph autobiography automatic autofocus autocorrect autopilot autorotate automobile autonomy autocue

14.  Adding the prefix ex- (meaning ‘out’)

exit extend explode excursion exchange export exclaim expel external


15.  Adding the prefix non- (meaning ‘not’)

non-stick non-stop non-starter non-smoker nonsense non-fiction non-drip non-violent non-profit  non-believer

16.  Words ending in

-ar/ -er calendar grammar regular particular peculiar popular consider remember quarter  integer 

17.  Adding the suffix

-ous (No change to root word)

18.  dangerous poisonous mountainous joyous synonymous hazardous riotous perilous momentous scandalous

19.  Adding the suffix

-ous (No definitive root word)

tremendous enormous jealous serious hideous fabulous curious anxious obvious


20.  Adding the suffix

-ous (Words ending in ‘y’ become ‘i’ and words ending in ‘our’ become ‘or’)

various furious glorious victorious mysterious humorous glamorous vigorous odorous  rigorous

21.  Adverbials of frequency and possibility

regularly occasionally frequently usually rarely perhaps maybe certainly possibly



Not embedded/Covered

Area and Perimeter

1. To measure and calculate the perimeter of rectangles in centimetres and millimetres.

2. To draw rectangles with differing perimeters in cm and mm.

3. To calculate the perimeter of rectangles in metres and centimetres.

4. To measure and calculate the perimeter of composite rectilinear shapes in centimetres and millimetres.

5. To measure and calculate the perimeter of composite rectilinear shapes in metres and centimetres.

6. To understand that area is a measure of surface and that it is measured in square units.

7. To find the area of rectangles.

8. To calculate and compare the area of rectangles (including squares), using square centimetres.

9. To calculate and compare the area of rectangles (including squares) using square

10.  metres.

11.  To investigate the relationship between area and perimeter.

Solving measure and money problems

1. To choose and use appropriate units of measure for capacity, length and mass

2. To convert between millimetres and centimetres

3. To convert between centimetres and metres

4. To convert between units of measurement

Shape and symmetry

1. To compare and order angles

2. To identify right angles

3. To identify acute and obtuse angles

4. To investigate angles within shapes

5. To compare and classify 2-D shapes

6. To compare and classify quadrilaterals

7. To compare and classify right angled and equilateral triangles

8. To compare and classify isosceles and scalene triangles

9. To identify lines of symmetry in 2-D shapes

10.  To complete a simple symmetrical figure

11.  To investigate a problem using symmetry

Position and Direction

1. To describe positions on a 2-D grid as coordinates

2. To investigate a problem, describing positions on a 2-D grid as coordinates

3. To plot specified points and draw sides to complete a given triangle

4. To describe movements between positions as translations of a given unit to the left/right or

5. up/down

6. To describe movements between positions as translations of a given unit to the left/right and

7. up/down

Reasoning with patterns and sequences

1. To investigate the place value of different number systems

2. To investigate Roman Numerals up to one hundred

3. To identify and complete number sequences

4. To investigate number patterns

3-D Shape

1. To apply understanding of the properties of 3-D shape (2 lessons)

2. To solve problems based on 2-D representations of 3-D shapes (2 lessons)



Year Group: 6




  • Drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions and justifying inferences with evidence 

  • Making predictions based on these that are stated and implied. 

  • Summarising the main ideas drawn from longer texts, identifying key details that support the main idea.

  • Evaluating the use of authors’ language and explaining how it has created an effect and impact on the reader. 

  • Making notes when analysing texts 

  • Identifying the characteristics of text types and providing examples from their reading 


Not embedded/ Weaknesses

  • convert nouns or adjectives into verbs using suffixes, e.g. designate, classify, criticise, etc. link ideas across paragraphs

  • co-ordinating conjunctions to combine clauses

  • relative and subordinate clauses



Not embedded/Covered

  • Semi-colons, colons and dashes are used to show the place where two independent but related clauses meet 

  • Colons are used to introduce a list 

  • Semicolons are used between list items 



Not embedded 

  • Solve problems involving multiplication and division, including scaling by simple fractions and problems involving simple rates.

  • Multiply proper fractions and mixed numbers by whole numbers.

  • Rounding to check answers to calculations 

  • Multiply numbers up to 4 digits by a two-digit number using a formal written method, including long multiplication for two-digit numbers. 

  • Solving problems involving multiplication and division including using their knowledge of factors and multiples, squares and cubes.

  • Recognising mixed numbers and improper fractions and convert from one form to the other and write mathematical statements > 1 as a mixed number [for example, 2/5 + 4/5 = 6/5 = 1 1/5] 

  • Multiplying proper fractions and mixed numbers by whole numbers 

  • Measure and calculate the perimeter of composite rectilinear shapes in centimetres and metres. Covered during lockdown- difficult to assess

  • Using the properties of rectangles to deduce related facts and find missing lengths and angles. Covered during lockdown- difficult to assess

  • Understand and use approximate equivalences between metric units and common imperial units such as inches, pounds and pints.

  • Round any number up to 1,000,000 to the nearest 10; 100; 1000; 10,000 and 100,000. ( MA/LA in particular)

  • Identify 3-D shapes, including cubes and other cuboids, from 2-D representations. Covered during lockdown- difficult to assess


Solve comparison, sum and difference problems using information presented in a line graph. 

Covered during lockdown- difficult to assess



van den Akker, J. (2020). The curriculum: gallimaufry to coherence Mary Myatt, 2018 Melton, Woodbridge, John Catt Educational Ltd£ 15 (pbk), 200 pp. ISBN: 9781911382836. The Curriculum Journal, 31(1), 174-176.