ASD Department – recovery curriculum

September 2020

Following the change in school circumstances from March 2020, approximately half  of our pupils (twenty-two) from our ASD cohort did attend school on either a part time or full time basis.  This increased after May half term, with thirty pupils attending school.  All pupils within the cohort were provided with home learning packs and access to online learning tools/virtual meetings.  Half of the pupils have been absent from school for the duration of the pandemic and this will have significantly impacted upon individual learning and progress in all areas of the curriculum. Due to this it is vital that upon return to school in September pupils are provided with a range of opportunities to support them to be emotionally settled and to feel secure at school which will then prepare them fully of the learning they are to undertake whilst ensuring that all future learning has a positive impact upon pupils outcomes.

Both pupils and staff may be experiencing high levels of anxiety due to:

  • Anxiety about returning to school
  • Health anxiety (either for themselves or a family member)
  • Separation anxiety (after spending a lot of time at home with family)
  • Bereavement
  • Pupils may also experience general trauma from the lockdown.
  • Change in structure level from home/school.
  • Anxiety about favoured activities being unavailable.

The focus for the start of the Autumn term is to be around promoting positive mental health and wellbeing for all of the children and therefore the curriculum will be modified initially to accommodate this with the aim of building up to the re-introduction of the full curriculum either before or by October half term (this will be under constant review). Some pupils will have been affected by lockdown more than others, all pupils who haven’t been at school will have missed the routine, seeing friends and the support from school staff.

The following will be offered to all pupils when they return to school:

  • Time for them to talk about their experience in lockdown
  • Supportive conversations with staff
  • Lessons and activities focused on mental wellbeing and staying safe
  • Positive opportunities to renew and develop friendships and peer groups
  • Gradual re-introduction of work demands and structured timetabled lessons

During the initial weeks of the term the focus of the curriculum will be reading, communication, literacy, numeracy throughout each morning. This will provide teachers with the opportunity to identify gaps in pupil knowledge, build on these and ascertain fresh baseline assessments for reading, numeracy and VOCA, PECS and BSL skills.

Pupils across all age groups will also be given the opportunity to ask questions/listen to stories about anything related to COVID-19, lockdown, or schools reopening. The detail and language used will vary across classes and will be very dependent upon age, level of development and communication skills

Areas to be discussed may include:

  • What the virus is and how it spreads
  • What’s happening in the news (giving them age-appropriate information)
  • What makes a news source reliable, and how some stories on social media for example might be based on inaccurate information
  • Taking a break from listening to or reading the news – overexposure can be overwhelming and isn’t helpful
  • Awareness of our body’s immune system
  • We’re taking precautions against this virus because it’s a new one and what the precautions are
  • The benefits of healthy eating, sleep, and exercise – all of which help fight germs

As most of the pupils will be re-adjusting from a couple of months at home, they may need to re-build emotional resilience in the classroom. This will be undertaken by completing varied creative/media/physical based activities to promote working together, communication and to promote an atmosphere of trust. Activities planned will be completed both within individual class groups and within the ASD cohort as a whole. PE and swimming sessions will be completed as timetabled, pupils will also have access to all outdoor quad areas to ensure their sensory diets are maintained.

A detailed overview has been produced (please see attached) which documents the plan for the initial weeks of term. This will be reviewed on a daily basis according to the needs of the children and amended as necessary.

Plan for Autumn 2020 – this plan will be under constant review and will be adapted and amended as appropriate

Date Activities
Week 1

02.09.2020

(3 days)

Welcome back to school

Reading/literacy/numeracy (as timetable)

PE and swimming (as timetable)

Create individual happiness boxes/worry jars

Emphasise routines

Check understanding re Coronavirus – story/discussions

1:1 catch ups with teachers where appropriate

Week 2

07.09.2020

Reading/literacy/numeracy (as timetable) – baseline assessments

PE and swimming (as timetable)

RSE lessons

1:1 catch ups with teachers where appropriate

Creative work in Art lessons

Week 3

14.09.2020

Reading/literacy/numeracy (as timetable)

Healthy living

RSE lessons

PE and swimming (as timetable)

1:1 catch ups

Week 4

21.09.2020

Reading/literacy/numeracy

PE and swimming

RSE – wellbeing sessions

Evaluation so far – curriculum offer to be extended/changed adapted?

Week 5

28.09.2020

Reading/literacy/numeracy

PE and swimming

RSE – wellbeing sessions

Week 6

05.10.2020

Reading/literacy/numeracy

PE and swimming

RSE – wellbeing sessions

Week 7

12.10.2020

Reading/literacy/numeracy

PE and swimming

 

RSE – wellbeing sessions

Week 8

19.10.2020

Evaluate how this is progressing – any changes/additions needed?
Week 9

26.10.2020

HALF TERM
Week 10

02.11.2020

Return to full curriculum