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Recovery Curriculum

Recovery curriculum rainbow

A Recovery Curriculum:  Loss and Life for our Children and Schools Post-Pandemic 

Barry Carpenter, Professor of Mental Health in Education, Oxford Brookes University:

How will it be for children when they return to school? It would be naive to think that they will pick up where they left off on the day their school went into lock down.

We have been analysing the loss children have suffered during this time, and the potential anxiety and trauma it may cause, with significant impact on their ability to learn effectively.

We have built the construct of a Recovery Curriculum, enabling schools to consider the processes they will need to put in place to successfully transition children back to school. As the word ‘construct’ suggests, this is a process of building, of co-constructing, a curriculum that is responsive to the needs of children, that harvests their experience and makes sense of it emotionally as well as cognitively.

Visit the Community of Practice to exchange and develop ideas

The podcast series is a powerpoint version of the Recovery Curriculum Think Piece, with Professor Carpenter speaking to the slides. 


School leaders discussed their responses to the implications of a Recovery Curriculum in their school setting (Primary, Secondary, and Special) In particular the pedagogy, resources and also the mental health of the children. Listen to the podcast series Conversations on a Recovery Curriculum

 5 key principles of Recovery Curriculum


PSHE: Developing a Recovery Curriculum Webinar

This video-webinar is intended as a starting point to get you thinking about what a ‘recovery curriculum’ means in your school and what you can do to start planning for embedding a recovery curriculum now.

This session covers:

  • What are the key concerns for young people returning to school?
  • The role of PSHE education vs pastoral care
  • Recommendations for immediate, medium and long term responses that could form a recovery curriculum



Further Resources

Suggested school activities and ideas for engaging whole school community in Covid 19 experiences.


Returning to School After Lockdown

Lucy Stevens and Fiona Quan (GHLL) and Dr Melissa Parry (Educational Psychology Service) have created a brief double-sided leaflet with general advice and top tips.  In addition to this, a number of case studies are included with some suggestions and strategies from school staff, GHLL and Educational Psychology Service. There is a recorded example for primary aged children and secondary aged young people for each area, and the advice has also been typed for reference.

The case studies provide some examples to try but these are not exhaustive, as each child and young person, their situation or circumstances will be different.  Further individual advice and referrals to relevant services or agencies for more support may be required. Also, it is important to remember that school staff are available and happy to help – please do not be afraid to seek support from them!


Case Study Examples for Primary and Secondary Age Pupils

Are you concerned about a child:

  • Anxiety and Worry
  • Screen time
  • Loss and Bereavement
  • Reconnecting and peer relationships
  • School engagement and separation anxiety

Take a look at these case study examples and advice on these topics from our Educational Psychologist.


Post COVID19 Resources

The Schools’ Wellbeing Partnership, in consultation with the Department for Education, has published support for primary schools to help them prepare their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic so that the mental health and wellbeing of the whole school community is protected.

The Coronavirus crisis has been one of the most challenging times that schools have ever faced. They have achieved a remarkable amount in making sure that children and young people have been kept safe and able to continue learning.

However, the pandemic is likely to have affected children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, both now and in the longer-term.

Supporting the whole school’s mental health needs is more important than ever, as children and young people adjust to the return to school.

The tool builds on the eight principles set out in Public Health England’s guidance: Promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing: a whole school and college approach, and shows how schools can promote and support mental wellbeing through all aspects of school life.

The tool is designed to support senior leadership teams seeking to build on their current practice, providing information about the wide range of mental health and wellbeing resources available, and starting a conversation about the practical steps the school can take to support staff and pupil wellbeing.

Download the Schools' Wellbeing Partnership Toolkit.


The purpose of the ‘My Journey…walking the path together’ journal, is to give children and young people the opportunity to reflect and share some of the often, overwhelming emotions and experiences they will have had whilst in lockdown, and may continue to experience once back at school.

The booklet also aims to encourage children and young people in upper KS2, KS3, KS4 and KS5 to reflect and identify times of strength and resulting growth, and consider how these strengths may be positively used in the future.

The discussion and resulting activities, will give the children and young people and opportunity to share and understand the commonality of many of the emotions. This sharing and reflecting, will help them to identify emotions and the resulting feelings and behaviours. By understanding the emotions, it may help them to deal with them and move forwards in a positive way. To understand many of their emotions are normal.

Each activity can be supported with more in depth curriculum input - depending on the time available.

Click here for the supporting notes to accompany this booklet.

We have also tailored this booklet to make it suitable for KS1. Click here to view.

Pandemic measurement survey




Wellbeing Packs

The Young Minds Matters team have created a set of Wellbeing packs to support children, young people and parents around some specific issues they may be struggling with during the Covid-19 period.  They also include packs to help teachers around how they can support the children and young people they are working with. Should you have any further queries, or have concerns about the emotional well-being of a child or young person then please do not hesitate to call the CAMHS professionals advice line ; 01452 894272

Teacher Self Care

Teaching Support


Primary Resources

ASD  - Autism Spectrum Disorder and Corona virus

GAD - General Anxiety Disorder

Health Anxiety

Low Mood

OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Social Isolation


Secondary Resources

ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorder and Coronavirus

GAD - General Anxiety Disorder

Health Anxiety

Low Mood


Social Isolation


Parent Packs


Parent and primary OCD

Anxiety, ASC and COVID19- (Autistic Spectrum Condition)

Keep safe lets talk about it

Low mood

Self care

Talking to your kids about Coronavirus


Tagged under: whole school approach, recovery curriculum, post covid19, covid19, post pandemic, Coronavirus, schools, resources, returning to school, lockdown, video, mental health, pedagogy, PSHE, education, pasto