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The RECOVERY Curriculum

The past few months have been incredibly stressful and disruptive times for our young people.  Students have had to deal with a lot of change and some of our community have had to deal with loss.  Professor Barry Carpenter outlines 5 key losses that students have potentially faced:

  • Loss of Routine
  • Loss of Structure
  • Loss of Friendship
  • Loss of Opportunity
  • Loss of Freedom

At Fortismere we have investigated the impact of these potential loses for individual students.  As a result we have invested a lot of time developing an extraordinary curriculum that seeks to support our students with these losses through 5 key levers:

  • Lever 1:   Relationships – at Fortismere we believe that relationships between staff and students is vital to a supportive and effective learning environment. 
  • Lever 2:   Metacognition (re-learning to learn). Students have been working at home for a long period of time without a teacher in the room with them.  This has been amazing to watch as so many students took responsibility for their learning and really worked hard.  Our teachers understand that students will need support and guidance as they relearn to learn, as such departments will be explicitly scaffolding teaching to grow confidence as a learner.
  • Lever 3:   Space – As a school we aim to provide a safe place to be, to rediscover self-image, esteem and confidence – in the classroom and the communal areas.
  • Lever 4: Curriculum – We have designed a new curriculum that acknowledges and  addresses the various and inevitable gaps that have occurred over Lockdown.  (see below)
  • Lever 5: Support – Over the first term we are working hard to support students that either feel left  behind academically or have been identified by their teachers, with a set of afterschool and in school interventions.

Our response has also been influenced by Professor John Hattie who was the adviser for the New Zealand Qualifications Authority that oversaw school examinations after the devastating Christchurch earthquakes of 2011. Schools were closed for weeks and most students did not have the opportunity for online learning or discussion with teachers.  

But results did not suffer and high school students did not drop out. "The students' performance actually went up in the final exams," Professor Hattie said.  He said the difference was teachers focused on "what has to be learned" instead of getting through a lot of curriculum.

 “Gaps in learning are a matter of serious concern, but they are not insurmountable. Whilst the gaps in curriculum and knowledge can be extensive, these can be repaired through a systematic approach to a well- planned recovery curriculum."

Staff have worked very hard at streamlining their departments' curriculum to focus on key knowledge and skills, helping students to re-engage with their learning,  as well as identifying gaps in learning and ensuring that these are revisited in lessons.  These curriculum maps can be seen here.

mr Andy Ward 

Mr Andy Ward has been appointed as the senior teacher responsible for tracking and working to mitigate against the impact of the pandemic on students and learning at Fortismere.


Covid Catch Up Premium - Spending

Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds will be among those hardest hit. The aggregate impact of lost time in education will be substantial, and the scale of our response must match the scale of the challenge.


Schools’ allocations will be calculated on a per pupil basis, providing each mainstream school with a total of £80 for each pupil in year’s reception through to 11.


As the catch-up premium has been designed to mitigate the effects of the unique disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), the grant will only be available for the 2020 to 2021 academic year. It will not be added to schools’ baselines in calculating future years’ funding allocations.

Click Here for the spending plan and breakdown