Our Reconnection Plan

We have been thinking about what a curriculum might look like for children in this next phase of school and have used guidance to help us with this. From September, we will be implementing a “Reconnection Plan”, which acknowledges that there have been big losses to children as they have stayed at home and that these losses can contribute to pupil’s mental health with anxiety, trauma and bereavement playing a large role. Children will perhaps have experienced these aspects all at once and in a sudden and unplanned fashion which can leave children feeling vulnerable. Equally, whether we have intended to or not, children will be have been exposed to adults who are anxious and may not be acting in their normal way or maintaining the normal routines which they are used to. To help us support children in reconnecting with their peers and school life, our Reconnection Plan will focus on four areas.

1. Supporting pupils to build positive relationships with others

What this area will help our pupils to learn?

We will support pupils to rebuild their relationships and to re-learn how to interact and build relationships with others. We will provide opportunities for sharing, turn taking, greeting and interacting with others positively by allowing them to play alongside and with peers; to respond to familiar and new adults and to seek adults to help, support and comfort when they need it.

What that may look like?

There will be opportunities within the day where the focus is on rebuilding relationships with peers and adults. This may be in the form of:

  1. Supporting pupils to manage feelings and behaviour

What this area will help our pupils to learn?

It aims to support pupils to understand their emotions and feelings and begin to process the experiences they have had. We will support pupils to relearn some positive behaviour which they may have forgotten being outside of the school environment. Supporting pupils to engage with self-regulation strategies and tools which help them to feel safe and calm. Supporting pupils to understand the world we live in with tools and strategies to help them process what is different and what we can do to help.

What might that look like?

There will be clear routines which are supported by visuals and clear communication which may include use of visual timetables so pupils know what is happening each day and at each part of the day. Some structures and boundaries may be different in school because of social distancing and processes related to this so some tools we may use include social stories and use of visuals to guide and support.

The structure will be supportive and provide opportunities within this that enables and allows pupils to express themselves and express the experiences they have had whilst they were not at school. We will do this by being clear with boundaries and using therapeutic approaches to supporting behaviour and emotions. We will also be using therapeutic tools to support pupils in communicating with us such as building in regular circle time and therapeutic play times.

There will be regular sessions where we explore and express emotions and open up discussions about emotions within circle time which will support pupils to explore their feelings as well as modelling processing and talking about feelings and emotions linked to this experience.

There will be regular opportunities for pupils to engage in self – regulation activities such as sensory breaks, active breaks, and use of resources which support individuals. In addition there will be lots of opportunities for pupils to practise their communication so that they are able to feel like they have a voice and are able to express their wants and needs.

3. Supporting pupils to enjoy and achieve

What this area will help our pupils to learn?

We will support our pupils to have moments where they feel success and are engaged in times of enjoyment and achievement. This will be within pupil’s abilities and easily accessible recognising that when pupils have experienced trauma, their abilities to learn new concepts and be challenged is less. Pupils often use schemas of learning which they are familiar to explore when processing events in their lives and planned provision will focus on what is familiar. i.e. play provision that enables schematic exploration, familiar structures in the day, relaxation time, independent learning, circle time, worships.

What that may look like?

We will use familiar curriculum type sessions that pupils will be used to that provide children with experiences that feel like “the norm”. Using what we know about schematic learning and how children process, this will look like familiar structured sessions in the pupils’ day and opportunities to engage in play opportunities. We will be providing enjoyable activities which provide children with “fun” so that they can rejuvenate with positive endorphins and want to engage.

Sessions which will feel familiar will be different for each class group but ideas will be:

Curriculum sessions that provide familiar structures (like Phonics, Maths, Guided Reading)

Independent learning where provision takes account of schematic learning.

ICT songs and learning on whiteboard where these are familiar

Outdoor play


Learning in these sessions will link to previous and current topic learning or children’s key interests and motivators. Children will have missed out on many opportunities being at home that they are naturally exposed to at school like peer play, active opportunities and experiences which develop their cognition and learning and these will be built into each day to support children to have a broad range of opportunity, experience and fun.

4. Supporting pupils’ physical health and well-being

What this area will help pupils to learn?

Supporting pupils to re-engage with physical health and well-being routines as well as learn new routines which will support pupils to keep safe and enable infection control. This will include hand washing, social distancing, understanding of new school routines as well as supporting pupils with their personal care and tolerating differences in these routines such as use of an alternative hygiene room facility or being supported in a different way for eating/ drinking. Supporting pupils to be independent through their own dressing and undressing where needed and supporting pupils to be physically well through active sessions, use of outdoor space and understanding about keeping physically well.

What that may look like?

We will be planning in lots of time where children are able to explore and re-investigate their environments to become familiar with what might be different (i.e. one way systems in school, different markings in school, different access to resources in the classroom, some rooms which are closed) and understanding these differences will be supported with social stories, photos and pictures.

Learning in supporting pupils’ physical health and well-being will focus on managing and coping within new processes keeping safe. This will include:

Silver Linings

During the first two weeks of the academic year, we will be following a program called ‘Silver Linings.’ The program will be delivered across the school, exploring specific themes and giving the children time to talk.