Resilience and Recovery White Paper

The next steps for primary schools in the pandemic response

Since the earliest days of the COVID-19 crisis, primary school leaders have found ways to keep their pupils safe, engaged and learning while also supporting staff through incredibly difficult times. Everyone from pupils and their families to staff and school leaders have felt the impact of the pandemic in one form or another, whether it be health worries, loneliness, financial concerns or simply the experience of living with so much uncertainty.

In our 2020 report Making the Impossible Possible, we explored the plans primary schools were putting in place to deliver a good quality education against all the odds.

Times are still turbulent, and it remains extremely challenging for schools to adapt to each new phase of the pandemic.

In this paper, we follow up these schools’ teaching experiences during a pandemic, based on new interviews with the school leaders who contributed to the original report. We explore how these primary schools have put their recovery strategies into practice and set out some key approaches schools can take to prepare for whatever the future holds.

“Our schools focused on pre-school practice with reception children, and reception practice with Year 1 children while still preparing them with the age-related learning for their year group. As a result children settled into school much more quickly.”
Emma Wigmore
CEO, Vine Schools Trust

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