Recovery Curriculum

How music can help your school recovery curriculum

The pandemic has created 5 identifiable losses for children:

  • routine
  • structure
  • friendship
  • opportunity
  • freedom

These losses can trigger the emergence emotionally of anxiety, trauma and bereavement in any child. The recovery curriculum focuses on these areas of loss, and music and has been proved to support mental wellbeing.

The five levers of recovery is based upon research by Barry Carpenter, Professor of Mental Health in Education, Oxford Brookes University and Matthew Carpenter, Principal, Baxter College, Kidderminster.

Read ‘A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and Life for our children and schools post pandemic’

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Recovery Curriculum – 5 Levers of Recovery

Music can help children recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Relationships: friendships may need time and effort to be restored. Listening to any kind of music helps pupils of all ages communicate with each other and gives them a sense of belonging. It can be used to re-build friendships and form new relationships. It can encourage children to work together, improve their social skills, which can also improve behaviour.
Community: the balance of school and home life changed during the pandemic, especially during school closures. Music helps us to verbalise how the pandemic makes us feel, linking events that have happened in school and at home. Creative activities, singing and song-writing helps us assess our emotional feelings and can help us evaluate situations.
Transparent Curriculum – Skills for Learning: pupils will feel they have lost time in learning and we must acknowledge that we are addressing this. Music has been proved to support brain development and academic achievement. It improves concentration, memory and positive thinking. Musical activities also support confidence, increases motivation, resilience and personal development.
Metacognition – Knowledge: pupils will have been learning in different ways at home, so we need to reskill and rebuild their confidence as learners. Taking part in musical activities has been found to improve and support the ability to learn across different subject areas, such as Literacy and Numeracy, and can cover a range of cross-curricular subjects.
Space – Finding your Voice: pupils will need to re-discover themselves and find their own voice. Music can create a space for pupils to rediscover themselves and vocalise their ideas and emotions. Music is a creative subject and provides activities that can help to encourage children to explore and have a sense of freedom. It also gives them a mental break from the intensity of the core subjects, and creativity helps to re-focus concentration.

Music Improves:

Music is an educational building block: The DfE has stated that a high-quality music education can improve self-confidence, behaviour and social skills as well as improve academic achievement across the curriculum. And while music touches the lives of all young people, the disadvantaged can benefit most. This is why it is so important to ensure all children and young people have access to learning and making music as part of their broad and balanced curriculum.

Team building: a music group works together building co-operation and mutual support. Research has found that music leads to emotional, psychological and social wellbeing outcomes for young people. This in turn helps to develop group identity, improving behaviour and motivation in the pursuit of high-quality musical outputs.

Improves learning skills: Research undertaken by the University of London has clearly demonstrated the cognitive benefits that music gives young children, suggesting music can support the development of literacy, numeracy and listening skills. The weight of evidence suggests a positive relationship between overall attainment and active music making.

Inclusivity: Music is inclusive irrespective of abilities

Creativity: Music enables young people to express themselves like no other medium. It empowers them to shape their world through sound and allows them to exercise their imaginations.

Music boosts school improvement: A successful school is often a musical school. Music can be the catalyst that makes a good school exceptional. When the magic of music is allowed to permeate the whole curriculum it can have a positive impact on everything from academic attainment to student attendance.


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