This episode builds on Episode #22 “Active Recovery (Part 1)” and continues the exploration and discussion of Active Recovery and its impact on well being and learning, as well as physical health.

Professor Barry Carpenter CBE OBE FCCT discusses the topic of Active Recovery and sports / sensory sanctuaries with a panel of guests including:

  • Vicci Wells (Youth Sport Trust)
  • Ali Erskine (Whitfield Aspen School)
  • Jon White (Clare Mount Specialist Sports College)
  • Nathan Nwenwu (Lawnswood Campus)
  • Shona McCann (Riverside School)
  • Alistair Crawford (St Martin’s & St Andrew’s Teaching Schools)
  • Billy Ellerington (a student at St Martin’s School).

The guests discuss the presentation provided by Vicci Wells in the first part of this podcast series on the topic of Active Recovery – Episode #22.

PLEASE NOTE: It is highly recommended that you watch or listen to the first part (Episode #22) before listening to this episode.

**This episode is Part 2 of a 2-part series looking at Active Recovery.**

On this and the other episode pages in the series, we’ve also listed links to various articles and resources that you might useful and interesting for further reading around Active Recovery and the Youth Sport Trust.

Episode 23: Active Recovery (Part 2) – Reflections and Innovations

The episode builds on Episode #22 “Active Recovery (Part 1)” and continues the exploration and discussion of Active Recovery and its impact on well being and learning, as well as physical health.

You can watch Vicci’s full presentation in the episode on YouTube (below):

No Title

The episode builds on Episode #22 “Active Recovery (Part 1)” and continues the exploration and discussion of Active Recovery and its impact on well being and learning, as well as physical health.

Active Recovery Hub

A new Active Recovery Hub is launching to provide schools, local authorities, and families with easy access to free resources to get children moving before, during and after the school day , co-ordinated by the Youth Sport Trust and Sport England.

The hub has hundreds of free resources available on it to help all children of all ages and abilities achieve the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation of an average of 60 active minutes a day.

Active Recovery and Youth Sport Trust

Supporting the launch, Professor Barry Carpenter CBE OBE FCCT, said: “The pandemic has had such a devastating impact on the social and emotional wellbeing of our children, causing high levels of mental distress. Active Recovery offers a positive and proactive route to recovery which builds physical fitness, stamina and social skills.”

The Active Recovery Hub is available by visiting:

Vicci’s Presentation and Guide to Sports Sanctuaries

Below is a copy of Vicci’s presentation used in the episode, as well as a downloadable guide to Sports Sanctuaries:

Active Recovery – EfL LearningShared Podcast Ep 22 Vicci Wells Youth Sport Trust (Presentation)

A Guide to Sports Sanctuaries (PDF)

About Vicci Wells and Youth Sport Trust

Vicci is the national lead at the Youth Sport Trust for targeted interventions, driving positive social action and addressing inequalities for young people. She recently authored the Think Piece ‘ Could ‘sport sanctuaries’ in schools help young people recover from the impact of a pandemic? and is working tirelessly to support schools on the importance of an ‘Active Recovery’ for pupils. On behalf of the organization she leads Inclusion 2020, which is the umbrella term for the Department for Education’s SEND Inclusion in PE, school sport and physical activity grant, and a national network of lead inclusion schools across England. Recent work has also included internationally driving the global Special Olympics Play Unified programme; promoting acceptance and friendships for young people with and without SEND through the power of sport in schools across the Home Countries. Vicci is also Chair of governors for a primary school in Worcestershire, a Trustee of a Multi Academy Trust for pupils aged 4-18, inclusive of a Teaching School, and authors the ‘ Youngish school governor’ blog.

The Youth Sport Trust is the UK’s leading charity improving every young person’s education and development through sport and play. In partnership with Physical Education, we build communities of educators equipped with the training and tools to lead engaging physical activity- giving young people a platform to strengthen their voice and self-belief. . We improve educational outcomes by ensuring that every young person has the opportunity to belong and achieve. work in partnership, empowering young people and equipping educators to become changemakers who lead the change they want to see in the world and know that together, we can reduce the impact of childhood inequalities and transform young lives.

About Ali Erskine and Whitfield Aspen School

Throughout my teaching career, I have taught in both mainstream schools and special schools. Thirty years ago, I started teaching in a school for children with learning and behaviour challenges, I was part of a team who valued the importance of personalised learning. I saw what a difference making learning relevant and meaningful for each child made to the children’s motivation and ability to learn. These experiences were invaluable, both in my next role in a mainstream school, and then when I started teaching in a school for children with profound, severe and complex learning needs. During this time I taught in every key stage from Nursery to Post-16. Eight years ago, I joined Whitfield Aspen, a unique fully inclusive primary school, and I am now Head of School KS1, and part of our creative leadership team.

Whitfield Aspen is a fully inclusive Primary School with links to KSENT (Kent special schools) and the Samphire Learning Hub (a hub of 8 local mainstream Primary Schools).  There are 356 pupils on our Mainstream roll and 128 pupils, with profound and multiple learning difficulties ,on the roll of our Specialist Resource Provision.  All the pupils access their learning in the environment that best suits their individual needs.  This could be full time in a Mainstream class , full time in a Specialist Provision class , or time spent between Mainstream and Specialist Provision classes.  At our school we encourage ‘the same’ but allow for ‘different’.  In other words, every child should have the same opportunity but every child will access this in different ways.  Our pupils come in through the same door, eat in the same hall , play in the same play areas and come to school with their brothers and sisters.  In this way, we live out our school’s vision of ‘Learning Together with Aspiration, Imagination and Determination’.

About Jon White and Clare Mount Specialist Sports College

Jon White is a PE teacher and leads the Merseyside Lead Inclusion School for the Youth Sport Trust. He is also an inclusion development coach working with five schools in the Youth Sport Trust Lead Inclusion School network.
Jon leads Peninsula Partnership, which is a 21 school secondary teacher training phase 6 partnership funded by the Sport England teacher training consortium with projects planned for 2021/22 around inclusion, physical and mental health and leadership development. Jon was the NASEN 2020 UK Teacher of the Year.

Clare Mount Specialist Sports College is a special secondary school in Moreton, Wirral for students with autism and additional needs aged 11-19. The school has 223 pupils on roll and classes are typically 8-12 in size. The last Ofsted inspection rated the school as outstanding and recognised the following aspects of our school. “The great strength of the college is the outstanding care guidance and support that is offered at every level. For example, great attention is paid to the transition arrangements that bring younger students into college and help the older students to move on to their next stages. The provision of personal, social and health education greatly enhances the healthy ethos of the school by providing for students’ emotional well-being. High quality discussions and strategies are used by teachers to help reduce students’ stress levels and provide safe opportunities for them to air any issues of concern.”

About Nathan Nwenwu and Lawnswood Campus

Nathan is the Lead Teacher of PE at Lawnswood Campus in Wolverhampton. Lawnswood Campus is home to three Pupil Referral Units: The Braybrook Centre, The Midpoint Centre and The Orchard Centre which includes The Nightingale Home and Hospital Service serving the schools in Wolverhampton as part of a city wide strategy to promote inclusion and positive behaviour in safe, secure, child-centered, positive and nurturing environments.

We pride ourselves in having an ethos which is committed to striving for the highest standards in Safeguarding, SEND, Leadership and Management, Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes and Personal Development all of which are underpinned by our Lawnswood Campus STAR Spirit: Support, Trust, Achieve, Respect and our Lawnswood Campus Values: Kindness, Empathy, Honesty, Positivity, Curiosity, Resilience, Commitment and Responsibility.

About Shona McCann and Riverside School

Shona began her teaching career in 2010. While working in a special school in New Zealand she quickly found her passion for working with young people with special educational needs. She values pupils as individuals and builds positive relationships with them and their families. Equipping pupils with skills for life is a passion of hers, including supporting emotional and social development. Shona has recently been appointed as Vice Principal at Riverside School in Antrim. She is currently working on an inquiry-based research project with the Education Authority in Northern Ireland and Professor Barry Carpenter. The project focuses on the impact of Sports and Sensory Sanctuaries on engagement in learning.

Riverside School is based in Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is a special school for pupils from 3-19 with Severe and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties. Our pupils lie at the heart of our school. We aim to make a difference in each of their lives by listening to their individual voices and providing them with the best experiences we can throughout their time with us. We are advocates for our pupils as life-long learners and work with families and professionals to ensure that we prepare our pupils for their adult life with a holistic approach to their development. We are continually growing and learning to be the best we can be for our pupils; living through our school motto of ‘Enjoy, learn and flourish’.

About Alistair Crawford and St Martin’s & St Andrew’s Teaching Schools

Alistair currently leads St Martin’s and St Andrew’s Teaching Schools in Derby. Prior to this, he worked in a range of specialist schools across the East Midlands as a teacher and senior leader.

As an experienced Specialist Leader of Education and School / Multi-Academy Trust reviewer Alistair has supported many schools and colleagues to develop their SEND provision and improve outcomes for young people with additional needs.

A big passion for Alistair is raising aspiration for the amazing young people we work with and he is currently working with a range of national partners to support pathways to employment and participation in elite sports. More recently, Alistair has joined the regional team for Whole School SEND (North & EMSYH) and has taken on the role of Specialist lead for Oak National Academy. 

St Martins is an outstanding school catering for students aged 11 – 19 years with additional learning needs.
Our school is an Academy Special Converter. St Martins joined the Shaw Education Trust in May 2020. Within our main school the age range of our students is 11 – 16 years (Year 7 – Year 11). There is also provision for 16-19 year olds in our Horizons 6th Form, which is based at the Guildhall, and our Skills For Life Group which is based in school. We run a DFN Project SEARCH, a supported internship programme for post 19 students. This is currently based at Motorpoint in Derby. There are 205 students currently on roll and St Martins is co-located on a shared site with Noel Baker, a mainstream Secondary School, on the Derwent Campus. Within this exciting environment we have developed a creative and ambitious curriculum which is underpinned by the five key elements of the SHAPE-concept.

St Andrew’s Academy is a secondary school, part of the Shaw Education Trust, for learners aged between 11 and 19 who have a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities. St Andrew’s also has the only residential educational provision in Derby City and as such provides a unique learning platform for young people to be taught skills in context. The provision caters for up to 12 students from year 8 to year 13. Students may be offered access to the Residential provision on either a part time ( Monday – Wednesday or Wednesday to Friday) basis or full time ( Monday – Friday ) placement.

About Billy Ellerington

Billy is a student at St Martins School, Derby. He uses sport and in particular running to regulate throughout the school day and to help him focus. As an elite athlete he has won regional and national honours, most recently defending his 800m title in the Activity Alliance National Championships. Billy’s ambition is to run for Great Britain and inspire others to be physically active and enjoy sport. Billy is currently aged 16.

Billy Ellerington

About Barry Carpenter CBE OBE PhD FCCT

Barry Carpenter holds the UK’s first Professorship in Mental Health in Education, at Oxford Brookes University. He is Honorary Professor at universities in the Ireland, Germany and Australia. He has been a Fellow of the University of Oxford.

He has been awarded an OBE and CBE by the Queen for services to children with Special Needs. In 2017 he was entered into “Who’s Who” in acknowledgement of his national and international contribution to the field of Special Education.

In a career spanning more than 40 years, Barry has held the leadership positions of Headteacher, Principal, Academic Director, Chief Executive, Inspector of Schools and Director of the Centre for Special Education at Westminster College, Oxford. In 2009, he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education as Director of the Children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project. In that role Barry led an important and valuable piece of research on the use of Engagement as a pedagogy. This work become the foundation for Department for Education’s new guidance for assessment (DfE, 2019). Since completing that research, Barry has overseen the development of a national project developing online ‘Training materials for teachers of children with severe, profound and complex learning disabilities” (

He is the author of over 150 articles and many texts on a range of learning disability/special needs topics. In the last 12 months, his work has been translated into German, French, Dutch and Russian. His most recent book publications (with Carolyn Blackburn and Jo Egerton) focus upon Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Most recently he co-authored “Engaging Learners with Complex Needs” (Routledge).

Barry lectures nationally and internationally. In recent years this has included China, Japan, Abu Dhabi, USA, and Germany. In 2018 he will be giving lectures in Australia and New Zealand. He is the co-founder of the National Forum for Neuroscience in Special Education. For the Mental Health Foundation, he Chaired the National Inquiry into the Mental Health of Young People with Learning Disabilities. He is currently Chairing a working group looking at the needs of Girls on the Autism Spectrum, which is the focus of his latest book.

Barry has 3 children – one a School Principal, one a Senior Occupational Therapist and a daughter with Down’s Syndrome, who now has a home of her own, published her first book in 2017, and is on an Apprenticeship as a Teaching Assistant.

For more information:

Professor Barry Carpenter’s website:

Join the conversation:

Facebook: EfL SEND Community Group

Join us at:

or search for “eflSENDCommunity” in Facebook.

The purpose of the group is to provide a safe, closed space to seek out and share ideas, experience and resources that can help with any and all aspects of SEND provision. It’s also a community for practitioners and schools that use Evidence for Learning and Insights for Learning to share ideas, resources and support each other in using these apps. This is a peer-moderated and supported group.

Facebook Group: Recovery Curriculum

We’ve set up a private facebook group specifically for The Recovery Curriculum at:

or search for “recoverycurriculum” in Facebook.

Linkedin Group: The Recovery Curriculum

The group is called “A Recovery Curriculum for children & schools post-pandemic” and you can find it at: