This episode is rich in thinking and action from Senior Leadership representatives for the Cabot Learning Federation, a Multi Academy Trust comprising more than 20 schools serving children and young people aged 3-19 in the South West of England.
We hear from Sally Apps, Susie Weaver, Helen Angell, Carina Smith and Charlotte Black.
They share with us a rich, thorough and compelling presentation which outlines the trust’s deeply-considered response and approach to recovery. And they frame this within the broader context of the trust’s values, curriculum aims and some of the trust’s strategic approaches and systems. It’s a very thorough session full of practical advice.
Their starting point in considering a Recovery Curriculum for Trust schools is ‘through the eyes of child’. This child-centred focus informs their strategic and operational plans, and what unfurls is a rich resource of thoughtfully joined up approaches for students, families and colleagues.
With talk of subject-based therapeutic input and curriculum curation, this episode is full of practical advice, intellectual challenge, and fundamental humanity.
What they successfully design is a joyful curriculum, based on ‘heart values’, that binds together a community of practice with their eyes firmly focussed on the child.
The title and theme of the presentation is:
“Cabot Learning Federation… Our Route to Recovery”
The video below contains the audio from LearningShared Episode 10 with visual slides from the presentation.
We’ve listed below links to some of the references that the team make in the presentation and other useful resources.
Towards Recovery: A think piece by Sally Apps
Here’s a link to the think piece that Sally and the team refer to in the presentation:
Giving Children a Voice in the Post Pandemic World: blog by Carina Smith
Here’s are links to the blog posts that Carina refers to in the presentation:
Sally Apps discussing CLF Recovery Approach on SW TSC podcast link
Sally appeared with Dr Jim Rogers on the SW TSC podcast. Well worth a listen. The SW TSC podcast covers some great topics with some excellent guest. Always thought-provoking and enlightening and well worth subscribing to:
Cabot Learning Federation
About Cabot Learning Federation
The Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) is a mature Multi-Academy Trust, sponsored by Rolls Royce PLC and the University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol, in a geographically coherent sub-region of the South West, in the local authorities of Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.
The Trust currently comprises 9 primary and 9 secondary academies, 1 all-through (4-19) academy, 1 studio school (14-19), post-16 and a 4-16 alternative provision, serving over 11 000 pupils across the 3-19 age range.
The CLF Institute is the centre for our Teaching School Alliance, School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) partnership and the Boolean Maths Hub. The CLF Institute provides training and professional development for staff within and beyond the federation and leads school improvement through a team of specialist leaders providing school-to-school support and contributing to local and regional system leadership.
The Federation originated in 2007 and was launched formally as the CLF in 2009. The mission of the trust is, “to consistently deliver excellent educational experiences for pupils aged 3-19, improving their life chances and serving the communities of which we are a member” and since its establishment, our work has been and continues to be fundamentally underpinned by a shared moral purpose and culture of collaboration.
The CLF has highly-developed central capacity and professional services and operationally organises into a localised cluster structure. This structure includes a Bristol, a South Gloucestershire and a North Somerset cluster, and is designed to ensure that the provision of support and challenge is sufficient, appropriate and well matched to the local context, with a focus on driving continuous school improvement for the settings and pupils situated in a tight geographical proximity in that county.
CLF academies have shared culture, values and mission, but distinct ethos and identity, serving their particular community of children and families. There is a high level of alignment in many areas of the CLF’s business and this has developed through identification of effective practice that has been shared through networks of staff and by central and executive leaders over time.
As a result, many practices are now standardised across the trust affording efficiencies, assisting collaboration and providing a secure platform for innovation and growth.
Sally’s career began in Manchester teaching English, and she has worked in several schools with challenging contexts. In 2011 she moved to Bristol and joined the Cabot Learning Federation as Vice Principal at Bristol Metropolitan Academy, a school she went on to lead as Principal before leading John Cabot Academy as Executive.
Sally now works as Executive Principal within the 3-19 team as part of the wider Cabot Learning Federation Executive. Her key areas of responsibility lie in secondary strategy and Alternative and Specialist Provision across the trust. She is passionate about disadvantage and about the cultural and systemic changes that need to occur within and beyond schools in order to ensure equity for all. She also sits as part of the South West Regional School’s Commissioner Headteacher Board and has a role as a trustee of an academy trust local to where she lives.
Susie is an Executive Principal with the CLF, working as part of the Executive team, supporting the school improvement across the trust. The CLF is a 3-19 trust, and Susie works with a team of Educational Executives to support provision and outcomes for all children, with a focus on working closely within the Primary phase.
Susie has experience in EYFS and KS1, and has taught children, pupils and students from 3-19. Susie has significant experience in leading teacher professional development, leadership training and is passionate about learning and leadership at all levels. Research and teacher development is at the heart of the school’s vision for learning.
Susie leads on the trust wide SEND strategy and has strategic responsibility for Safeguarding across the CLF. Susie also carries out the role of link to the CLF wide CEIAG strategy, taking a lead on Careers Information, Advice and Guidance across the Federation.
Helen began her career as a secondary English teacher and Head of English before joining the Cabot Learning Federation in September 2009 to lead English across the Trust. Her role as Director of School Improvement began in September 2017, leading a core team of English, maths and science leads across 3-19 and a wider school improvement team of Specialist Leaders in Education. Helen’s particular interests are in the use of collaboration and communities of practice as the drivers for developing subject curriculum, pedagogy and assessment for all teachers and middle leaders; setting this within the context of deep subject expertise and passion alongside an embedded knowledge of specifications and awards. She seeks to empower leaders at all levels to challenge and support their teams as they apply curriculum to the needs of their students as developing subject specialists and human beings.
Charlotte is the Assistant Principal at one of the federations primary schools; Wallscourt Farm Academy. As part of her role she leads on curriculum and teaching and learning and has been leading the Academy approach to recovery post pandemic. Her background is in early years education and working with families.
Carina Smith is Acting Vice Principal at Broadoak Academy one of the federation Secondary schools in Weston-Super-Mare. In her role she leads on Curriculum development as well as supporting the school on its upward improvement journey. Her background is in English teaching and leadership as a Head of Faculty for 7 years and a senior leader for 6. A TeachFirst ambassador passionate about transforming lives through education.
Barry Carpenter’s website
More info on the Recovery Curriculum
For information on the Recovery Curriculum, including the original Think Piece entitled “A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and Life for our children and schools post pandemic”, lectures, resources, reference materials and details of the online communities of practice, visit:
Join the conversation about The Recovery Curriculum:
Clearly any form of Recovery Curriculum will need to be unique to each and every school, contextualised to the ethos, culture and values of that school, as well as its existing curriculum and crucially reflecting and addressing the needs and aspirations of its unique population of learners.
We have created private groups in LinkedIn and Facebook where colleagues and peers can discuss and share thoughts, ideas, experiences, resources and learning in relation to education and provision post pandemic. The groups are also an opportunity to connect people and help you to build a network that can support you on your own important journey over the coming months.
Facebook Group: Recovery Curriculum
We’ve set up a private facebook group specifically for The Recovery Curriculum at:
or search for “recoverycurriculum” in Facebook.
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.
Linkedin Group: The Recovery Curriculum
The group is called “A Recovery Curriculum for children & schools post-pandemic” and you can find it at: