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Church of England Primary Academy

Climbing to new heights together

Curriculum Recovery: Based on the book " Here We Are." by Oliver Jeffers

This unit of work has been devised for the whole school to work together, using a single text, to support a transition curriculum as our children return to school.

This heartfelt and thought-provoking book from Oliver Jeffers is dedicated to his son, Harland and was written in the first two months of Harland’s life. It was inspired by Oliver’s desire to make sense of the world for his son, but is also a gift to all children at this time, helping them to make sense of their world and their role in it.  During the Autumn term at Whitesheet, we will be delivering teaching and learning activities and experiences based upon this book and the lesson ideas created by created by CLPE (Centre for Literacy In Primary Education). CLPE chose this book to build a sequence of work around, because it provides a powerful vehicle for children to reflect on and make sense of the world we are all living in. The words and pictures work together to help children to understand their place in the world and to move forward together in a positive and constructive way. 


Launching straight back into the usual timetable is likely to be challenging, as most children will have had a long period of time away from the usual daily routine. The introduction to this unit allows children in all classes the time and space to settle and share their experiences, thoughts, feelings, reflections and questions. Activities throughout the unit focus on children engaging in creative activities to develop the children as readers and writers as well using the book as a stimulus to help make sense of their experiences, their relationships with each other, their wider school community and the wider world around them.

Aims and Overview of 'Here We Are' Scheme of Work.

This is a literacy based unit and aims to support reading and writing for pleasure across the school.  The age-appropriate activities will provide opportunities for children to use writing for a range of purposes including personal response as well as shared reading and meaning-making.

Alongside placing literacy learning at the heart of our recovery curriculum,  the planned activities will also:

  • provide a framework for children to re-engage socially with each other and their wider community;
  • suggest opportunities to engage positively with the outdoor environment;
  • stimulate thinking and talk about world events and the impact of these events on individuals and the wider world;
  • provide a safe forum to share thoughts, concerns, ideas and personal responses;  use art and writing to help children respond personally to experiences they have had.


Teaching begins with key messages to share with the school community to introduce the unit of work, before beginning differentiated in-class activities across all the year groups.


The planned experiences will support children  to engage in reflections around some of the thoughts, feelings and responses arising from the disruption caused the COVID-19 pandemic.  Every child will be provided with a personal journal or notebook which they can use to record responses in any way they wish and keep notes of their thoughts, feelings and ideas throughout the learning. This supports the children to maintain control over what they do and do not wish to share with a wider audience. 

Teachers will use the book as a basis for exploring how our world view and our place in it has evolved, and been shaped and influenced by events, during this period. 

The activities the children will engage in support them to develop a sense of themselves as citizens of the world and belonging to a wider community, providing them with a sense of agency and inspiring them to contribute to making the world around them a better place.


Each series of sessions will explore the key themes of:

  • Earth’s place in the wider universe
  • The Earth’s environment 
  • Our place on the planet as humans
  • How we, as humans, relate to each other
  • Other species and our responsibility towards them
  • Belonging and community
  • Our responsibility as world citizens


Literacy Focus:

Planned literacy experiences around the above themes will support children to raise questions, express concerns, build resilience, reconnect with each other as a community, and contemplate the ways in which their outlook has changed during this period. 

The sequence of activities builds towards a whole school task for the children to write their own notes for living on Planet Earth. They will use the reflections that they have made about our world and the knowledge they have gained as the basis of their own notes for others living on the planet.