Podcast #3 Towards Recovery with Sally Apps, Executive Principal. Cabot Learning Federation.

In this podcast I speak with Sally Apps about ‘towards recovery’ and a possible framework to consider how we prepare both staff and students for the return to school and what this might look like next year. I liked both the element of strategy and the emotional literacy evident in the conversation, informed by Carpenter and Carpenter’s ThinkPiece.

Sally is an Executive Principal for Cabot Learning Federation in Bristol, a Trust of 19 primary and secondary schools which also includes Alternative Provision. Sally, described as a ‘mover and shaker’ on her appointment in 2017 by Schools Week, oversees secondary strategy and alternative provision across the trust, working as part of a 3-19 executive team with responsibility for school improvement. A busy mother of two primary aged children, Sally also sits on the South West Headteacher Board and is a trustee of a multi-academy trust in Bath. A recent Think Piece ‘Towards Recovery’ prompted the invitation to this podcast. The Think Piece explores the transition from school closures to re-opening, framed in Carpenter’s five levers: relationships, community, transparent curriculum, metacognition and space. Sally has appeared on BBC Points West and BBC Radio 5 Live! 

Introduction: Jim 

Hello and welcome Sally, 

Question 1: Sally, would you mind briefly introducing yourself and describing your role and responsibilities? 

Question 2: Maybe: describe your experience as an executive principal: what have been the big challenges and successes? 

Question 3: You have written a thought provoking and insightful Thinkpiece: Towards Recovery. What prompted you to write this? 

Question 4: You talk about recovery being as much emotional as academic. What do you mean by this, and what do you think we need to be aware of in our approach and behaviours with students? 

Question 5:  Maybe: You have framed this in Carpenter’s five levers: relationships, community, transparent curriculum, metacognition and space. Could you explain this framework and how it might help school leaders prepare for the recovery phrase? 


Towards Recovery 

Carpenter and Carpenter: https://www.evidenceforlearning.net/recoverycurriculum/ 

Podcast #2 School closures, the international perspective. Casper Rongsted The Nordic Schools

In my second podcast I explore the international perspective with good friend and colleague Casper Rongsted of the Nordic Schools. As Denmark is beginning to open their schools, Casper and Jim discuss how Denmark has managed the school closures and are now preparing for the return of the younger students. Staff and student well-being is something the Danish schools are known for, and how they have maintained this during school closures is discussed, as well as creative ways for managing social distance using the outdoors.


2:03 Q1: What has been the Danish educational experience of lockdown, particularly how have the schools supported the welfare of staff and students?

7:52 Q2: academic catch-up and Danish approach.

9:22 Q3: Welfare well-being what has been done to maintain staff and student well-being

12:55 Q4: Danish approach to teaching online and importance of ‘live’ lessons

17:00 Q5: Drawing from the positives in the current situation – capitalising on rapport and relationships. Top tips.

Links referred to in the podcast:




Casper can be found on LinkedIn as https://www.linkedin.com/in/casper-rongsted-2358797/ Jim can be found on Twitter as @jimrogers72

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