Returning to school after Covid-19
Tips for schools to prepare for the new normal
The coronavirus outbreak created unprecedented events in living memory and the challenges of lockdown have affected us all, creating increased levels of anxiety and stress. As schools (gradually) reopen their doors after two months of lockdown many parents and pupils will be feeling worried and anxious.
A key message to prepare children for this is that life will not immediately return to normal, rather there will be a long period of adjustment where our life gradually moves towards something that looks like 'normal'.
Children will need time and space to talk about their feelings and worries to ensure they are emotionally settled to learn.
Children may have anxiety about leaving their parents and returning to school, what happens if they catch coronavirus and they may be worried about the safety of their family and siblings they're leaving behind.
The new school day will need to accommodate time to talk about children’s worries using tools such as socially-distanced daily circle time, worry boxes, daily mindfulness / meditation sessions and routine check-ins during lessons.
Some children may have had no routine during lockdown and a lot of screen time so it will be a challenge for them getting to school and staying awake all day.
Establishing a new routine will help the children to know what to expect giving them consistency and tools to manage their emotions and behaviour. Praise and recognition throughout the day will reinforce this.The new routine can be supported by the use of visual timetables and calm class transitions.Learning stamina can be built up using learning breaks.
Teachers may have new children in their class so it is crucial to find out as much as you can about each child so you understand the underlying needs of each child and can spot if they are struggling.The experiences of previous teachers and your SENCO is essential to informing this.Observing the body language of children has become more important than ever to identify when they become anxious or unsettled.
Ensure extra support is in place for any children that have suffered the trauma of serious illness or bereavement in their family during the outbreak.
Parents may be struggling with the idea their child returning to school, especially with the threat of another outbreak.Understanding parents’ fears will need to be resolved through personal dialogue, expressing concern and understanding.Parents will need reassurance about what your school is doing to keep their children safe.
Schools will need to continue to promote how good hygiene is important and will keep us all safe in school.Abridged from https://beaconschoolsupport.co.uk/newsletters/the-new-normal-returning-to-school-after-COVID-19
Planning the transition back to school.pdf
How to cope after Covid19.pdf
Hampshire CAMHS – How to Cope After Covid-19
Guidance has been produced for parents, carers and professionals involved in working with or supporting young people specific to support with the uncertain period of transition to ‘normal life’. Although not an exhaustive, this document can be used in conjunction with relevant government guidelines as well as any local/specific guidance produced by education providers.
Thinking about what it will be like for each and every child on the day they walk back through the classroom door.
'When children return to school there needs to be a Recovery Curriculum in place. Suddenly daily routines have evaporated and with it, any known curriculum framework’
College of Paediatrics and Child Health - COVID-19
- talking to children and families about returning to school: guiding
COVID-19 talking to children about returning to school.pdf Top tips for preparing your child for returning to school .pdf