Before you can even think about closing those academic gaps, kids have to feel happy and safe. Here, Sarah Creegan suggests ways in which school staff can support children's mental health and wellbeing on their return to school.
Since lockdown began, there’s been a lot of concern around the impact on children’s academic progress. Some will have really enjoyed and benefitted from being taught at home and may find it tricky to settle back into a class of 30. Others may not have engaged as well with home learning.
For children at both ends of the spectrum (and everyone in between), the most important thing to remember is that, until they feel safe and happy back at school, any ‘learning’ will be minimal.
So, your time as a home-schooling teacher is coming to an end. HOORAY! But how do you support your child to make a smooth transition back to school? And how do you get back to being 'just' mum or dad?
When schools temporarily closed their doors to the majority of pupils, what were parents and teachers saying? Of course, people were telling each other to stay safe and well. Yes, there was some reassurance about homeschooling the kids, alongside working from home - although we don’t think anyone had really understood the enormity of that! But, above all, as folks parted ways they were saying, ‘We’re going to miss you.’ Because, whether you realised it or not before Coronavirus hit, you most certainly will now - life is all about relationships.
So, how do the adults around the children help to rebuild their relationship with school, and how does that relationship at home return to something like it used to be – maybe with a few changes?
When the time is right for your child and your family’s circumstances, they will be going back to school. To support their mental health and wellbeing, and to help them make a smooth transition:
Looking for activities to support children's mental health and wellbeing when they come back to school? Why not download and deliver this lesson, to help the children understand that everyone has strengths, which help them belong to the school community.
Next week we are looking at the importance of routines when getting back to normal. We're not just talking about the day-to-day and self-care routines (although they are important), we're talking about getting back into the groove of learning.
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