Preparing to return to school

There’s so much discussion and speculation about the return to school and how this will be managed.

The impact of the past couple of months on pupils and staff is significant and this needs to be considered as we prepare to return to school.

Taking the time to prepare and consider your approach as things begin to return to some sort of normality will help everyone manage the return more effectively and help ease both pupils and staff back into life.

Support for staff 

This does not stop at general staff in schools but extends to everyone. Headteachers and principals have been under huge additional pressure throughout this time and are not robots. They face the same additional challenges and more and more stress. We must acknowledge support needed and think now about how this will be managed through this period of lockdown and also when we return to school

Relationships 

So many of us will have fantastic relationships with children and families and these will have had to be altered over the months of lockdown. It will take time to rebuild these so allow that time and don’t be hard on yourself when it doesn’t all ‘get back to normal’ immediately.

Re-establishing routines 

We know how important routine and structure is and how this will have been missing for many young people and their families during this time. Adapting back to school life with the routine of bed times and alarm clocks will be something of a distant memory to some. What can we do to encourage routines and structure in preparation for returning to school as well as to maintain a positive and healthy emotional health and wellbeing.

Different home schooling experiences  

Some children will have had a full on home schooling experience, some will have done absolutely no home learning and then most will have had some. There will also be differing ways in which they will have experienced home learning and some will have easy access to resources and technology and some will not.

Difference between those who have been on site and those who have not 

Many children attending school will be those from families with a key worker and they are likely to feel worried and anxious about that person in their family. Sadly there will be children who have experienced loss and bereavement during this time.

Safeguarding

Sadly there will have been safeguarding issues throughout this time that we are both aware of or not. There has been an increase in domestic abuse incidents and unfortunately there will have been an increase in child abuse. We know this and are therefore able to plan and put necessary support in place. Think about the additional pressure this will put on the safeguarding teams within schools and plan for additional support from other key staff such as senior leadership team, heads of year, pastoral staff, form tutors etc.

Transitions 

Saying goodbye, proms, exams, moving schools…….. all things affected by this time. So many schools work so hard to ensure smooth transitions and support children with changes in their lives. Recognise this time has altered this and it will impact us all.