Supporting their return after lockdown
Thinking about the children returning to school for the Autumn term (fingers crossed 🤞), here are some ideas for Teachers and Teaching Assistants to help them: 📷 Visuals Providing photos of what the school looks like with the new covid measures will help to alleviate some anxieties for the children. Sharing pictures on your school website or social media pages will help them see what their school now looks like and help them to prepare. For children going into new classroooms, send a photo of that too, what the room looks like, where they will hang their bags and put their water bottles.
👀 Signs Are there plenty of clear signs and posters for the children to remind them about the new rules? As adults we can remember the new rules about social distancing and handwashing but the children will need constantly reminding. You can save your voice by pointing to a sign regularly and this will aslo encourage them to remind themselves.
📅 Countdowns and Calendars As many children will have not been in school for nearly 6 months, they will be out of sync with routines and even the days of the week! A countdown calendar is an ideal way for children to know when the big return day will be so that it doesn't sneak up on them. I will be using a 2 week countdown with my own children and reinstate the bedtime routine over that period so they aren't caught out with fatigue during that first week back.
👩👨👩🦳👱♀️👨🦳👩🦲 Photos of you In case they have forgotten what you look like, or if you've had (or not had) a new haircut during the last few months, or if you are going to have a new class, send them a photo of you so that they will know what you look like. You could also tell them a couple of things about you, like what your pet is called, your favourite book, or what you think the best thing to put on pancakes is 😉
📄 One Page Profiles For the SENCOs, have you created a single page profile for your SEN children? This also works well for children with medical needs and safeguarding concerns. Having a single page with key information which can be shared with new staff (or even cover staff) will help to share information easily and enable the children who need extra suppport receive it straight away, without your colleagues having to discover information for themselves.
It's going to be an interesting return to school, with lots of worry and anxiety from the children, parents and staff. The more we can do to help prepare them, the better their return will be. Sharing photos and information before they return will be vital to easinig them back in and helping you over those first few weeks.
You've got this!
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