Even though the return to education is an important step, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed the way things are going to work for the time being. Not only will COVID secure measures stay in place to reduce the risk of transmission, schools are also being asked to keep children in class or year group sized ‘bubbles’ and keep their distance from each other and staff where possible. We know that for parents it’s a worrying time, so we’ve put together a helpful guide with all the important back to school information on what to expect and how you can support your child through this new normal.
What can you do to help your child feel comfortable returning back to school?
A lot will depend on your child’s age. We expect all children to struggle in some way with the change to their routine. Many children will have become accustomed to later starts in the morning, a lower workload and more freedom in their day. Children will have grown used to being around their parents and family members more than in the past and this should be considered when children return back to school. Child Psychologist Dr Amy Sandal suggests parents should find ways to address this with their children, no matter their age. “Parents should warn their children that they may miss the routine they had created at home but that you will support them and show compassion”. Small steps in advance to changes in routine can also make the process more gradual and less disruptive.
Will my child find it harder to learn when they return to school?
Yes, quite possibly. Depending on the amount of work they have done over the summer holidays and following the lockdown, your child may struggle to take on new information. This could knock their confidence and further exacerbate the problem. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, Gladwell shows that children who continued to study over the summer holidays achieved higher grades on average than those who stopped for the summer break. He argued that this was because it took the children who had a break from learning, a period of time to train their brains to learn again; whereas the children who continued to learn without a break carried on learning at a pace consistent with every other month in the year. Children who have reduced their learning hours will find returning to school harder than those who have been fortunate enough to continue learning at a similar level to a time before the pandemic.
Is it safe to return back to school?
No one can be truly confident of this answer, but the government has worked hard to ensure it is as safe as possible at this time. You can help your child by asking them to agree to follow the rules set out by their teachers and test that they understand what is being asked of them. We found this handy video on hand washing which we think is perfect for younger children. You may also wish to purchase your child a cool Marvel Mask (you may want one for yourself!).
What can I do to stay safe?
👏 Ensure your children understand the importance of washing their hands regularly, as well as how to correctly wash their hands (this handy video is great for younger children)
🚫 Maintain social distancing as best as possible with those that aren’t in the child’s designated bubble
😷 Make sure your child is familiar with safely wearing a face mask for use on public transport or shops and supermarkets. WHO and UNICEF advises all children over the age of 12 and most children over the age of 5 to wear a mask.
Whilst there still remains much uncertainty as to how much of a risk COVID poses to children and young people or what role they play in the spread of the virus throughout the community, we believe that erring on the side of caution and following the precautions above is one very easy way in which we can all work together and conquer this pandemic.
If you are looking for support with your child’s return to school, our fantastic tutors can help make the transition easier and more fun. Book a trial lesson today!