Supporting a child returning to school after lockdown
After being off school for so long, it’s only natural that many young people will be worried about returning to school. Here are some tips from our Parents Helpline team on how you can support your child to transition back to school life:
- Talk to your child about how they are feeling about going back to school. Let them know that it is completely normal to feel a mix of emotions and that every child will be in the same boat.
- Provide your child with as much information as possible about their new routine and school day. For younger children, it can be helpful for them to visualise changes - so ask your child's school if they can send pictures to make things feel more familiar.
- Reassure your child that the school are putting measures in place to keep them safe. Talk with your child about the ways they can stay safe at school e.g. washing hands
- Reestablish a routine to help ease into school life. Try to gradually get them back into their usual morning/bedtime routines as they get closer to their return date.
- Don't put pressure on yourself. Try your best to support, reassure and comfort your child, without putting pressure on yourself to make sure their homework is done or to settle back into a routine straight away.
- Think ahead. At a time like this, it can be hard to feel positive, but identifying things children can look forward to will help develop hope and a sense of excitement for the future.
- Seek support if you need it. Transitioning back to school is no easy task. You may find your child struggles to get back into school. If this is the case, reach out to your child's school so you can work together. If you are concerned about your child's mental health and you think they need professional support, speak to the school and your GP about the next best step.
- Returning to school after the lockdown (Nip in the Bud website)
- Supporting children returning to school after the lockdown factsheet [PDF]
- Tips on returning to school (YouTube)
- Coronavirus: Back to school for primary schools (BBC Teach)
- Supporting your child’s return to school (TheSchoolRun website)
- Parent Club: Advice on how to support your child returning to school with head teacher Kevin Brack (YouTube)
- The Little Elf Returns to School: turning to narrative in a pandemic (edpsy.org.uk)