Returning to school after lockdown

Top tips for preparing your child to return to school

Top tips for preparing your child to return to school

PUBLISHED 24 February 2021

This week, the Prime Minister announced that schools will re-open following lockdown from the 8th March, we appreciate our students may feel both excitement and apprehension. Like any change, parents can play a role in enabling the transition to be positive, by talking about what to expect and how they feel.

The following information is an excerpt from an article first published in the summer term before we welcomed all our Prep Pupils back. Mrs Briggs, AKS Prep School PSHE Coordinator; Wellbeing Lead and Year 3 teacher, shared practical advice for families:

Preparing for the return:

  • Talk to your child about what to expect and how school will look and feel different; what the new procedures are and why they are in place. The importance of handwashing and how social distancing will be encouraged.
  • Look through the relevant handbook with your child; both our Prep Parents' Handbook (which also covers nursery) and our Senior Parents' Handbook (which also covers Sixth Form) can be found on our dedicated COVID pages which can be found on our website under 'About AKS'.
  • Give your child time to digest the information and ask any questions and share any worries. Offer reassurance to help settle their mind. The calmer and more positive you are, the more confident your child will be. You might also discuss what might help them feel more comfortable returning (support from you or us).
  • If you feel that your child may benefit from further support, please let us know. 
  • Any queries relating to the Prep School Handbook and return should be directed to Mrs Ilhan and to Mr Harrow and Mr McKeown for Senior School and Sixth Form.

When you collect your child from school:

  • Encourage your child to talk about their day in a tone which shows you expect a positive response. What did they do? What was the best bit? How did they find the new routines? Was there anything they found hard?
  • Listen attentively, ask open questions, empathise with how they feel.

Coping with feelings:

Try these ideas to help your child cope if their feelings overwhelm them:

  • Make a special place in their room or make a Coping Toolbox, filled with things that remind them of good times, or which may make them feel better. Examples include photos of friends or family, a special gift, a favourite teddy, or toy.
  • Create a Feelings Chart to help them communicate how they are feeling. It could use numbers, colours or pictures which reflect a variety of things they may feel (e.g. sun, rain, storm; or 1-10 on a ‘happiness’ or ‘worried’ scale).
  • Keep a Feelings Diary, to track how they are feeling over time.
  • Make a Happy & Worry jar or box - decorate it and write messages to ‘post’ in the jar.
  • Choose three ways to feel better. Create a list of ways to feel better, write them down and keep them in a jar. Draw three out at random. Examples include: have a dance, listen to a favourite piece of music, colour or draw a picture, smell your favourite smell, hug a toy, think of a happy memory, send a friend a positive message, ask for help, watch television, read a book, imagine your favourite place, have a nap.
  • Take 5 deep breaths or imagine you are blowing the biggest bubble.

Register for our next Virtual Events: Senior School, 3rd March & Prep School, 22nd April here. 01253 784100.


AUTHOR: Alex Brown
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