By the end of the first week of September, young people in England will be back to school, returning to classrooms following the most disrupted year in education. Between March and July, our children were tasked with learning at home via remote programs like Google Classroom, and Zoom.
Related: How to home school your child
While some flourished in independence, others struggled, realising that they desperately need the face to face element of teaching. We as parents and teachers learnt very quickly which young people had developed the resilience to learn at home, and which need support.
Let this year be a new start – an opportunity to bridge gaps in learning, but also return with a rejuvenated attitude towards school and learning. It’s our job as adults to get our children ready for this task of coming back to school, and here are some things that can make the transition smoother.
So many young people arrive to school without adequate stationery. I work with teenagers, and have to lend at least one pen per lesson. It’s even more important mid/post-Covid that people do not share belongings.
Money might be tight, but you can pick up all the stationery young people need in shops like Poundland, or Home Bargains. No one needs a pack of four Biros for £10 – a bag of pens for a couple of quid, a pack of HB pencils, a ruler, a rubber, highlighters and a calculator are all young people might need. If you can afford it, why not invest in attractive stationery that your child wants – that way they might be more inclined to keep it safe.
Another important thing that our young people should be bringing to school to support their learning is a hygiene pack. Why? It sounds strange, doesn’t it – a hygiene pack helping them learn.
Well, young people who are thinking about needing a tissue, or getting their hands on sanitary products, are not thinking about what is going on in a lesson. We all know how annoying it is when our noses are running! Create a hygiene pack, and replenish it each week. That way our young people know that they have all they need in a mini emergency.
- Hand sanitiser
- Face mask
- Sanitary products
- Anti-bacterial wipes
The lock down period has caused many young people to completely lose confidence in themselves. Students who were once fairly conscientious are now feeling nervous about their abilities after months alone, with limited support from teachers. Moreover, many children are quite rightly anxious about returning to school because of the pandemic, and it’s our role as adults to support them and their mental health.
Young people need to be built up on a daily basis, and verbal motivation from teaching staff, form tutors, and parents keep them going through long academic terms. Before you send your children back into school, spend some time talking through what they’re good at, what they know, and what they have achieved.
Also, make sure your child knows how to take responsibility for their health and well-being: washing hands, using tissues, following guidelines. Schools are implementing stringent guidelines to protect both students and teachers, so following them is incredibly important.
Clearly, back to school 2020 is going to be unusual, uncomfortable, and perhaps a little frightening. But don’t worry – it won’t take long for them to fall into the routine. Let’s hope that this year is much less disruptive for our kids.