A message from the school’s Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team:
Dear Parents and Carers,
During the school closure you might be inclined to create a detailed timetable for your children. You may have high hopes for hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments and book reviews. You may limit technology until everything is done! There is a place for this and staff have found you some great resources.
But here’s the thing…
The current situation with Coronavirus and the measures to limit its spread is a very new experience for all of us and it may be causing anxiety in adults – children can pick this up which can cause them to worry too.
Although the idea of being off school for several weeks might sound appealing, your children are probably picturing a fun time like the summer break and this may be very different from the reality of needing to stay at home and not seeing their friends.
Over the coming weeks, you may see an increase in behaviour issues with your children caused by worry or anger or protest that they can’t do the things they normally do. You may see meltdowns, tantrums, or oppositional behaviour – this is normal and expected under these challenging circumstances and it will need your understanding.
The best approach to take is to make your children feel comforted and to reassure them that they are loved and that things are all going to be ok. That might mean that you forget the detailed timetable and do other more therapeutic things together – play or go on a safe walk, bake cakes or paint pictures, play board games and watch films together, do a science experiment with the family or find a virtual computer trip to the zoo or museum, read together or snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing!
Please don’t worry about your children forgetting their learning – every single child is in the same position and they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, the teachers will pick up where your children are and will move them forwards – teachers are experts at this!
So it will be counter-productive if our children are resisting learning and you are battling with them – gentle encouragement and joining in with them in activities is best, but don’t force them if they are feeling unhappy – it will make you unhappy too.
A final thought – at the end of all of this, our children’s mental health will be far more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did.
Have fun together, look after yourselves and your family and look forward to something lovely in the future.
Best wishes, Aleks and Dom