Helping kids return to school
There is no hard and fast rule here - other than be prepared!
Have facts at hand
Make sure you keep up to date with the school COVID-19 recovery plan which you can find on our website here: https://www.thepinesschool.org.uk/covid-19-recovery/ .
If you are not getting school news letters, please contact the office (https://www.thepinesschool.org.uk/contact-details/) to make sure we have up to date contact details for you.
All of these things will help with planning and preparing for the return to school.
Getting back into routines
Just as routines were important during quarantine, new routines will help to make it easier for children to return to school. Routines provide distraction and structure at a time of uncertainty.
- Have a consistent morning routine: get up, teeth, wash, get dressed, make bed, have breakfast
- Be prepared for anxious partings on the first days back: get yourself ready emotionally, take advice from your teacher, but keep it quick and simple - a hug and three kisses, a goodbye and see you at pick up time (see our page on separation anxiety at https://www.thepinesschool.org.uk/separation-anxiety/)
- Start to bring bedtime forward by 15 minutes each evening - build in wind down time or a 15 minute count down to bring games or TV programmes to an end, turn off or bring electronic devices downstairs
- Have a consistent bedtime routine: pack away toys and games ("tidy up time"), help your child to choose clothes and get them ready before moving onto teeth, glass of water, settling time (reading), dim lights, devices on charge downstairs, hugs and kisses - lots of praise for sticking to the routine and gentle reminders if they forget
- Get back into sit down family meals - to bond, talk over the day and prepare for the next day. To avoid yes/no answers, conversation starters can be found online, for example https://www.scholastic.com/parents/school-success/10-questions-to-ask-your-child-about-his-day-school.html
Help children with difficult thoughts and feelings
- See our Helping kids cope pages to identify and understand possible behaviours and the thoughts and feelings behind them: https://www.thepinesschool.org.uk/helping-kids-cope/
- Explaining the return to school - A short story to help reduce worries and anxious thoughts can be found here: https://www.elsa-support.co.uk/back-to-school-after-coronavirus-story/
- Courses and classes for parents and carers - Parenting is already a tough job, but there is a lot of support available during these difficult times. See https://www.thepinesschool.org.uk/parenting-courses/ for more information.
- Online parenting support community:
- Helping our Children to Overcome their Anxious Thoughts and Worries Facebook page set up with resources and information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/409320909696678/
- Keep calm and carry on: help manage everyday worries and concerns an online programme written for Bracknell Forest Council available here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/220117245927472/learning_content/?filter=3925171917499625