Post Covid transition
Transition, recovery and learning at St Luke’s C of E in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We acknowledge that our pupils will have had different experiences during the recent period of lockdown. However, the common thread running through all is the loss of routine, structure, friendship, opportunity and freedom. These losses can trigger anxiety in any child and for some children the experiences of the past few months may have extinguished the flame of learning that previously made them a happy, successful learner. Most children will have been affected in some way.
At St Luke’s, we understand that an anxious child is not in a place to learn effectively. So with this in mind, we have thought about the most effective way to support your child’s ability to learn. Our approach will encompass and support the academic expectations for your child as they return to school by focusing on the five Ways to Wellbeing:
These principles form the core of our wellbeing policy and will underpin all the activities and learning that teachers plan over the coming weeks and months, as we ensure that children feel happy, safe and able to engage in their learning.
How will these principles impact what goes on in school?
We accept that not all children will return to school joyfully (though we hope some will!) Many of the relationships that were thriving, such as those between friends, teachers and supporting adults may need to be invested in and restored. We will plan for opportunities for this to happen, not just assume that it will. We will use the connections that are built to cushion the discomfort of returning to school.
The benefits of physical activity to mental wellbeing are well documented and we will encourage all pupils to make the most of both structured and unstructured opportunities to get moving. Break times have been meticulously planned in accordance with guidance on maintaining our year group ‘bubbles’ to give all children time and space to be active. In addition, class teachers will plan other opportunities for fine motor and small muscle movement within the classroom.
Children will need the space to notice how they feel and to respond to those feelings. As part of our new PSE curriculum, children will learn to recognise and name their feelings and be taught strategies to help them to process these emotions. While teachers and pupils will all work at an incredible pace to make sure that this group of learners are not disadvantaged, we will also provide frequent opportunities for them to relax, reflect and take a few deep breaths when they need to.
We will be supporting the development of the school community by encouraging children to ‘give’ to their peers and supporting adults. This might be a smile, letting someone else speak first, asking how someone is – anything that helps them to feel supported and valued. In doing this, we will draw children’s attention to the fact that doing good for others makes us feel good too!
In the time they have been away, children may have developed different styles of learning. We will encourage children to think about the way they learn best and to work together to provide a classroom environment that suits all learners. Some pupils may feel overwhelmed by the amount of time in school they have missed: we will encourage them to set themselves small, manageable targets each day in order to rebuild their learning confidence.
Through the application of these guiding principles, we are hopeful that we will be able to properly support our pupils as we welcome them back to St Luke’s. As parents, you will play a big role in helping the transition back to school be as positive an experience as it can be and we are thankful, as ever, for your support in this.