Returning to school on the 8th of March was a welcome update in the UK governments roadmap out of lockdown, for both schools and parents, but amidst all the excitement it’s easy to forget that after such a long period away from the classroom our students might not be as confident as they once were.
When it comes to stress and anxiety about returning to school there could be a number of causes. For some children it’s rooted in the fear of the unknown, particularly those who joined the school not long before, or even during the pandemic. Technology has been a lifeline throughout the last year, but making friends though a screen can be incredibly tough, so meeting their peers and building relationships face to face can be quite a daunting thought.
Other students may be nervous when it comes to appearance related issues – with such a long period of time at home they may be conscious of how others will view them. Teenage years in particular bring with them the challenges of puberty, the potential for acne, new glasses, and big growth spurts which can all add a little extra anxiety.
Couple this with the feelings of fear and uncertainty as they struggle to come to terms with the pandemic it’s no surprise that the excitement of returning to the classroom may have come with a big dollop of back-to-school blues.
Whether your child is showing obvious signs of stress, or appearing to breeze through the front door as if nothing has changed, there are a few things you can do to help the transition back to the school routine:
Remind them of all the great things that come with being back at school. Whether it’s being back around their friends, the chance to use of all the outdoor spaces on campus, the delicious cook dinners or the range of extra curricular activities they can get involved in. Do be careful to not be overwhelmingly positive as this may seem as though you’re dismissing their worries.
Be a listening ear
Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of time and someone to listen. Make sure you’re children know you’re there for them, ask about their day on the drive home or over dinner, and be on hand if they want to talk things out. Avoid getting too involved in solving your child’s problems, give them the space to figure things out on their own.
Preparation is key
If they are struggling with the big change from home to school the little things can really make the difference. Ensuring school bags are ready the night before and uniform is within reach for when they jump out of bed can take away the smaller hurdles and leave their mind clear to take on the bigger tasks of the day
Have a little patience
It’s been a big year for everyone. Children and teenagers are very adaptable but the last 12 months have provided challenges on a scale they have likely never faced before, try your best not to get frustrated with your children, they are just as out of routine as you are! Our pastoral team are on high alert and the whole school is well equipped to support our students through the transition, we are always on hand to help and between us we can ensure that your child gets the most out of their return to school.