Here at Education 2 You our teachers have been listening to the education news, regarding children returning to schools. We are aware of all the debates between Teachers Unions and the Government and the worries parents have regarding the safety of their children in schools.
Although, we have no control over the school decisions or Government policies regarding the opening of schools, we can prepare our children for the fact that schools, whenever they return, schools will look different from how they were prior to the Covid lockdown. This Blog offers a few ideas for you to perhaps share with your child, to help prepare them for some of the difference they may encounter.
Firstly, there is the option to home school your child either by on-line tuition or face-to-face tuition, using the socially distant measures featured on Education 2 You.uk website. Please get in touch with us if, you need any advice or help, if you choose to educate your child at home.
Secondly, there is the option for your child to return to school. Currently, schools are attending on-line meetings, discussing proposals to make schools as safe as possible for children to return but, these proposals are going to make the school day look very different.
As a class teacher of many years the following measures may be implemented in schools however, each school will have different proposals depending on their individual set-up, so the following is just an overview.
Children may attend school part-time or on a rota basis as social distancing may prove difficult if all children are attending at the same time. In the school day, the children line-up, in the playground before school starts, walking along corridors to lessons/dinner halls etc. so I suspect the movement around the school will be reduced and the children will be allocated a classroom for the majority of the day.
Desks will be further apart. Children will all need to have their own pencil case and equipment. Exercise books may have to be kept on the desks and children mark their own work guided by the teacher. Textbooks can no longer be shared each child will need their own individual copy. Storage of school bags equipment may need some thought, as the coat peg racks and lunchbox storage are all very close together.
Lessons will have to be adapted to accommodate the new safety proposals. Sadly, I suspect the library will be closed, it will be difficult to have a home corner/reading corner and all toys and education resources will probably not be available during social distancing measures. Science equipment also tends to be shared so, children carrying out experiments could prove challenging. There are various virtual experiments on-line which children can watch but, science really is a hands-on voyage of discovery and a great practical lesson which, children love. Art is another lesson when our children tend to share materials and trying to disinfect chalk/paints etc. seems really difficult.
Lunchtimes in schools are a hive of activity with children chatting to their friends around the dinner hall. Obviously, this involves large gatherings and at present these are not permitted.
Playtimes are the highlight of many children’s school day and their will be new procedures to ensure the safety of children. I am not too sure how first-aid is going to be administered for the child who has a cut knee in the playground, as all teachers help bathe cuts and soothe upset children.
There will be children who struggle with the changes, this is particularly apparent with children who have additional needs and schools will need to be aware of this and support families where this is the case. There may also be children who, do not or will not return to school and these children will also need on-going support.
It must also be mentioned that all education establishments will change and this includes universities and colleges. Therefore, teenagers at secondary schools and those heading off to university or college are also facing a very different experience to previous students.
There will be some children/young people who will manage these changes however, those that are more anxious may struggle. Many teachers are aware that a supply teacher (no matter how good they are) can affect behaviour in the classroom as children/young people build a rapport with their regular teachers and act differently for supply teachers. Even alterations to the school day or timetable can affect children’s behaviour and our children are going to face change when they go back to school. There has been a lot of discussion on children/young people returning to school but, not how to support them in transitioning from how school was to how school has now become.
Hopefully your educational establishments will be issuing you with information on the changes made to your child’s place of learning and our task as parents/carers/teachers is preparing and supporting our children to ensure they remain happy attending school despite the differences.
If you would like any help or advice please email us at Education 2 You and we will do our very best to reassure you with your educational journey.