Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Wellbeing
Returning to school - March 2021
We are all delighted to be welcoming the children back to school on Monday but we understand for many this is still an anxious time. We’d like to share some tips to support your child’s return to school and to minimise and manage any anxiety they may have.
Create a sense of safety – help your child to understand that the school will be doing everything it can to keep them safe and that the Government are following the advice of the country’s top scientists in re-opening schools. Encourage your child to understand that they have control over their safety by following the rules and guidelines in school – for example washing their hands regularly. Explain that on the first day their teachers will run through the measures and rules in school so that everyone understands.
Re-establish your term-time routine – help your child get back to appropriate times for bedtime, mealtimes and so on.
Ensure that you have everything you need to avoid the last minute panic! - This includes trying on their school uniform. Explain to your child that the school understands that shops are not open and will be flexible about things like school shoes if they have grown out of them.
Re-connect with your child’s friends and build a sense of excitement about the social opportunities returning to school will bring.
Reassure your child that their teacher and TA will be able to help them with their learning and how they are feeling. Explore with them their support networks in school if they are feeling anxious.
Encourage them to talk about how they are feeling. Try not to make assumptions about how they are feeling. Try to be positive in your responses and help them to reflect on the strategies that they have used to manage their feelings in the past. You may find the following video helpful
Dr Jess Richardson, clinical psychologist, talks through tips for parents in managing the return to school post lockdown. The supporting factsheet summarises the key messages.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s return, then please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher, who would be happy to help. Your child may also benefit from reading the following social story that explains the re-opening of schools:
At The Discovery School we value the social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) and wellbeing of our children above all else.
The mental health and wellbeing of our pupils is a core thread that runs through every facet of school life at The Discovery School. This is driven by our leadership team and school governors and is supported by every member of staff in school.
Social and emotional skills can improve academic attainment, enhance pupils' motivation as well as promote wellbeing and help prevent mental health difficulties from developing. When children have good levels of mental health and wellbeing it helps them to:
learn and explore the world,
feel, express and manage the full range of emotions,
form and maintain good relationships with others,
cope with and manage: change, setbacks and uncertainty,
develop and thrive.
As a school, we aim to help develop the children's mental health and wellbeing through our curriculum and the opportunities we provide all of our pupils. We actively teach them to develop thier social skills, understand what wellbeing is and how to maintain it, manage their emotions, build and sustain relationships, be confident, be self-aware and to work in a team.
Below you will find a wealth of information and resources for each of the following areas of wellbeing. We are constantly developing this area of our website so please always check back for updates.
Every member of staff is trained in promoting wellbeing and in identifying children who may be finding things difficult. We have established the SEMH Team to identify, track and monitor the wellbeing needs of our children and the provision in place to support them.
If you have concerns about your child’s wellbeing, please explore the resources here and then contact your child’s class teacher who would be happy to help you.