Back to School Blog

Date: 12 Jun 2020

Back to School Blog

Some of you faced the challenge of seeing more pupils this week, as the government announced the return of Reception and Year 6 pupils. Next week some of you will be welcoming the return of year 10 and year 12 pupils.

The DFE guidance for the wider opening of schools, provides information to help schools and leaders to implement safety measures, social distancing, safe travel to school and working in school bubbles.

Once the pupils return, some will need support to cope with the change and you will have the challenge of re-engaging them with school. The  Anna Freud centre for children and families, have put together Managing the transition back to school this presents some of the research which tells us about the challenges faced by children and young people during the coronavirus crisis. The DFE also have also produced a downloadable resources for you to use and display around the school.

Whilst you ensure the students at school are safe, we need to remember there are a number of students who are still homebased and need support. NSPCC have developed a special assembly, ‘Speak Out Stay Safe’ with Ant, Dec and David Walliams in partnership with the DFE for Primary aged pupils for use across the UK. Please feel free to use this and share widely with the young people you feel will benefit from it.

We know and understand that Covid 19 has changed and impacted all of us in some way, the biggest factor being mental health. In last week’s blog we tried to address support for staff. This week the DFE has developed training modules to help teachers teach mental health. This training module supports the physical health and mental wellbeing section of the statutory relationships, sex and health education curriculum. This is the first of a series of 14 modules to support schools to implement the new curriculum. The slides can be adapted to suit individual schools by adding videos and resource’s to make the training more interactive. Senior leaders in the school should have received this document but as the PSHE leads, you can reiterate the relevance of this information for all staff.

The PSHE association guidance on teaching mental health was also produced with assistance from the DFE. This guidance covers aspects of teaching about mental health effectively and safely, including:

18 lesson plans and resources for key stages 1 to 4 have been designed, so they can be used in conjunction with the Teacher Guidance (in fact the association state it is essential to consult the Guidance before delivering the lessons!). Topics include teaching children how to describe emotions, discuss their anxieties and worries, and develop coping strategies. Lessons aimed at key stages 3 and 4 also cover eating disorders, self-harm and depression and anxiety. The materials have been fully updated with new PowerPoint packs. Please find KS1- 2 resources and KS3-4 resources.

We are also including Primary and Secondary home learning lesson packs which explore different strategies pupils can use to help them manage mental health and emotional wellbeing whilst studying from home. Parents who will be supporting the teaching of this work should consult the guidance; Guide for parents and carers educating children at home before using the resources at home.

We would like to hear from you should you need any other support or resources which we can help with during this ‘strange’ time, email us on, swindonhealthyschool@swindon.go.uk  All the resources we share in the blogs are also avaialble in Core Themes under 'Health and wellbeing resources during Covid 19'.

Next week we plan to update you with new guidance of Statutory RSE teaching.