Let’s face it, September is creeping closer and closer and it doesn’t seem to matter if you are a pupil, parent, teacher or government minister, no-one is clear about what this new term will bring. What is vital however, is that our children feel supported and confident about walking back through that classroom door. Teacher Annabel from Bella Learning gives us her top tips for preparing your children for that return to school, however it plays out…

  1. Be positive (but honest)

Your child will have questions, just like us. Try to be positive about the upcoming start but explain that we don’t know exactly what might change. If your school has sent over the procedures that will be different, talk these through with your child so that they know what awaits them. Discuss how these measures are designed for safely but shouldn’t change the way they will learn and play at school. Most children will take any changes in their stride and be happy to be back. If they ask about future lockdowns or mask-wearing, let them know that these are possibilities but that we don’t need to worry about it yet. Your child will feed off your energy with regards to the return – if you are worried, the likelihood is that they will be too. If you are sure about them returning, try to keep positive (at least when they are around!)

2. Do what’s right for you and your family

Everyone is different and will be feeling differently about the return. Many families with vulnerable members will be debating about whether to return at all and perhaps considering home-schooling. If you are in this position, speak to your GP and your school. This communication will be imperative for you and your family to feel safe, so don’t feel like you are being a nuisance. Most headteachers will be able to empathise and will have their own set of solutions to offer. Always do what is right for you and your family – don’t be swayed by what everyone else is doing.

3. Have faith

I don’t know much, but I do know that teachers and staff will do everything in their power to make school a safe and happy place for your child. Children who returned in June overwhelmingly enjoyed the experience and it is very likely that by break-time on day one, all the nerves will have been forgotten. Relish in the positives that your child will receive, such as reuniting with friends and learning amazing new things. Teachers have got this!

4. Stay informed and connected

Keep up to date with what the school is proposing through their website, but it’s also useful to feel supported by a wider community of parents and teachers. We have an amazing free Facebook group called ‘Ask A Teacher’ which is a wonderful community where you can ask anything education or school-related. You are also likely to find like-minded people who will help you with any dilemma you may have! To keep up to date with all things educational, you can also sign up to our newsletter.

5. Connect and build confidence

One of the best ways to prepare your child is to connect with them. A strong relationship with you will give them the foundation they need to thrive at school without you! You might also want to help to build their confidence and excitement about learning so that they are warmed up and raring to go. A fun way to achieve both of these objectives is to play Bella Learning Games. Linked to the curriculum, kids love playing them time and time again. We have Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 packs available.

Whatever this winter may hold, know that with expert teachers and supportive parents, your child will soar into 2021!

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