Welcome to the second of our e-newsletters which are part of our campaign to support all our children to have a Strong Start in September.
This edition includes a link to our guidance to help you build a personalised response to those children who have experienced loss. Children’s ability to recover and manage their thoughts and feelings is dependent on the relationships around them. School and college communities are fundamental to this recovery.
You can also watch a video produced by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and accompanying guidance. This is designed to give young people aged 11 to 14 a common understanding of what we mean by mental health and how we can look after it.
Getting children back into good sleep habits after the summer can be difficult, so have also included some resources and tips from BBC Bitesize.
Finally, you can read useful conversation starters to share with parents and carers to open conversations with children about their day at school.
We hope you find these e-newsletters useful.
Vik Verma Director of Education and Learning
A Recovery Curriculum Loss and life for our children and schools post pandemic
Following a further year of change and a different approach to school/college and learning, we need to stop and think about what it's like for children, whatever their age, stage or ability level.
The Recovery Curriculum was produced last year to support schools to take a different approach to the return to education with an emphasis on wellbeing and compassion.
It is an essential construct for our thinking and our planning. Another year of many changes and losses will produce a range of thoughts and emotions.
You know your school or college community and can use the Recovery Curriculum to support your understanding of your children; it can be embedded into the aims and values of your school. Use it to guide your judgements, to build a personalised response to the children who have experienced loss.
It’s an excellent resource designed to help children aged 11-14 understand what is meant by mental health and how to look after it.
We encourage you to take 5 minutes to watch this video with your class and use it as an opportunity reflect on your own mental health because we all have it.
Back to school - tips for parents and carers
This BBC Parents’ Toolkit offers advice to help children adjust to the new school year, with practical tips and support around resilience, mental health and starting a new school.
For example, we all know that sleep is very important for children’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as their development. Getting children into good sleeping habits can often be a challenge especially when they might have enjoyed a more relaxed bedtime schedule over the summer.
Here are some tips you could share with parents helping their children build healthy sleep routines to ensure they are well-rested and school-ready.
'How was your day?'
After a child’s first day back at school or in the classroom, it can sometimes be tough getting them to open up and share how they’re feeling.
Instead of asking the typical “how was your day?”, as an alternative you could try using one of these questions that have been compiled by BigLifeJournal.
These conversations starters for parents and carers are much more fun and interesting, and children may answer with more than a single word.