Focussing on wellbeing as our pupils return to the classroom
As children begin a phased return to the classroom this week, we are providing extra support in the curriculum to help our pupils deal with the emotional and social impact of lockdown.
Here at St. Margaret’s Prep, we reopened our doors this week for all children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 and are planning for further year groups to return as soon as the Government allows.
“We have a huge emphasis on health and safety measures,” says Mrs Carolyn Moss, Acting Headteacher. “Clearly these are incredibly important, but equally urgent is the need to adjust our curriculum in light of the emotional strain that coronavirus has created – both during lockdown and as we all adjust to the new reality of ongoing restrictions post-lockdown. Pupils will return to a different school than the one they left in late March and the curriculum needs to reflect this.”
To aid the process of reopening for families, we published a clear guide for parents on how the reopening will be managed, what to expect and how to support their children. We have also produced a video for the children to watch, featuring the School’s teddy bears, Monty and Millie, showing how their classrooms will look and feel. As part of the global schools group Cognita, we have benefited from the experience of sister schools in other parts of the world, some of which have already returned to school.
Throughout lockdown, we delivered a comprehensive, highly structured programme of online learning, including face-to-face sessions with teachers and peers using online platforms. This programme will continue for the Year Groups that were not included in the Government’s plan for a phased reopening.
“In response to lockdown, we revolutionised how we deliver education and we will apply this same level of energy and commitment to reopening. Understandably at first our parents were unsure as to how it might work, but following a recent parent survey, 98% of the respondents agreed that we are doing a good job of providing online teaching and learning ,” says Mrs Moss. “Our teachers are working very hard to ensure a smooth transition as our students begin returning, and that includes a renewed emphasis on wellbeing.”
She continues: “As educators, we need to be very mindful of the impact Covid-19 has had on our pupils and we need to help support them through our teaching wherever we can.”
St. Margaret’s Preparatory School’s plan for reopening includes:
- Ensuring the curricular offer evolves over time – starting with the core components and gradually shifting towards our usual broad and holistic curriculum.
- Ensuring children are not overloaded with content whilst re-establishing routines.
- Ensuring a range of social and emotional needs are catered for following the period of home-based learning.
- Ensuring opportunities and lessons for pupils to discuss, digest and reflect on the situation and their feelings about the future.
Published on: 1st June 2020