The emphasis in these unprecedented times should be on ensuring children and families are safe and well. Engaging in activities which support mental and physical wellbeing will be vitally important to reduce any anxiety and support mental health.
Check In, Catch Up & Prepare for Summer and September
As plans to extend provision for more children in the school building commence and a growing uphelpful interest in this is regularly published in the media, children and parents / carers may be understandably concerned about this change.
There is going to be a ‘new normal’ and it is ‘okay to not be okay’. Schools will not have all of the answers but by working together we can support each other to ensure that the children have the best possible experience of what is likely to be a blended approach to learning for some time ahead.
Some of the information below, may be helpful to manage any anxiety experienced by your child or adults:
- Talk to your child about how they feel and out what your child’s worries may be. We will be asking you to share this information with us before any return to school.
- We will also be asking you to share with us what your child’s and your family experience in lockdown has been like. This will help us understand your child’s needs and enable us to better support them.
- Try to make use of the information that we will be sharing on Seesaw over the next few weeks, including videos / pictures of the school environment.
- Talk to your child about new rules and routines which we will be sharing. Ensure that both your child and you understand them. Please ask us if anything is unclear.
- If you have issues with digital technology. Ask us if we can help.
There is also some helpful information on the following links which may be useful as we move forward together:
Talking to your child about the virus
Talking to your child about coronavirus is important in an age and stage appropriate way.
This digital book illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler is FREE and has language suitable for children from 5 years old upwards.
Young Minds has lots of helpful advice and support.
A simple book written by an Educational Psychologist explaining about the virus and how we can keep safe.
MEIC is a helpline service for young people up to the age of 25. They provide information, advice and advocacy services. They also have information specifically about COVID-19 here. MEIC can also be contacted on 080880 23456.
Looking after your own mental health
Don’t forget to look after your own mental health and wellbeing, MIND have some good advice here. MIND can also be contacted on 0800 132 737.
- Parent Pack
- Supporting our children’s wellbeing
- Teaching my child during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Managing Stress and Self-Care during the Coronavirus Crisis
- Having problems sleeping? Advice from the Sleep Foundation.
- Staying Connected and Wellbeing Challenges
- WCBC Educational Psychologist Wellbeing Pack
- WCBC Educational Psychologist Reflection Pack
- WCBC Educational Psychologist Pack – Mental Health & Kindness
- WCBC Educational Psychologist Pack – Wellbeing Challenge
- Using the Outdoors
- Mental Health Support
- A Young Person’s Guide to COVID-19.
- These resources could be used to help explain what is happening to children with ASD and / or other additional needs.
The current situation can feel frightening for many people. The way that we mourn and grieve may be very different. Please click on this link if you need any advice about how to support children to deal with this at this time.
Support and advice at anytime is available from Cruse Bereavement Care. They also have a particular section dedicated to the additional isolation that the pandemic situation has created in relation to grief. Please click here for this information.
Your child is likely to be using the internet and digital devices more than usual during this period of school closure.
There are lots of good sources for learning on You Tube, however it is important that you look at the clip where you can. Lots of adverts can pop up and we would always advise using You Tube Kids.
Good advice is available from the South West Grid for Learning here.
The NSPCC has a wealth of information to help parents talk to children and advice on parental controls, sexting and online games.
Video conferencing has been really useful for keeping in touch with family and friends. Here is a Parent Guide to Zoom Safety which you may find helpful.
Concerned about a child
If you have concerns or believe that a child is at risk of being harmed or neglected, please contact Single Point Of Access (Children’s Social Care) as soon as possible on 01978 292039 during office hours. Out of Hours, the Emergency Duty Team can be contacted on 0345 053 3116.
If you believe a child is in immediate danger, you should call the Police on 999 immediately.
Other countries have seen a rise in domestic abuse and violence during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. In the UK, it was reported that in the first two weeks, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline had a 25% increase in calls compared with the previous fortnight.
Where there is domestic abuse, there is a high correlation with emotional harm to children.
For information and support on domestic abuse, contact:
- Police: Call 999 press 55 when prompted if you can’t speak
- Refuge UK wide 24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247
- Welsh Women’s Aid Live Fear Free 24 hour helpline: 0808 80 10 800. Text and online chat is also available.
- Wrexham Domestic Abuse Safety Unit (DASU): 01978 310203
- Men’s Advice Line. Freephone 0808 8010327