Return to School Tips
Excitement and relief abounded when Haileybury families dropped their students off at school following a long period of online learning.
Staff and students did a magnificent job in pivoting to online classrooms but returning to campus has required some adjustments from the usual routine.
For the first time in several months, lunches had to be packed, backpacks zipped, books gathered, in-person friendships rekindled, and face-to-face classes navigated.
A significant change in routine can be challenging but staying positive and celebrating small wins such as seeing friends or attending a favourite class can make a big difference.
Teachers and support staff have done well to ensure a seamless transition, but here are a few things families can also do to help students embrace on-campus classes again.
A Positive Attitude
A positive attitude help can with many types of changes, including going back to physical classrooms.
The Australian Psychological Society says parents and carers should reassure children that it is safe to go to school.
It recommends discussing changes with your child, asking them what would ease their transition, speaking to teachers and considering adopting some strategies that were successful during home learning.
After school, it can help to talk to your child about their day, including what they enjoyed, what they felt worried about and what they are looking forward to tomorrow.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Now that students are leaving home for their regular classrooms it is important to reintroduce their normal school routines to create a smooth transition.
The most important parts of the school routine revolve around sleep, food and preparedness.
- Make sure children return to their usual bedtime routines which means going to sleep and waking up at the same time everyday
- Packing backpacks and setting out uniforms the night before can help children feel more in charge of their routine and get them excited for the next day
- As they get used to their new schedule, allow children more time to get ready in the morning to avoid feelings of anxiety, feeling rushed or forgetting important materials
- Start the day off with a healthy, balanced breakfast to give students lots of energy!
During the transition from online learning to onsite schooling, many students may come across new challenges that perhaps have not effected them in the past.
With so much of the year spent at home with family, students may experience feelings homesickness or fatigue.
It may be helpful to schedule extra family time as your child may miss being at home while they adjust. Mindful activities such as reading, colouring or puzzles may help them to recharge from a stimulating day outside the home.
Some school procedures have changed, so it’s important to ensure that students know what is expected of them in an age-appropriate way.
From 11 October, all Victorians over the age of 12 must wear a fitted face mask when they leave home, no matter where they live. This is based on advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer.
Maintaining good health is also a must. The World Health Organization recommends that families talk openly about symptoms, monitor children’s health and keep them home from school if they are ill.
It urges parents and carers to teach and model good hygiene, such as frequently washing hands with soap and water, coughing and sneezing into a tissue or your elbow, and avoiding touching your face, eyes, mouth and nose.
The WHO also suggests encouraging children to ask questions and express their feelings with parents and teachers.
“Remember that your child may have different reactions to stress; be patient and understanding.”
And remember to keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others, if possible, during drop-off and pick-up times.
If you or your child are experiencing stress or anxiety related to COVID-19, returning school, new routines, or have more questions there are many helpful resources available: