Back to school checklist: Headteacher’s advice to prepare your child to go back to school

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Schools will reopen for primary school children on March 8, as the Government starts on its roadmap to reopen England. Most pupils, aside from children of key workers, have spent months away from the classroom. Although the peak of the latest wave has passed, schools won’t return to “normal” and children will have to readjust.

How to help your children return to school

Parents can help their children prepare for their return to the classroom in a range of ways.

Chris Cockerill, Senior Head of Fulham School, an independent co-educational school in London, provided some advice.

He advised parents to speak with their children and help get their mindset primed for the classroom.

School uniforms

One of the first things parents should do with their children before March 8 is to encourage them to dress for it.

Mr Cockerill said they should wear their school uniform or usual school clothes if they have them.

Dressing in this way should help children get in the right frame of mind and mitigate any shock impact of their return.

Gentle encouragement

If they can, parents should make time to have a discussion with their children.

They may need some reassurance or have questions about their classes, and while a face to face one-on-one chat isn’t necessary, they may open up in front of the TV or on a walk.

Parents should also accentuate the positives of returning to school, helping their children focus on what they enjoy, whether it be the trip to class or reuniting with friends.

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Change work routines

With children back into the care of their teachers, parents may find time to reorganise their day.

They can adapt their work from home routine to suit them, but younger children may require some support when they come back from school.

As such, it may be wise to time the workday to allow some free time on their child’s return.

Speak to teachers

Mr Cockerill said schools would handle the return with flexibility, such as imposing fewer rules and providing “re-orientation” time for students on their immediate return.

But children may have some concerns about their performance in particular subject areas.

In this case, parents should help identify their worries and speak to teachers about potential paths to improvement.

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