With such uncertain and big life changes, student’s mental health and wellbeing is a top concern for many schools. Establishing a sense of routine, and belonging within the class can help students feel more secure.
These Five Activities for Returning to School are focused around helping your students process the big life change they have been through, and to adjust to being back at school with new regulations in place.
We very much hope these are useful for you and the teachers at your school.
1. Explore Home Learning Experiences
Provide multiple ways of students exploring their experiences during home learning.
Use these sentences to prompt discussion:
- We have been staying at home.
- We have not been seeing our friends.
- We have been spending time with our families.
Ask students if they liked these changes, or if they didn’t like them and then ask them why. For younger students, they can draw a picture of their home learning experiences.
2. Use Mindfulness
A daily mindfulness routine can help you to create a calm and supportive learning environment for your students. Having a smaller class size could provide a good setting to try out mindfulness with your class for the first time. You can find three easy mindfulness activities for children here.
3. Normalise Worries
Let students know that it’s normal to be feeling worried, scared or anxious. Allow time for group check-ins, this can be a time when you give each student the opportunity to talk about how they are feeling that day.
For shy students, or for younger students you can use this ‘How I feel Today’ check in Template. Students circle the emoji that shows how they are feeling, and write or draw what’s been on their mind.
4. Give Praise
Give praise and encouragement to students, even for the small things. Tell your students they can feel proud of themselves for going through a big challenge, and celebrate their success and courage for being in school.
5. Create a Class Flag:
A sense of belonging and group identity can help students feel safe and supported in their new class. To help with this you could create a class flag. This will help to boost morale and create a class identity for your new group.
Write your school’s values on the board, along with any other positive words you want to include on your class flag. Each student creates one part of the flag on an A4 piece of paper. This can include some of the words on the board. Once your students have finish, collect all of your students pieces together and display thhem on your wall with the header ‘Our Class Flag’.
We hope you found these activities and resources useful, please share these resources with the teachers at your schools.
We are offering flexible booking on all of our workshops, including our anti bullying workshops, internet safety training and wellbeing workshops for September, get in touch if you would like to arrange an event for next academic year.