I hope this finds you well. I have attached some resources that I think you may find useful in supporting your children during these uncertain times. Life is very different for us all right now and change can be particularly difficult for children if they do not fully understand what is happening. Often children will experience uncertainty or anxiety as a feeling in their body, ‘a bad tummy’ for example, rather than explicitly saying that they are worried or concerned. This is especially true for younger children who have not yet developed the emotional vocabulary needed in order to verbalise their feelings.
I have attached some stories explaining the Coronavirus in a very simplistic way using child-friendly language and illustrations. I have also attached a social story explaining school closures. Social stories are usually designed for children with additional needs. However, many children may be experiencing anxiety at the moment and could benefit from the use of a social story to help them understand what is happening in the world around them. These stories are designed to be used as a starting point for discussion and, as Government guidance is being reviewed and updated, they may need adapting as you discuss them with your child.
Please do not feel pressured to use them or open up a discussion with your child around Coronavirus. Although my hope is that you feel supported in doing so should your child want to discuss it or have questions around it.
I have also attached a sheet compiled by our Local Authority Healthy Schools Lead with tips for looking after your emotional health and wellbeing during this time. These tips are designed to support families and children of all ages. I hope you find these resources useful.
Please look after yourselves.
Sending my very best wishes to you and your children.
We would also like to challenge all the children of Hedworth Lane School to a Wellbeing Challenge! Dare you take the challenge!
Personal Well-being Resources 1
You may find the following resources useful for supporting your child’s well-being. These resources can be accessed below.
Rain Before Rainbows – Smriti Halls
From the author: Life is never pure sunshine, but when I wrote this book I really didn’t envisage the clouds that would darken our skies the world over. We have all had to embark on a journey we didn’t expect, facing difficulty and danger, often separated from friends and loved ones. We may feel alone. But we are not. There may be rain. But there are rainbows. It has been wonderful to see rainbows everywhere, symbolizing hope in these troubled times. I hope that this book and the beauty of David’s illustrations can, in some small way, help us to acknowledge loss and sadness, while giving voice to our strength and resilience. I hope it will remind us that there are friends to help us and new beginnings to be found. I hope it will shine light in dark places and bring hope out of heartbreak – and that the promise of rainbows will breathe through every page of this book, keeping us looking to the future with courage, light and hearts filled with hope. This can be found below.
Pim’s Story – Sue and Peter Rogers
Pim is finding ‘lockdown’ difficult and is angry because he misses school and his friends. This book is intended to stimulate conversation to help young children explore feelings and emotions that may have arisen in them as a result of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.
An assembly song with actions. Used in school in KS1 to help children draw on the familiar of school life as well to help support transition upon their return. This can be found below.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Packs
There are Primary and Secondary activity booklets produced by the Healthy Minds Team. The Y6s may want to look at the secondary pack. There is also a Healthy Minds information booklet and referral form should you want to access this service directly (see Services and Support section below). All can be found below.
Feeling Good Activity Pack
Many factors can affect our mental health, and parents can play a key role. This booklet and fun activity sheets provide information and practical ideas to help you build on what you already do to promote positive mental health in your child. The activity sheets work best when you use them with your child to help you talk about a variety of situations to help you promote good mental health. Each sheet offers you the chance to:
- raise issues that you may otherwise find difficult to talk about
- highlight different situations and ways to deal with them positively.
Activity sheets can be found from page 13 onwards. This pack also includes helpful links to mental health web pages, charities and services. This can be found below.
My Lockdown Experience
Here is a 1 page A4 sheet that focuses reflecting on lockdown and promoting discussion around their feelings and worries through choosing a series of pictorial options. Topics are: what your child likes through lockdown, any significant events experienced (please note, one of the options is death so therefore might not be suitable depending your child’s age, understanding, maturity and/or personal circumstances), what was difficult, how I learnt best and what I am worried about on my return to school. This can be found below.
The Umbrella Method
Physical activity has been shown to have a strong and positive influence on mental health and wellbeing.
This is a program covering 6 areas of fundamental skills, which support the continual development and growth of children’s Physical Literacy journey and therefore also supporting their academic learning. The skills progress through coloured levels (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and black). Give them a try and see how many you can do. Can you beat your grownups? CHALLENGES START ON PAGE 6 OF THE BOOKLET. Please find a copy below
Mindfulness colouring pack
Please find a copy below
Relaxing Places PowerPoint
Please find a copy below
Services and Support
Healthy Minds Team
The team will be a resource to all children and young people within selected schools but in particular children and young people who are experiencing, or who are at risk of developing, emotional, behavioural and psychological difficulties or who require support in relation to resilience building.
The aim of the team is to promote resilience, encourage the development of self-care skills and self-help techniques and explore different coping strategies, whilst developing resilience in the system.
You can find the information pack and referral form below.
Personal Well-being Resources 2
You may find the following resources useful for supporting your child in preparing to return to school.
‘Back to school social story’ – Social stories are often used to support children with additional needs, particularly those with ASD. However, this easy to follow visual guide could be used to support all children.
‘Coming back to school in a bubble’ – Shere Infant School & Nursery have put together a lovely, child-friendly illustrated book which explains the changes children may see in school on their return, particularly in relation to working in ‘bubbles’. Please be aware that as you go through the book with your child, you may need to explain that we may do some things slightly differently at Hedworth Lane. Still a great resource to explain some new concepts for your child.
Although these resources are developed for younger children, in these unusual times when school will look and may ‘feel’ different for our children, even our older pupils may benefit from going through them with you.
Please encourage your child to revisit these resources. They will gain the most benefit from looking through them several times with you and discussing any worries, concerns or questions they may have as they prepare for their return to school.