Combatting Classroom Concerns on the Return to School!
With the recent announcement of students able to return to school from the 8th of March, everyone is getting excited for some normality! However, with the disparity of access, quality and rigor between students and their learning over the last few months, how prepared are we for this return?
With around 20,000 young people still unable to access online learning in some English cities, such as Greater Manchester, it is definitely time for students to return before they fall any further behind in their academic progression. However, the fact that so many students have been unable to even access the online learning provided for them means that many students will return to school having learnt very little over the last few months.
Additionally, many students have struggled with motivating themselves to complete their home learning. This, paired with the fact that many students were able to remain in school as vulnerable students, means that teachers will have to balance an even wider variety of student abilities and levels in their class.
After months of the stay at home order being in place, on top of potential isolations and only being in school for approximately four months of the past twelve, many students are far behind in their social and emotional development. Returning to school may be overwhelming for many students, halting their engagement with face to face learning, allowing them to fall even further behind. With social distancing rules still not confirmed in the school environment, children are likely to still be limited in how they interact for a number of months.
Fatigue levels are likely to be a major concern for many students. With less rigorous timetables at home, as well as not having to get up as early for the school, returning to school is likely to be a massive shock to the system. Being more tired, students are less able to engage with their learning effectively and won’t be able to progress at the rate that is necessarily required to catch up on all the work missed over the last year. Similar to the return to school from the summer holiday, the first few weeks back to school will be a long slog and adjustment for all those in the household.
Returning to school will be very exciting, offering relief and a slight return to normalcy to everyone. However, children are likely to be concerned about a multitude of factors: how far behind are they, how will it feel seeing their friends again every day, how tired will they be after being out of the house all day?
Preparation to counter these concerns is necessary so that children are re-entering their classroom with confidence and resilience so that they can engage well with the content of lessons and work to catch up on all the time lost.
We will be working with schools, families and students on our programmes to make the transition back to school as smooth as possible!