#WednesdayWisdom – Returning to School
Depute Head: Pastoral, Mrs Fergusson and the Year Tutor team have been very busy planning for the pupils’ return in August, focusing on addressing any fears the children might have. Mrs Fergusson shares some advice and coping strategies here for #WednesdayWisdom.
“As the COVID-19 restrictions ease, all the energy we put into managing lockdown might start to transfer itself into worry about how we will cope with the route back to ‘normal’, and the return to school. Worries can often consume our day and become difficult to manage. How will I manage to see my friends? How will I get my lunch? Will I be able to wash my hands? The Return to School Committee is working through all these but you might have other fears which are getting in the way of you enjoying the easing of lockdown.
Next time you feel a worry emerge, ask yourself: Is this something I can solve?
For example, you might worry about being able to stay 2 metres away from everyone in class. A solution could be to contact a teacher to ask what the ‘rules’ will be.
But what about the worries that can’t be solved? These are often the ‘might not happen’ worries – but they can sometimes be all we can think about. Try to timetable when you will worry about it – for example, ‘allow’ yourself 30 minutes to worry about the ‘might not happen’ worries and write them on a list which you only look at in the worry slot. This means that you will be able to review the ‘might not happen’ worry list and more often than not, score off the things that didn’t happen. This helps you see that often the ‘might not happen’ list is longer than it needs to be.
There are things we can control and things we cannot control. It is helpful to try to compartmentalise our spheres of control.
I can control: washing my hands, being kind to others, asking for help, observing social distances.
I cannot control: the actions of others; the weather; how long the pandemic will last.
The teachers at both the Primary and the Secondary schools are very aware that for many pupils, the anxiety experienced in the past few months will not simply and suddenly disappear in August and that this will have been a traumatic time for families. Helping pupils to articulate their worries and to focus on what they can control will be as important as managing the 2 metre distance or handwashing facilities.”