Back to school – are we ready?

It’s that time of year again. Getting uniforms together, preparing mentally for a new year of learning.

This year looks and feels SO different. Having to add masks and an extra dose of anxiety about a deadly virus to your school supply list is bound to be shocking. The ambivalence surrounding whether to wear masks or not, doesn’t help matters.

It seems as though our education system is changing. Take what happened to our students with the A Level and GCSE results! First an algorithm system failure followed by the Government doing a complete U-Turn with the marking system.

How hard it must have been to do all of that work to then await the results from an algorithm – something good is going to come out of this. For every disappointment, there is a blessing. You’re gonna be alright.

What will school look like?

Children must return to school unless they or a close contact have symptoms or test positive for COVID 19. Unless they – or a close contact – develop symptoms or test positive for Coronavirus. Head teachers can follow up pupils’ absences and issue sanctions, including possible fines.

School days may look very different from before with staggered start and stop times and minimising the number of contacts between pupils by putting classes or years into “protective bubbles”.

The government has set out a system of controls for schools and said the following four points must happen in all schools, all the time.

  • Keep pupils with Covid-19 symptoms, or with family members with symptoms, away from school
  • Introduce more frequent hand-washing
  • Promote good hygiene around the use of tissues for sneezes and coughs
  • Have enhanced cleaning procedures

The Government also wants schools to minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible.

A rough start?

There is no doubt that many children had challenging home environments during lockdown. They’re going to be entering school in a much different headspace than when they left.

Uncertainty, fear of a second lockdown, grief and loss of loved ones from Covid 19… it’s a LOT. Things that used to feel safe just don’t anymore and school may very well seem like an unpredictable place as they start the school year.

School friendships may have become strained due to social distancing leaving children feeling isolated. Peer relationships are SO important at this age (heck at ANY age!) and many children might feel even more isolated if they can’t interact normally.

Many of these children may have seen adults in conflict over how to manage this pandemic. If we’re confused can you imagine how they feel when adults can’t even agree?

A new normal for Parents too!

Parents are also going to have to deal with new changes. The biggest fear, in my opinion, will be a second wave of COVID leading to another lockdown and loss of life.

Especially with findings like this:

Warwick University researchers warned reopening secondary schools will have the “greatest impact” on transmission because older children have more social contacts, leading to increased mixing and transmission.

Sky News

As a parent… there are so many questions about how starting school will go…

What will happen if a child has a cold or the flu? Will testing be more readily available? Is school a safe place to be? Should everyone be required to wear a mask? If one student tests positive will everyone in their learning bubble have to isolate?

What are your thoughts? How do you feel about your children going back to school? Do you think it will launch a second wave? Are you confident all the children will be safe? Leave a comment below or come join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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