Getting Ready for School Resumption

As your child returns to school, they may feel a range of emotions, including excitement, relief or worry. You may notice changes in your child’s behaviour; sleep, mood, interactions with others, or eating habits – these are all normal expressions of worry and by noticing and responding with care and support, you will help your child to feel better. As parents, it is important to be able to:

  • Recognise signs of increased anxiety, stress or worry
  • Know that it is a normal reaction
  • Help children feel safe and supported

It is important to understand the effect your own behaviour can have on your child. If you react in a way that suggests you are worried about your child going back to school, your child may worry too! Try to remain calm and positive when talking to your child about going back to school. It may be that you will miss having your child around. Try to make sure your feelings will not generate separation anxiety with your children.

During the learning at home period, your family, along with the staff from the school, have helped your child understand that staying away from school was necessary to keep them healthy and safe. Your child may now feel worried about whether it is safe for them to go back to school.

Begin to have conversations with students about their return to school. Be familiar with school processes such as dropoffs and pickups. Practice hygiene processes such as social distancing and good hygiene, particularly handwashing. Reassure children that the school has put in place systems to keep children safe.

It is important for you to be familiar with the changes in the school routine to keep everyone safe.

Advice for parents and carers - talking to you Junior/Senior School aged child.

  • The decision for students to return to school has been made based on health advice.
  • Everyone at school is going to make sure they are keeping safe, and there is plenty of hand wash at school so that everyone can wash their hands many times a day.
  • They will be allowed to associate with their friends in the classroom and during group activities, as children like them usually do not get sick from COVID-19.
  • If anyone at school feels sick, they will stay away from school until they feel better.
  • The school and government will continue to monitor the situation to keep all children safe.

Conversations with Senior School students will cover similar areas in more ‘grown up’ terms. There are some specific provisions relevant to Senior School students.

The following will be useful to make the transition back to school as smooth as possible. Preparing for school and getting into a routine with your child will help make the transition back to school a positive experience.

  • Get back into the routine of waking up, having breakfast and going to bed at regular times.
  • Discuss any issues or fears your child might have about going back to school.
  • Talk to your child about what they like about school and what they have been missing.
  • Talk through the routine of what it’s like being at school. For example, “when I get to school I go and see {teacher’s name}; and then we hang our bags on our hooks; we say hi to our friends; we find our seat...etcetera”.
  • Discuss what may be different now (for example, drop offs and getting to their classroom in the morning).
  • Before the school day, if you feel that your child needs extra support as they transition back to school, get in touch with the school.
  • Involve your child in laying out their uniform, so it is ready for the morning. Also, packing their bag – you might make a game out of this with younger children. A visual checklist can help your child remember what they need to take; planning and packing their lunches and snacks.
  • Make sure bedtimes and wake times resume normal school routine well before the actual return to school.
  • Try to have calm evenings and allow extra time to settle before bedtime if your child is feeling nervous.
  • Allow extra time to get ready for school in the morning so that you are not rushing. 
  • Talk to your child about their day without too much fuss, including what they enjoyed, what may have worried them, and what they found difficult.
  • Include some family time. Children may miss being at home with you during the day, so it is important for them to feel close and connected with the family.

Again, if you have any concerns, please contact the school.

Independent Schools Victoria has updated their parent site. It is well worth a visit for useful information for parents:

Mr Alan Clarke

Paediatric Psychologist