From the week of 1st June 2020, like many schools in the UK, both of our Hatching Dragons nurseries’ will be reopening as per government instructions related to COVID-19 outbreak. While we look forward to welcoming back all our students, we understand that children and their parents may be worried about returning to school after this period of isolation.
To alleviate some of this anxiety we have devised a few tips to help make the transition easier for students and their parents :
Let’s start by putting things into perspective. At present, the general consensus within the medical community is that the risk of getting ill from COVID-19 is extremely low for the average child. In terms of the role of children in transmission, things are still a little unclear but evidence from a review carried out by the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health indicated a low likelihood of children acquiring the virus and lower rate of them bringing the infections into households.
Children thrive on routine. Lockdown has affected everyone’s daily schedule and things are about change once again. Just as children were adjusting to being at home, they are just as quickly returning to school. To complicate matters further, the school environment is now going to be considerably different from the one they were accustomed to a few months ago. This shift may result in a struggle for some of the little ones.
You can start by delicately explaining how the daily routine will change upon their return, offering reassurance and answering any questions the child may have. It may also be an idea to run through some of the new processes using role-playing, for instance, to help them understand how sleep time protocols and drop-off/collection will work differently. It’d also be helpful to get your child into the habit of regular hand-washing in preparation for their return to school.
As parents, your priority is always to protect your child and keep them out of harm’s way. As a society, we’ve not experienced a global pandemic on the scale of COVID-19 and there are still many unknowns so it’s completely understandable that we are all anxious. That said, children are incredibly sensitive to their parents’ emotions so it is important not to project unnecessary fears onto our children. Put on a brave face and reassure your child to make life easier for them.
Every child is unique and will handle this upheaval differently. Allow your child the space to share their worries and fears, and adjust your approach to handling the situation accordingly. Remember that it could sometimes be difficult for children to express themselves verbally so you’ll need to identify non-verbal opportunities for emotional expression. Drawing pictures or engaging with music could be alternative ways for the little ones to express their feelings. Tailored online resources like this could also come in handy when trying to get kids to engage on issues around COVID-19.
Adjusting to the ‘new normal’ after the COVID-19 lockdown will be a learning curve for students, teachers and parents alike. We need to work together to help our children adjust to changes to their regular routine in light of COVID-19. To give parents peace of mind, both the Hatching Dragons’ preschool in Westminster and nursery in Barbican will implement precautions to limit the spread of the COVID-19, taking on-board recommendations from government authorities and the NHS.
In order to help prepare your child for their return to Hatching Dragons after COVID-19 lockdown, learn more about our new health & safety measures.