Psychological advice to help Falkirk pupils cope with return to school

Most youngsters dread returning to school after the summer break but this year has taken that feeling to a whole new level.

By James Trimble
Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 11:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 11:36 am

At the moment families in the Falkirk area, like the rest of Scotland, are preparing for their children to return to school on or around August 11, as – for the time being anyway – the Scottish Government have advised social distancing will not need to be enforced in the classroom due to lower COVID-19 transmission rates among younger people.

According to online tutoring service My Tutor, the reopening of schools will provide valuable face-to-face learning for children after months of school closures and help to ensure their education gets back on track.

My Tutor – and senior clinical psychologist Doctor Sheena Ghelani – can offer help to parents and youngsters who feel some sense of nervousness or anxiety about the return.

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Psychological advice is available to help pupils who will be returning to school in August

Dr Ghelani said: “If you know your child might struggle with going back to school, try developing a mental toolbox of things they can do when they are worried at school.

“This might include a song to sing to themselves, visualising a calm place, practising breathing techniques and identifying safe staff they can tell if they begin to feel nervous during the day.

“Let children know it is likely other families may have been impacted by the virus, whether that’s keyworking parents working hard, or family bereavements. Encourage your child to be patient and kind to other children.

“Let you child know what they might still be expected to do – not to hug friends, wash their hands more often, or not share toys. And don’t rush to get back to normal too quickly

“When school restarts in your area, you may find children are more tired than usual by the extra demands and sensory stimulation placed on them. Ease them back into their routine gently and allow enough space and time in a new schedule for any hiccups so you’re not having to manage too many demands.

“When the time comes, you’ll find you’ll feel less stressed if you know there will be bumps in the road.”