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PSHE resources – coming back to school after lockdown

When pupils return to school, at such a time as school leaders deem risks to health can be minimised and mitigated, they will need to be given the time and space to readjust to a new way of being in their school. This process will begin with thought being given to the transition process from home back to school even before pupils set foot in the building.

When they come back, new routines will need to be established and new rules will need to be developed. Pupils will need to learn how to learn again. Time will be needed to allow pupils to reflect on the weeks they have spent at home and to share some of their experiences.

The focus for schools should be upon ensuring that pupils are ready to learn and as such social and emotional learning should be prioritised;

The act of recovery is at least as much an emotional and social one as it is academic, and our ability to recognise and plan for this will be at the heart of our learners’ eventual success.

Sally Apps, Cabot Learning Foundation

Jigsaw PSHE have drawn out from the existing units of learning elements of pertinence to the circumstances which schools and pupils now find themselves in. The Healthy Me puzzle unit will be of particular pertinence. If you have covered this unit already, you may want to dip into the learning opportunities for next year.

Schools using the SMILE approach developed at Forest Oak School and rooted in the five ways to wellbeing are able to draw upon these to support ‘recovery’. Regardless of the resources used, key themes can be identified for schools to consider ways in which they can be addressed at school and through home learning.

Pupils may have been spending an increased amount of time online exposing them to additional risks and potentially inappropriate content. Time will be needed to address this and reinforce online safety messages and learning.

Key themes:

Ensuring pupils feel physically and emotionally safe – re-establishing routines, boundaries and expectations, staff acting as positive role models

Developing social skills in the context of distancing and isolation – online/offline etiquette, listening to each other, speaking with regard to audience, reciprocity

Awareness of and being able to manage a range of emotions – loss and change, coping strategies and asking for help, managing anxiety, healthy expressions of anger and sadness, recognising and understanding other’s feelings

Keeping healthy – sleep hygiene (PHE School resources  CBBC), importance of exercise and balanced diet, hand-washing

Understanding the world around them – spotting fake news, media literacy, being a good citizen, helping others, talking about their experiences and those of others

Understanding relationships – repair and recovery, healthy relationships including behaviour off/online (this may include directly addressing the sharing of sexual imagery and pornography)

Chameleon Personal Development Education has developed a suite of resources covering all key stages which directly address coming back to school after lockdown. These can be downloaded for free once registered on their website.

Coram Life Education has launched a free online toolkit for primary school teachers, supporting pupils’ mental health as they adjust to a new school environment post-lockdown.

The toolkit is designed to build children’s resilience, self-esteem and kindness and includes practical resources. There are also adaptations for parents and carers of children who are learning at home. The toolkit is suitable for children in early years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

Schools mindful of relationships and sex education becoming statutory from 2020* may be in the process of updating policies and engaging with parents in this process. This will not be a one off event but a series of planned opportunities. Within this, the PSHE often covered in the summer term addresses puberty, relationships and for upper key stage 2, reproduction. Resources and guidance to support schools with this can be found here on the health and wellbeing webpages. The Community area of Jigsaw PSHE also has a wealth of useful resources. If you need help with logging in, contact Jigsaw directly.

* The new curriculum will still be compulsory in the 2020/21 academic school year but schools will be given flexibility about when they start teaching it due to the pandemic. For more information please see: Communication to schools on the implementation of Relationships Education Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education.

Additional home learning resources can be found here and on the Public Health England website. Resources and signposting to further sources aimed at supporting pupils through these challenging times can be found here.