Issue 24

DfE announce online resources and charity grants to help schools respond to the impact of coronavirus on mental health

New online resources designed by health and education experts will be provided to schools and colleges to boost mental health support for staff and pupils, encouraging them to talk more confidently about the anxieties and concerns they feel as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Videos, webinars and teaching materials, produced in partnership with charities, will be made available to schools and colleges, helping to foster conversations about mental health and reassure many young people who are worried about the impact of the virus on their lives.

DfE asks schools to prioritise mental health and wellbieing but allows leeway on introducing statutory Relationships and Sex Education

The DfE have recognised that COVID19 may make it difficult for schools to be ready to introduce statutory RSE from September and have issued guidance allowing an extension to the summer term 2001. the guidance says that from Septemer 2020

'Following an assessment of preparedness, schools shouldcommence teaching as soon as practically possible or use the time to prepare to deliver the new curriculum. This includes engaging parents on their policy as well as planning their curriculum provision'

Back to school in COVID-19 times

When children return to school after staying at home for many months, they will bring with them accumulated baggage of anxiety, frustration, low mood and in some cases trauma and bereavement.  There will be ongoing economic stressors and more children affected by poverty. There will also be feelings of excitement, and hope.

Tips for remote learning

1. Secure your own safety belt first. Put self-care at the top of your list – take time for a  mindfulness meditation

2. Prioritise connection as well as content.  

Tips for helping children manage unexpected endings and transitions

1. Make explicit that unexpected endings and transitions are difficult, and that it is normal to feel unsettled or upset.

 

2. If you have previously worked on the feelings associated with loss (for example, in the SEAL Relationships theme resources), help children understand that even without bereavement the lockdown period will have involve loss for everyone – whether of a holiday or special event or normal ‘moving in/moving up’ events in school. Revisit what the children learned about loss and how to get through it.

 

COVID-19 resources

We’ve uploaded a batch of new resources to the SEAL website:

When the tension goes

‘For when you’re not feeling great about something, or someone, or about yourself, here are some things you can do to feel a bit better.’ We really liked these free resources from People Intelligence. Suitable for KS2 and 3, they are attractive worksheets for a class, small group or individual and cover topics such as identifying and expressing feelings, calming down, and self-care. They have engaging titles like ‘how to not feel so alone’, ‘how to feel good enough’, ‘how to sort out your head’. Find them at https://whenthetensiongoes.com/#howto

The Connect PSHE Wellbeing Curriculum

This has around 250 detailed lesson plans (all with PowerPoints, handouts and resources) for YR through to Y6. Every one has an opening mindfulness activity and brief follow up enquiry. The initial online training, and a sample of lessons and resources, is currently being offered for free to support teacher CPD during the global response to COVID19. Schools and educational professionals can sign up here: https://www.connect-pshe.org/sign-up

Go Noodle

Have you discovered Go Noodle www.GoNoodle.com ? It has lots of free energising wellbeing activities in short films, some helpful for social and emotional learning. We liked this one in which children mood-walk, to practise emotion recognition.

Making a self-soothe box and other calming strategies

This is a very useful film for teenage girls, made by teenage girls, about making a self-soothe box to help with anxiety

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTYlS3u3A_E&t=4s

 

For other children Young Minds have this guidance

https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/how-to-make-a-self-soothe-box/#memories

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