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Practical resources for working with Primary and Secondary school aged children

Children and young people across the United Kingdom are experiencing unparalleled levels of loss in a number of ways throughout the global pandemic. This can be through the deaths of loved family, friends or loved ones in what we would associate as a loss through bereavement. However, this section aims to look at wider levels of loss and how you can support it through the Barnardo’s “Back to School” worksheet resource.

From March 2020 to the present day, times have been different to any other that we have known. This has been seen within your education setting and all the others across the UK. For the children and young people, this has resulted in most spending periods of time at home, engaging with home learning and losing the contact with trusted adults and friends that they have been accustomed to.

The two worksheets, “Primary” and “Secondary” are aimed at supporting the children and young people within these groups when the time comes for them to return to education. If they have spent a considerable period of time away from school, this can be a daunting and / or an exciting prospect.

Each worksheet focuses on age specific areas and questions, whilst aiming to the support key themes for the children or young person’s development and return to school. The key themes are:

Routine: this area focuses on the child or young person and how they have been living their lives lately. This is a good way to get insight into their life during lockdown but also to try and encourage positive routines and the importance of routines to our health and wellbeing

Relationships: key focus on both age sections as we try to shine a light on who is important for that child or young person and why this is the case. This is a good opportunity to explore healthy relationships and how this can be supported during lockdown phases

Feelings: discussion around emotions regarding the time off and how things have been, including any worries experienced. There is a focus on promoting positive wellbeing

Managing Change: this section covers the ever-changing world we are living in and can open discussions around lockdown measures and the inconsistencies around the way we are living. Both speak about areas we can and cannot control.

Our worksheet ends with important messages to remember and the message is one that will potentially cultivate hope in the child or young person, whilst respecting that the losses they have experienced may continue to occur. The key messages are:

  • Keeping to a routine is helpful.
  • Make time for things you enjoy.
  • All feelings are ok.
  • Never be afraid to ask for help.
  • Change can sometimes be a good thing.
  • Working towards goals can make us proud.
  • You are awesome.

We hope that you find these worksheets helpful with the children / young people in your education setting.

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