Transition back to school
Advice and guidance from The Mental Health Foundation
Tips for Parents & Caregivers – preparing your child to return to school
Start talking - your child might have worries about returning to school. You can explore these and help them think of ways to manage them using our Time for Us pack or the resources on the Family Links website.
Sleep routine – help your child return to their normal sleep routine in the weeks before school starts again. Our “How to…” guide on improving sleep could be a good place to start.
Talk about school – start to talk through the daily routine that they were once so familiar with. It doesn’t have to start as a conversation about worries, but these might arise as you talk.
Model coping strategies you use when feeling stressed such as reconnecting with friends before returning, doing regular exercise or using breathing techniques. If it applies, you could share your own worries and feelings about returning to work and ways you are managing these feelings.
Make yourself available as much as possible – they may want to come and “debrief” but maybe not when you expect. Create space for talking in different ways, such as going on a walk together or baking together – there may be less pressure in these circumstances than when sitting face-to-face.
Look at the positives – as schools reopen, other things will too. It might be helpful to talk about things the child is looking forward to, like their favourite shop reopening, seeing friends in the park or getting ice cream from their favourite café.
The documents below contain 2 different stories from the Educational Psychology Service. One is a therapeutic story to help primary children explore feelings related to a return to school at this point in time. There is guidance for adults about the story included.
The other story (Little Elf who missed his Birthday Party) is a therapeutic story to support children exploring strong emotions linked to the covid-19 epidemic.