With a stressful September ahead, mindfulness and compassion are and will be more and more essential to their teacher and pupil wellbeing. There are many techniques and strategies, available for all teachers to incorporate into their lessons and interactions throughout the day, which will ensure a whole-school positive approach in the coming months with many benefits for all.
Teachers and schools will need little reminding that in recent weeks they have been the subject of a number of newspaper headlines, most of which haven’t been positive about our profession. Likewise, some social media commentators have had an open season in sharing their opinions about education. This has implications for the wellbeing of our staff in these challenging times.
Up and down the country, there will be teams of senior leaders and teachers getting together (from a safe distance!) to discuss what school will look like come September. So how on earth do we start the process of prepping for September with children who have been away from school for over five months?
Pupil wellbeing is high on the agenda for educators as the phased return to school begins. Indicators such as Young Minds Charity are telling us that there is a growing need for mental health support. The Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield shared her views that all schools would need to have an onsite councillor to help manage the current children and young people’s mental health crisis in the return from lockdown. Only today the DFE have announced that pupil mental health and wellbeing needs to be a priority for the school reintegration process. So, what can educators do to prepare for this additional support for young people’s mental health as the country moves out of the pandemic?
I had just finished a phone call with a parent of a Year 6 student joining our school in September. I had asked her how she and her child were feeling about the transition to high school. For twenty minutes, she had shared a lot of the typical concerns. However, there were also concerns more unique to the moment, including her child not having a ‘usual transition’.