The return to school is emotionally charged for everyone involved, and even more so this year. Teachers and children will worry that they’ve forgotten everything about the school routine, while many parents and carers are wracked with guilt over whether reopening schools is really the right thing to do or not. Even  grandparents and older relatives or carers will be worried, facing a return to socially distancing from their little people after only just catching up on all the missed cuddles during lockdown.  

Meanwhile, governors and trustees are worrying whether their risk assessments will be fit for purpose, and did anyone think about socially-distant wet play protocol? I hope so, as it’s pouring down in North Somerset.  

Learning from parents

Parents and carers have been home-schooling their children for months now, and for learners to return to the classroom without the school getting any feedback from their families would be a real missed opportunity. Imagine if a cohort had an overseas teacher, specialist or NQT working with them; would the school allow them to leave without discussing anything about their experience?  

Over the last few months, I have learned a lot about how my daughter approaches work, what she is working well on and what she needs some support with. Her school would be able to get a much better picture of her ability with the addition of information from me, than simply sitting her down and testing her skills.  They might also find out that she has developed an interest in building things and architecture, and be able to use this to inspire her to tackle tasks she is less confident with.  

I’m sure other parents will have noticed similar things throughout their stints as home-schoolers. It’s therefore never been more important that the relationship between school and home is nurtured and healthy. 

DYT is here to help!

Our ‘Top Tips for schools communicating with parents’ is a good place for schools to start in establishing a mutually beneficial connection with parents, and may reduce some of the worry everyone is currently experiencing.   

Communication in the classroom is going to feel very different for the learners, and they’re going to have to get used to staying at their desks much more.  Our ‘Desktop check in’ resource helps learners express where and how they need help, and also gives teachers a better idea of how engaged their class is with each lesson. 

We have plenty of other free resources on our website to help teachers re-adjust back to school-life, especially after such a long time away from the classroom – check them out here.  

Well done to all the teachers, parents, learners and school staff who have survived their first week back to school – here’s to a safe and smooth autumn term! 

Kelly Challis

Consultant Teacher, Driver Youth Trust