As students at our independent high schools transition back into face to face learning, our school staff and wellbeing team have been working around the clock to ensure our students are safe and supported during this time.
Students have been very eager to come back into school which was a great sign for our staff, although for many young people school is one of their only safe places to go to. With added financial and emotional stresses now in households due to COVID-19, young people have missed having a supportive place to go each day.
John Martin, Principal of Wellbeing, says young people are transitioning back into school with great enthusiasm:
“We have noticed that when our students have been in the classroom lately they’ve been really excited to be back and are getting all their work done. They’re really working hard to achieve those goals they’ve set.”
“It’s also amazing some of the work young people have achieved while learning remotely. Those students who are more socially anxious have been able to get their work done without the added stresses of peer pressure and getting to school. On the other hand some other students had very different experiences during lockdown. These students didn’t feel safe at home and our schools where the safe place they could go to escape. This meant our staff were working hard to make sure these students were safe and supported while learning remotely.”
The wellbeing team and school staff have been working hard to provide the best support possible as our student’s transition back into face to face learning. By utilising educational support plans, case support plans and mental health plans, staff can identify the needs of each student and provide the best support possible.
These plans have been important as every young person’s experience and situation during this time has been different and therefore requires different support. Many young people are in situations at home where their households are facing more stresses and this is leaving many students highly anxious and in need for extra support.
“One of the main things we’re trying to do at the moment is maintain regular routines to give a sense of normalcy to our young people that they have missed over the last months,” John says. “This has proved a crucial part of re-engaging students after being at home for so long.”
For other students there were many positives that came out of working from home and the team are looking at working these into their educational support plans and utilising the technologies that have been made available during isolation.
Throughout this difficult year our young people have inspired us by their resilience. Their already disadvantaged situations have been heightened during the pandemic and yet they have continued working hard to achieve their goals. Of course none of this would be possible without our school staff and the wellbeing team who are making the transition back to face to face learning as easy as possible for our young people.