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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every single person in Scotland. International research and our own experience indicates that children and young people have been affected in different ways, and in particular those who are vulnerable or have Additional Support Needs.
Some children and young people have found it difficult to re-engage in learning on return to the classroom. Others have found it difficult to make as much progress in their learning as they would have liked during lockdown. Some have experienced gaps in their learning now evident on their return to school or setting.
The lack of interaction with their peers has also significantly impacted on children’s health and wellbeing. Many report feeling anxious, and some have suffered the loss of significant others. Building relationships and managing transitions will both be important in re-engaging children and young people in their learning, and ensuring that they feel safe and confident in the school or setting.
This resource provides some core materials to support schools and settings in the core areas outlined above.
Support for staff welling
It is important to ensure staff recognise their own wellbeing needs in order to meet the needs of our learners during this challenging time.
Wellbeing planning tool: this tool can help staff recognise the early warning signs that tell you your wellbeing might be at risk.
Support for the education workforce can then support staff in identifying suitable solutions to help maintain their own wellbeing.
Whole school approaches to supporting health and wellbeing
Whole school approaches to supporting health and wellbeing: This framework developed by Mental Health in School Working Group (MHSWG) incorporates eight key principles that emphasise a health-promotion and preventative approach. It includes a self-evaluation framework to support schools identify strengths and areas for next steps linked to the eight principles.
Applying nurture as a whole school approach - A framework to support self-evaluation: This framework contains a range of practical tools that can be used to triangulate self-evaluation information and support the implementation of nurturing approaches and includes a questionnaire for staff and parents, as well as readiness checklists.
Professional learning to support schools to support the health of children and young people
Children and Young People Mental Health – Professional Learning Resource: an online professional learning resource which aims to provide school staff with knowledge and understanding of mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in schools.
Compassionate and Connected Community: This Professional Learning Activity (PLA) provides an overview of trauma informed and trauma responsive practice (Glow login required).
Supporting children and young people through grief and loss: This Professional Learning Activity (PLA) provides an overview of how to respond and support to children and young people affected by grief and loss (Glow login required).
NES Trauma Informed - National Trauma Training Programme: these online supports provide knowledge and skills required for working with children and young people impacted by trauma.
Support for learning and teaching
Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit: Information and guidance on the toolkit, combined with practitioners’ reflective practice, will enable them to evaluate the impact of their support, knowledge and understanding of dyslexia and inclusive practice. Many of the approaches are suitable for all children.
Recalibrating Equity and Social Justice in Scottish Education - Bouncing forward after COVID-19 lockdowns: Use this tool to learn from the six broad principles identified through research about the impact of COVID-19. Links to resources for assessment and interventions can be found throughout the document with a focus on equity and bouncing forward from COVID-19.
The Autism Toolbox: a resource which allows the practitioner to both improve their understanding of autism and to develop practical ways of supporting children and young people with autism.
The Compassionate and Connected Classroom: A health and wellbeing curricular resource for upper primary.
Resilience alphabet - building inner strength and wellbeing for kids - primary - The Resilience Alphabet includes ideas and activities to help your child build inner strength and wellbeing. For each letter there is a definition, something to think about, something positive to say and some suggestions of things to Make, Do or Write.
The Journey - Adventures in Resilience: This resource brings together ideas from the Hero’s Journey and the Change Curve to help young people work through and express their feelings and thoughts about change by following Jo’s Journey. It includes activities and links to useful resources at each stage of change.