Schools is England are due to reopen their doors (more fully) to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from* June 1st. And with this in mind, I’ve been searching for resources to help children who may be anxious about this huge change. It’s not only a big change from being at home for such a long time, but also a big change as school will be different to how they left it in March (with smaller class sizes, potentially different teachers etc)
(*the exact date and details will depend on your school and local authority).
Here’s some fantastic resources to help your little ones with this change.
- Social Stories™- Created correctly, Social Stories™ are (in my opinion) an excellent way of explaining new skills, concepts, social situations/’rules’ in a simple and concise way that follows a predictable (well researched) format. The concept of Social Stories™ comes from Carol Gray and this book by her ‘The New Social Story Book™‘ provides advice and examples of how to safely and meaningfully use and apply Social Stories™ to help some people with autism understand certain social situations. Dr Joanna Baker-Rogers, Director of Busy Life has very kindly created one to help autistic children who are returning to school. It’s free to download here.
- Worry Ladder- I love this idea. This is where you draw a ladder with the child, getting them to order their worries. Putting the bigger ones at the top of the ladder etc. Prioritising worries can help them all seem less overwhelming.
- Worry Monster– I’m a huge fan of worry monsters. They are basically a soft toy that you ‘feed’ with your written worries. Great for helping little ones let go of their worries in a fun, play-based way.
- The Huge Bag of Worries￼Books are always a brilliant way of supporting children with their learning and I love using them to help children understand and express their worries too. This book is particularly good for discussing worries. And we have a few more recommendations of picture books included in this post here.
- Special i Apps– have created some great advice on helping children who are returning to school after the lockdown. Their advice can be found in this blog post here. As part of this they have created a brilliant cartoon video about what school might be like for kids. Find out more about Special i Apps here.
- My Mood Stars– if you’re looking for something a bit special to help your child with their worries and emotions. I’d thoroughly recommend My Mood Stars, they are an adorable, tactile and enjoyable way for children to learn about their emotions and express them. Find out more here.
- Strength Cards– These are also well worth a look at. Durable, waterproof resources to help children at school or at home with their personal, social and emotional development.
- Free PSHE Resources– for teachers there’s a wealth of wonderful resources that are being shared for free as part of the education community on twitter. We particularly loved @brassoteach‘s free PSHE Resources which can be downloaded here or from his twitter page here.
- Children’s book about returning to school after lockdown- Nikki Saunders (author of My Awesome Autism and I’m Going to School- Transition workbook) is currently working with Neath Port Talbot Educational Psychology Service to create a book called “Welcome Back Eddie, After Lock Down” this will be available on amazon soon and I will update this page with a link when it is.
- Deaf Books Resources- Deaf Books have some brilliant resources, including a free download of BSL for ‘back to school’ which can be found here. They also have BSL FEELINGS & EMOTIONS FLASHCARDS (LET’S SIGN BSL)to help children communicate their feelings. Find out more about their resources here.
- Chatter Pack have also created a transition passport to help provide individualised support for children during school transitions, which may be particularly useful at this time. It can be found here.
- NCL Communication Friendly have also produced some fantastic free resources, we love this booklet to help children returning to school after COVID-19. Find it here
– Please do let us know of any resources you are aware of, so we can share them too.