Professor Clare Wood shares how to support your pupils’ wellbeing when they return to school after lockdown POST-LOCKDOWN WELLBEING THE NEXT BIG THING [ THE TREND ] SUPPORTING PUPILS Monitoring and supporting children’s wellbeing and attitudes to learning after a potential six-month absence from school is going to be such an important aspect of the new normal when children return to the classroom. GET INVOLVED Wellbeing and Attitudes to Learning: Survey and Strategies is an online tool designed to highlight children’s strengths and indicate weaknesses across four critical aspects of wellbeing: positivity, sense of self-efficacy, what motivates them and how resilient they are. Children take a 20-minute online survey where they answer multiple-choice questions about how they feel about school, and this creates a profile showing the areas of wellbeing they need the most support with. Follow-up evidence-based strategies for individuals, classes and whole year groups are also provided to help support pupil wellbeing and re-engage children with their learning. WHAT’S HAPPENING? We are dealing with so many unknowns in relation to how the time away from the classroom has impacted children’s learning and wellbeing. School isn’t just about lessons, of course. It is about having access to safe places to learn, to trusted adults, to friends. It is a place to play, to explore social relationships and to develop a sense of identity. Returning from a six- month absence from the classroom is likely to not only introduce additional barriers to children’s learning once back at school, but may also impact their relationships with peers and teachers as they process the earlier period of lockdown, their new socially-distant school environment, and, for some, trauma. WHAT’S THE IMPACT? The loss of the physical school environment for most children during lockdown is likely to have impacted their wellbeing in a range of ways: those who have developed a negative relationship with learning and of school, those who lack confidence in their own abilities, and those who are low because school isn’t ‘school’ as they expected it. Throw into the picture anxiety related to the existence of a new, mysterious but potentially fatal virus, and the impact of losing family members and family friends, and we are likely to have large numbers of children re-entering school in September whose wellbeing and attitudes to learning are likely to be negatively impacted. WHAT’S NEXT? The return to school represents a significant period of transition for all children. They may not be moving schools, but the schools they re-enter are going to be changed environments, with new rules and new physical set-ups that will change the way children feel when they enter them. The need to monitor children’s wellbeing and attitudes to learning goes beyond any desire to maximise children’s attainment and improve their behaviour and motivation: we have to have some sort of mechanism in place to enable us to identify our most vulnerable students on return, recognising that this may be a much larger group than we had before lockdown.  Discover More... Contact: wellbeing-survey PARTNER CONTENT | 49