Supporting Children during Covid 19 school closures

We know that this is uncharted territory for all of us and we want to support you and the children as best we can.
Please find links below to websites that may help you in the tricky conversations that you may be having with your children.
We are thinking of you,
               The Western Road Team

The NSPCC has created Covid 19 – Parents Page, an online Hub providing advice and support for parents and carers during the coronavirus outbreak. Content includes: information on keeping children safe from abuse; tips and advice to help parents working from home; and ways to talk to a child who is anxious or worried about coronavirus. Please share with your networks, family and friends.

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/coronavirus-advice-suppport-children-families-parents

 

The Under 12s Childline website (www.childline.org.uk/kids) has a new page to help primary age children make sense of the Covid-19 situation, with information and advice as well as tips for managing our feelings. There are also some lovely games and activities to help children manage their worries.

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/anxiety-stress-panic/worries-about-the-world/coronavirus

Mindfulness

Since lockdown started, I have been looking for mindfulness resources that are suitable for children.  There are lots of ideas around on the internet, but none really gave the level of guidance that I think is required to ensure the that children take it seriously.  The resources that I am sharing here are from Purple Mash and I think they give a good level of guidance.  Each lesson does look quite long, but that’s only because they are giving helpful tips and sometimes a script – you don’t need to follow this if you are confident.

This is a set of six sessions, you could try one a week.   I don’t think it matters what order you do them in or if you miss out any that you or your child don’t like the sound of.  Favourite sessions can, of course, be repeated.

My two boys and I have been lucky enough to take part in some mindfulness sessions with a trained practitioner and it has taught us some extremely valuable skills that we will be able to use again and again throughout our lives.  The sorts of techniques we learnt with our practitioner are similar (some are the same) to the ones in these sessions. 

I really believe that we have an opportunity here to teach our children a very important life skill.  To have a way to be able to focus and quiet the mind – or go some way towards that – is such a valuable tool to aid our mental wellbeing.

NB - Many of the sessions mention a chime sound, I found one of these on You Tube as I don’t have a chime bar/ triangle at home.

If a session mentions resources, they are the last pages of the PDF, so scroll down and you will find them.

I hope these resources are useful for you and your families.

Mrs Bennett

Axel Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. Published by Nosy Crow, and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.

The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:

• What is the coronavirus?
• How do you catch the coronavirus?
• What happens if you catch the coronavirus?
• Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?
• Is there a cure for the coronavirus?
• Why are some places we normally go to closed?
• What can I do to help?
• What’s going to happen next?

We want to make sure that this book is accessible to every child and family and so the book is offered totally free of charge to anyone who wants to read it. However, we have suggested, at the back of the book, that families might make a donation to help our health service if they find the book useful: https://www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/.

For those children who might like to create a timetable to help order their day, Widgit are making their resources available free for 30 day. Follow the link below to sign up.
Or for Home learning activites look at this
Children will be spending more time on screens than they might have before. It is, therefore, even more important that we keep talking to them about internet safety. THINK U KNOW are producing fortnightly guidance on how to support their online safety during this time.

Thinkuknow is an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command.

Since 2006, Thinkuknow has been keeping children and young people safe by providing education about sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.

Children with speech and language difficulties can find support here, but also for children who are not opening up about their feelings during the lockdown.
Have a look at Gaming Advice from Ask About Games.
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This website has some really useful pages on how to engage children in conversations, if you think they might be worried and don't know how to approach it.
 
 
This page includes activities that might induce conversations.