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 Friday 27 March 2020 Update for Parents/Carers from Mrs Oxton, Headteacher

During this week all teachers have been telephoning each child in their class. Even though school is now closed and we are not seeing your children every day, we still have the very important responsibility of checking regularly on their welfare, their safety and their home learning.

 

Teachers have not been able to speak to some pupils because calls have not connected or phones have not been answered.

As teachers are working from home, they will be calling using their personal phone, so when you receive a call from an unknown number, please answer, as it is probably your child’s teacher calling!

 

We would like to remind parents/carers of the following:

 

·         Please stick to government guidelines at all times about what you can and cannot do at the moment (children should NOT be playing with friends or going to relatives houses)

 

·         Put a routine in place for your children, some teachers have telephoned to speak to pupils in their class and found that they have been in bed at 11.00 in the morning; children should be getting up at a reasonable time

 

·         We are starting to think about how we can provide further home learning via our website, but activities that we sent home when school closed were designed to last 2 weeks; you are not expected to become teachers and your children cannot be expected to learn as they do in school

 

 We recognise that this continues to be a very anxious time for everyone and we are all facing a new way of living at the moment.

 

Below is some advice for parents/carers about how to talk to your children about what is happening and how you can manage your own worries and concerns.

 

Talking to children about Coronavirus

The current situation means that more children throughout the world are becoming affected by what is happening. Many families have relatives and friends that are infected, isolated at home or are at risk of losing their jobs. This means that in addition to the danger of the virus infection, many families are experiencing increased worry, anxiety and possible changes to their daily lives.

Be honest

It is it is important to be truthful, children will be hearing and seeing frightening information all around them. Just because the adults say, “It’s alright” will not alleviate their anxiety. Check out what children understand about what is going on around them, especially as they may be frightened by what is happening.

They will be experiencing constant ‘dangerous’ news and possible changes in everyday life, as well as recognising that adults around them are concerned. It is also ok to say you don’t know, as there are also things we do not yet understand about Coronavirus at this time.

Talk openly to children about the changes they are seeing around them due to Coronavirus. Give them factual, honest and clear information, but adjust the amount of detail to suit the child’s age.

Take cues from your child

Ask your child to tell you what they’ve heard and how they feel. Give time for them to ask questions. This avoids encouraging frightening fantasies.

Deal with your own anxiety

It’s only natural that you will be feeling worried at this time. Try to recognise when you’re feeling anxious, as that isn’t the time to talk to your child. Take some time to calm down before talking to your child.

Be reassuring

Children are very egocentric (think about themselves), so hearing about Coronavirus on the news may be enough to make them seriously worry that they’ll catch it.

Reassure your child what is being done to prevent the disease from spreading and that children actually seem not to be as at risk as older people.

Keeping safe

Focus on what you’re doing to keep safe. Involving your child will empower them to know what they can do to keep themselves safe. Use a favourite song/rhyme to encourage them to wash their hands thoroughly.

Stick to a routine

Change of routine and uncertainty can make children feel anxious especially now that school is shut. Try to structure days with regular activities. Established mealtimes and bedtimes are important in helping keep your child calm and healthy.

Keep talking

Tell children that you will keep them updated as you learn more and that they can ask you more questions when they think of them. Keep lines of communication open.

 

If you are a parent or carer and require any further advice or support from an educational psychologist relating to the above; please contact the following help line: 0161 276 0115 – Monday to Friday 09:00-12:00

 

Helpful resources:

BPS Highlights Importance of Talking to Children about Coronavirus  

ELSA Support / Coronavirus for children

Autism.org

Carol Gray Social Stories

 

Communication

 

To repeat the other advice I have given you before on communication – for matters in relation to school closure, future re-opening and other matters in general, we will continue to communicate with you either by text or through updates on the home page of the website. We will always notify you by text if an update is posted on the website.

You can also continue to contact us by emailing admin@cheetwood.manchester.sch.uk if you have any general questions.

If you want information about home learning, please contact your child’s teacher through the class email address.

If you have not yet registered your email address with your child’s teacher please do so urgently. It has to be a parent/carer email address, not the child’s.

 

All our families are in our thoughts during this very challenging time.  Although we remain closed we still want to offer you our care, support and advice, so if there is anything at all that you need, please do get in touch.

 

MRS OXTON

HEADTEACHER