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Back to school checklist for parents and carers

23rd February, 2021

It’s been a while since the children were in the classroom and following the Prime Minister’s announcement, schools are ready to re-open on Monday, March 8.

With the return now in sight, have you got everything you need for when they head back to the classrooms? We put together a simple checklist to make sure everyone is ready for the big day. Check out the checklist below: 

Pack your own school supplies: With the risk of germs spreading by sharing school supplies, pack some pens, pencils, notepads for your child to use without the worry of sharing with others. Alternatively, your child's school may have already thought ahead and have dedicated supplies for each pupil. Keep an eye out for communication from your child's school as they will most likely highlight their day to day plans in there. 

Don’t send children to school sick: You should develop a routine for quickly checking your child for a fever in the morning and also confirm that your child does not have a cough or any other sign of illness. If they do have a fever, you should not give the child fever-reducing medication and send her/him off to school, but instead be sure to keep the child home.

Hand sanitiser:  Children should have a 60% or higher alcohol-based hand sanitiser, which kills most types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is recommended everyone has their own, not just to avoid handwashing in communal bathrooms, but also for other situations where hand contact is required, e.g public transport. It is important to practice using these items with your child before sending them off to school, so they get into a routine and understand why they need to be used. 

Pack spare masks: Who would have thought having a supply of extra masks would be part of back-to-school prepping! It is useful to pack spare masks in case you lose or are unable to use your original mask. It is recommended that pupils should have at least one or two spares with them daily in case their masks break or get dirty. It is also a good idea for your child to start practicing wearing face masks now before they return to school. Parents should gradually build up face covering ‘endurance’ in their children by having them wear a face covering for longer and longer periods of time because if a child does not wear a mask during the day right now, then they will most likely have a tough time wearing one once they return to the classrooms. 

Stay positive: It is amazing what a positive mindset can do but by staying positive you are telling your children that things are going to be ok.  As parents you are constantly teaching your children and your example is one they are exposed to more than any classroom or teacher. If your children hear you speaking optimistically about the school year they will adopt that attitude. This will be a difficult transition period for us all and we all need to maintain a sense of flexibility and patience and recognise that children are going to need some time to readjust to school, especially when the adults in their school are wearing masks and the whole environment looks different. We need to adjust the expectations we have for children and meet them where they are, not where we think they ‘should’ be.

We hope these back-to-school tips have been useful in helping you and your family plan for their return to school. Please get in touch here if there are any other tips you would like to share with us. 

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