This week we celebrate a milestone! Our campus is reopen for senior students, and we are so looking forward to welcoming them back! Amongst the excitement, there is a collective understanding within our academic team that students will need a lot of support as we all get used to the changes and safety measures that have been put in place. We recognise that our students have had many different experiences over the past 4 months and that their campus experience will be different to how things used to be. For this reason, Dulwich College Puxi team is working very closely with British Educational Psychologist & Service Manager for Social, Emotional Mental Health and Wellbeing, Dr. Michelle Sancho.
Dr. Sancho is a highly experienced medical practitioner specialising in psychological first aid. Dr. Sancho has a lot of experience helping students to cope and thrive with ‘new normals’ after major transformative events. Together with Dr Sancho’s guidance, we will be focusing on 5 key areas to bring our community of students and staff back together as we navigate our return to campus life.
The five areas of focus for students’ wellbeing as they return to campus are:
I feel happy and safe to be back at school.
The restrictions in place are for my wellbeing and I respect them.
I am enjoying reconnecting with my peers who have had different experiences to me.
I am valued in my school and I feel a strong sense of belonging.
Whilst life isn’t totally back to normal, things are getting better for me.
Some parents have asked us how they can support their child at home. This is great to hear and we welcome your partnership!
Here are some tips for helping your child:
Talk about the positives and the negatives
Children will have mixed feelings; they may feel excited, nervous or sad. We recommend that you schedule a family meeting or sit down with each child one-on-one. Give your child space to talk about the positives and the negatives going back to campus.
Validate their worries
Your child’s feelings, both positive and negative are completely valid so please do acknowledge them by asking them to explain their feelings, concerns or worries – and then ask them how they might try to overcome some of these concerns or worries. Do try to let your child come up with practical solutions. Giving your child the opportunity to exercise control is important. Reminding them that teachers are all ready and waiting to help, talk and support is also very important here.
Celebrate all the things your child has learned and achieved!
It's also important to talk about fears that didn't come true, and about things that your child did better than they expected. We can walk away from this stronger than we were before: we have learned new things and we've challenged ourselves in ways we never thought we would! Arming your child with the acknowledgement they have achieved during this time is a positive step forward to returning to campus.
Bring back those familiar routines
Bed times may have slipped during this period. Students may be going to bed and waking up later than when they were in their normal school routines. Getting prepared mentally and getting prepared physically are important. Getting dressed smartly, grooming, eating a proper breakfast are key…please make sure you allow 3 or 4 days to get your child back into their normal routines if they have slipped out of them.
Have a family follow-up after school starts back
After being back for a couple of days, have another family meeting or one-on-one session with your child, to discuss what's working for them and what needs readjusting. Check in to see if there are any fears that they need to have addressed. School and home partnerships are so important at this time so please do connect with mentors and teachers, if you are noticing concerns or anxiety.
As always, we thank our parent community for your ongoing support. Please stay connected with us – our doors are always open.