On Monday, Beech class returned to school after a tumultuous spring term and (hopefully) a chocolate-filled break from the anxieties of home learning. We were amazed and delighted at how ready to learn the children are, and how keen they are to get back to their usual routines. And we’re so proud of the way the children have remembered their brilliant classroom behaviours – they’re listening to each other with interest, chiming in with new ideas and brimming with imagination!
But the last year has often been confusing and scary for adults and children alike, and in Beech class, we’ve begun using our ‘Worries Chest’ when children have a problem they want to tell us in confidence. It’s a box with a slot in the top where the children can leave us a note, if they ever have a worry, no matter how big or small. We check the box at the end of every day, and if someone’s left us a note, we discuss how best we can help them. This might range from taking them aside the next morning, to letting them know we share their worries about the wider world, or asking another member of staff for advice if they’ve dealt with a similar situation in their class.
We keep the information as confidential as possible (within the school policies), and always have a 1:1 conversation with the child first. In PSHCE, we’ve talked a lot with our children about who they trust with their problems, and we’ll always encourage them to share worries with parents or friends as well as us, if they feel able. We’ll check in with the child over the next few days to see how they’re getting on – sometimes, just a little reassurance that their problem has been heard is enough, but sometimes it will take more to help them, and we’ll have to ask for help from parents or senior staff. We’ll always let them know if we think that’s the right approach, and make sure they’re comfortable with us sharing that information with another trusted adult.
So, please know that if your child has anxieties at home or in school, whether it’s being worried about illness in the family or not being sure what our new maths topic is about, we’re always here to help them through. The Worries Chest is always available, and we really want our children to feel safe and reassured here. Seeing Beech class coming in happy and energetic is a great feeling, and we aim to do all we can to help them continue that way.