St Agnes’ put the children’s mental health and wellbeing at the centre of our thinking and planning. We acknowledged that many children would have had various experiences during the school closures. However, the common thread running through all of this was the feelings of loss, loss of routine, structure, friendship, opportunity and freedom. We knew that these losses can trigger anxiety in any child. During our home visits over this time, we knew that many parents had already raised feelings of anxiety around our return, not just for their children, but also themselves.
We knew that being in a state of anxiety would mean that our children would be in a place where they could not learn effectively. So with this in mind, the school community became our focus, we thought about the most effective ways that we could support our children’s ability to learn. Handling the curriculum sensitively meant we could support the academic expectations for our children, as well as support them emotionally as they learnt to feel safe again in their school environment.