The British Psychological Society (BPS) has released new guidance for schools helping children, particularly those who are vulnerable, cope with the return to school.
A resilience and coping framework for supporting transitions back to school focuses on strengths, hope and children’s ability to cope, rather than the language of risk, trauma, damage or illness.
The guidance stated that the most important factors that support the process of resilience for children include a sense of belonging, strong relationships, agency, high expectations and the opportunity to participate as valued members of the community. It said the coronavirus pandemic had been a “collective experience”, which may help promote a sense of belonging amongst children and young people.
Dr Dan O’Hare, lead author and co-chair elect of the BPS Division of Educational and Child Psychology, said: “There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has presented and will continue to present challenges for individuals, families, schools and local communities. Children and young people have been unable to attend school, see their friends or teachers and some will have experienced sudden and upsetting events such as serious family illness or bereavement.
“However, it is important that we consider the different ways children have coped and encourage further optimism. As we move towards school transition, this new framework will help schools support individual children by considering their unique risk and protective factors, particularly those children that may be especially vulnerable.”
The British Psychological Society is a registered charity which acts as the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK, and is responsible for the promotion of excellence and ethical practice in the science, education and application of the discipline.
Read the return to school guidance here.