What’s in the package?
- Welcome back and establishing the safe environment (including new Covid safety rules and routines)
- Understanding the coronavirus and how to stay safe and well
- Reconnecting with friends
- Belonging and feeling safe at school
- Managing worries and fears
- Being positive and looking forward to learning
- Gratitude and appreciation
- Loss and bereavement
Nurturing health and wellbeing
Whether you are using Jigsaw programmes or not, you are welcome to download our new recovery package to help you support your children aged 5-11 as they return to school.
There is a pack for KS1 and a pack for KS2. Each comprises:
- A welcome back assembly (with script, PowerPoint and embedded original songs)
- Lesson plans (each with resources and PowerPoint) on the themes listed above, with two additional lessons for year six on transition
There are, of course, many lessons in the Jigsaw materials that already address managing emotions, working together, friendship, loss and change, which will be helpful at this time regardless of where they sit in the sequential learning process through the modular scheme.
As they return, we suggest screening children using the straightforward Jigsaw REST scale (resilience, engagement, scale, toolkit) – a 10-descriptor scale measuring emotional wellbeing and resilience. You can, if needs be, offer interventions to boost whichever aspects of the scale need support. We are currently offering the REST materials as a digital download at a huge discount to enable schools to make use of it in this way.
The three Rs
There are three Rs that sum up a healthy, positive approach to returning to school.
Jigsaw embodies these through its explicit teaching, predictable structure, safe learning environment created by the Jigsaw Charter and the relationships built, and its attention to building social skills and to developing mindfulness.
We have embedded some of our original Jigsaw music and songs in the lesson and assembly PowerPoints, aiming to lift spirits by sharing music, singing together and by allowing the lyrics to support the positive learning messages.
One of the lessons in each key stage includes an activity where children make up lyrics for the song, ‘That’s what Jiggies know’, thinking about the human qualities that help bring peace to the world, relevant and relational.
‘Jiggies’ is the collective noun for a group of the Jigsaw friends (soft toy teaching aids acting as distancing tools and talking objects in circle time).
Re-establishing old routines and establishing necessary new ones e.g. frequent hand-washing, helps us feel secure and in control.
Learning itself provides security for many. Concentration and focus, being ‘in flow’ and absorbed in new learning can be therapeutic and exciting in equal measure.
Jigsaw lessons all follow the same structure giving this sense of predictability. The structure takes account of the learning process:
– Connect us (an inclusive whole-class game building social skills)
– Calm me (mindfulness practice using the Jigsaw chime and breathing techniques)
– Open my mind (to the essence of the learning about to happen)
– Tell me/show me (introduction to new information or skill)
– Let me learn (learning activities to make the learning my own)
– Help me reflect (on my learning progress and my emotional learning this lesson) and record this in my Jigsaw journal
Jigsaw lessons also enable self-regulation and pupil voice, asking for help and knowing how to express emotions are givens throughout Jigsaw. The pupil tracking process flags up those in need of emotional or pastoral support.
Why plough on with the prescribed curriculum if there are unmet needs hampering the learning experience?
The Jigsaw recovery lessons give safe and structured opportunities for children to talk about their lockdown experiences and to deal with the emotions they may have experienced and need to express and understand. The shivery worries and popcorn activities enable this in a non-threatening way, giving space and the calm inner environment for learning to happen within.
The lockdown experience and its impact on children needs processing, and a re-focus on the positive and the things we are grateful for supports a return to the school community and learning. So much good and so many good people shone through the lockdown and focusing on this provides a positive angle on the pandemic.
All of the above, however, needs underpinning by quality relationships between the adults and children, children and children, and adults and adults across the school community. We may need to consciously make more effort than normal with this, re-establishing relationships after absence and with so little time before the summer break.
This goes without saying, but with varying levels of isolation during lockdown, this may need conscious work. There are lessons and activities throughout Jigsaw to help with this, in fact a whole six-session unit, ‘Relationships’ in every year group, as well as additional lessons in the recovery package.
Each lesson encourages a circle time, and whilst this is done slightly differently while social distancing, it is an essential part of building confidence and trust in self and others. The Jigsaw friends, integral to Jigsaw, usually offer a comforting hug during these activities but at the moment have their own seats and participate with virtual hugs.
Building positive relationships
Carl Rogers, a psychologist who developed person-centred psychotherapy, suggested that there are three core conditions of positive relationships:
- Unconditional positive regard
- Congruence (authenticity)
These need extra attention as we bring children back to school. Our relationships with them, our own emotional state while we are with them and how we ‘show up’ for them, is vital. The three Rs scratch the surface. Teachers know their children and their awareness of children’s needs is vital.
Most children are resilient and will manage to cope with the pandemic, the lockdown and returning to school with Covid safety rules but we can support that process.
We can do this by screening their emotional wellbeing as they return, offering interventions to build resilience and wellbeing, providing lessons that explicitly teach about and give space to think through the key themes they may be facing, ensuring well-structured routines and learning processes are in place, but most importantly, paying close attention to how we ‘show up’ for them, the relationships we build with them and how we embody Rogers’ three core conditions.
One PSHE lead/class teacher said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to all the Jigsaw team for your ongoing support. Many schemes/programmes you buy as a school need upgrades or additional materials that need to be paid for but Jigsaw is always there with up to date materials and policies whenever they are needed. When you buy the Jigsaw scheme you become part of its family and that is much appreciated.”
Download the Jigsaw recovery package: https://www.jigsawpshe.com/recovery/
Jigsaw PSHE is a comprehensive, lesson-a-week spiral programme for personal, social, health education, each lesson having all the resources needed to deliver it. SMSC and British values are mapped to every lesson and the pedagogy is grounded in sound psychology.
Mindfulness philosophy underpins the ages 3-16 through-programme. Jigsaw aims to equip children for life, to build character and nurture well-rounded, compassionate human beings with agency in the world. Relationship with self is the starting point for relationship with others, and this work engenders a community and ethos conducive to learning.