Getting the kids organised for school can be a stretch at the best of times but coming out of a months-long COVID-19 lockdown is even harder.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that all students will be back at school by October 25, so now is the time to brush of those school uniforms and get planning.
Schools will have a range of COVID-safe measures in place, with the second and third stages of the return to school plan now combined.
Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12 students will still return to face-to-face learning on October 18, with all other years now returning one week later.
The NSW Government has provided some tips for parents to get back to old routines as your child heads back to class.
- Find school equipment and check uniforms and shoes still fit - your child may have grown. Give yourself enough time to organise replacements or a uniform alternative if needed.
- Encourage your child to check their school timetable if needed, pack their school bag, and get their lunch box, drink bottle and uniform ready.
- Plan ahead for making lunch boxes again. You can find some nutritious ideas at www.education.nsw.gov.au/parents-and-carers/wellbeing/health-and-safety/nutrition-at-school and www.healthy-kids.com.au/parents/.
- Promote positive conversations. Let them know that school staff are looking forward to seeing them. If they feel nervous or worried, help them understand this is a normal reaction, and that you and their teachers are there to support them.
- Remind your child that everyone at school is working hard to make sure that everyone is safe and that anyone who is unwell will stay home.
- Look at the school website, Facebook page and newsletters to learn about new procedures that may have been introduced such as changes to parents' access to the school grounds, drop off and pick up points as well as new rules such as wearing face masks or hygiene rules.
- Allow more time than usual on the first morning back to calmly get ready. Take your child to school if that will help build a greater sense of security. Alternatively, encourage your child to meet up with a friend before school and travel in together.
- Routines help provide certainty and increase feelings of security, so it will help to re-establish routines and plan for the return. After-school routines to review the day's learning and complete homework tasks will also be important.
- Provide opportunities for your child to play and relax at the end of the day. Returning to school can be a big deal especially after lockdown.
- Remember your school is there to help - contact them with any concerns or issues you might have.
Go to www.education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/advice-for-families for more tips to make the transition back to school run more smoothly.