In November, the Children’s Commissioner, Ann Longfield, released a report exploring how children feel to be back at school after the first lockdown and the summer holidays. This was a unique time for students, with having received and completed work from their schools, but others not having as much support. The ‘Some sort of normal: what children want from schools now’ report looks into how students felt as they returned to school after months away…
Emotions on return
Having been away from their friends and teachers for some time, 71% of children said that they were ‘excited to be back’ at school. Primary pupils were especially happy, with 80% of them agreeing with the statement. Students commented that they were pleased to see their friends again and were able to ask teachers for help with work more easily.
However, despite the happiness of being back, 25% of secondary students also indicated that they felt ‘nervous’, ‘worried’ and ‘stressed’ about returning.
Missing so many lessons has been a cause of concern for students, especially the ones studying for GCSEs or A levels. Half of the students surveyed agreed with the statement, ‘I am worried that I will struggle to catch up with my schoolwork this year’.
When respondents were asked what kind of thing they would like their school to do to help them catch up, a third indicated that ‘additional education opportunities’ was their preferred option.
However, 20% of students said that their school didn’t need to do anything more, as they felt they were already doing all that they could to help them.
Worries about the virus
The report found that children across all age groups were fearful of catching the virus at school and passing it on to members of their family. This was especially concerning for children whose parents were vulnerable or who lived in single parent households.
The observations in the report demonstrate the important role that school plays in many children’s lives. Reopening schools represented a return to some kind of normality, which was welcomed, especially by students whose parents were working throughout their time at home in lockdown and did not have time to dedicate to them. And despite the remaining anxieties over catching up with lost learning, exam preparation or catching and passing on the virus, the report concludes that getting students back into school has had a positive impact.
Read the full ‘Some sort of normal’ report here: https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/cco-some-sort-of-normal.pdf