Helping your child with worries about Covid 19

Help with worries about returning to school

Please see the bottom of the page for additional resources

Coming back to school after a long absence can be difficult but there are ways we can help ourselves (or get help from others).

The first thing is to recognise your worries, to remember that we are ready to support your return and you should appreciate it will take a huge effort from yourself.

Below are some ideas about what many of you might be worried about, who could help you and what you could do to help yourself prepare for a happy return to school.

My worries

Who can help?

Possible actions

I'm worried about leaving the house


Before the day of your return, take short trips out – walk for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, then 30 minutes etc, take trips out in the car, then to the park, a garden centre, meet relatives at a 2m distance.

I don’t want to leave my family


Remember families are bound together and these bounds come from the tiny things we can do for each other and our love and care for each other. Your family want you to have a fulfilling life which includes doing things without them plus you’ll have more to talk about when you get back. We must take positive risks in life to make us grow – think of the consequences of taking a positive risk, e.g. improving your prospects of getting a good job, independence, holidays, making friends etc.

I don’t like change


A lot of people feel this way and change can be very over-whelming. Know that change happens, must happen, will happen. However, you can adapt to it by controlling the small things – I ‘have’ to go to school but I can control when I pack my bag, if I have a bath or a shower, which people I speak to, whether I will have a positive outlook, who I will help on the first day back etc. Write yourself a list of events for the first day – 1) get up at _am 2) get washed and dressed, 3) eat breakfast etc then tick them off as you do them. Don’t treat it as “Day One”, think of it as a series of smaller events and tasks.

I prefer home learning. Everything is too overwhelming at school


Some people will have hated home learning, but others will have loved it. Either way there will be things you have missed out on – practical experiments, team sports, performing, asking questions, making other people laugh, teachers’ praise, choosing your own snacks at break time. So, make a list of the fine details that you have missed and focus on them.  

I’ve fallen out with people over social media/texts etc


Consider that many people will have fallen out with friends and/or family during the lockdown but we can move on from this. You could ask a parent/carer to speak to pastoral staff on your behalf or speak to them yourself. Maybe you could ‘offer an olive branch’ to the person you have fallen out with before the start of school. Reach out to other friends and arrange to meet them on the first day back. Remain calm, offer an apology or forgiveness, this is an opportunity for a fresh start.

I think I’m behind on the work


You are certainly not alone on this one – some pupils will not have been able to work well at a computer for 5 hours a day, some will have been ill or too upset to work to their usual standard. Teachers know this and will understand – they are ready to welcome you back to school and plans are in place to ensure students catch up. The priority for now is your health and well-being.

Can I be in a ‘bubble’ with my friends?


You will be in bubbles with your pathway, so you are likely to be familiar with those you are assigned with. We will do our best to accommodate all students, but it is very much dependant on who decides to return. Please be patient with us and understand that keeping you safe is our priority.  Remember that this may have changed by September but we will keep you informed and you can cope with the changes just as you will cope with the change of going back to school.

I’m not used to getting up so early anymore and all the things I must do


For many pupils the re-establishment of routines will be difficult. This will not just be for school routines; it will also be for those basic daily life routines, such as sleep and getting up. We know that this is difficult and a source of anxiety at the beginning of every term, but this will be on a larger scale. We will need to re-learn the rhythm of the school – but we will be doing this together and we will find our new normal.

Everyone’s pretending everything is normal – it’s not normal!


Anxiety about what is happening in the world is to be expected – people are coping with it in different ways, whether they have been directly affected by it. Some use humour to cope and don’t mean any disrespect by it. Some people just want to be back in school, work hard, and forget about it for a while. Others will need some support to come to terms with their feelings. All these reactions are normal – if you need support please do reach out and ask.

I might get ill


This is a tough one, people do get ill, but they also get ill when we aren’t in school too. We have done everything we can to help prevent illnesses related to coronavirus in school.

I’ve been feeling very down lately


These feelings can be overwhelming too but luckily there are a lot of ways to cope with them. Talking to someone about your feelings (even if they don’t have any ‘answers’) often is the place to start. Don’t run from your feelings – take control and tackle them head on. You might need support to do this so ask a parent to contact the school and/or one of the support services like CAMHS. The SENCO and your teachers have lots of resources that might be able to help you.

I’ve lost a family member or friend


There are lots of sources of bereavement support available and some college staff have been specifically trained in bereavement support. Please ask a parent/carer to contact college if you need this support.

Useful websites:

Young Minds

Helping your child with anxiety- click here

Supporting your child during the coronavirus pandemic - click here

Tips for looking after yourself in lockdown click here

Hands on Scotland

Relaxation ideas for parents to complete with your child - click here

NHS Scotland

Relaxation techniques to help cope with anxiety - click here

British Psychological Society

Support and advice for schools, parents and carers - click here

Children's Commissioner

Children's guide to coronavirus - click here


Mind Ed

Mental health support - click here

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