Nottingham City Educational Psychology Service
We know there will be lot of uncertainty around the current COVID-19 outbreak, particularly given that the situation is constantly developing and the information about the virus remains incomplete. This document should help to outline how we can support children and young people’s emotional wellbeing during this time at home or at school.
- Jigsaw activity – it is important to recognise that we are all unique individuals, but we can also come together as a group of students, class, or year group. Find a jigsaw template here to create your own display!
- Recognising positive qualities - Take a sheet of paper write your name in the middle. Pass around the group or class and write a positive comment for each person in turn.
- Worry box – Post your feelings, thoughts and questions
- Gingerbread man outline activity – Identify and label your current emotions. How does it feel? Where are these feelings?
- Gratitude journal – It is important to remind ourselves things we are grateful for in the midst of a difficult time. Look here for some inspiration.
- Free online mindfulness classes
- Mindfulness quotes – Colour some in here or research and create your own.
- Guided imagery – Utilising your sensations through imagination. For younger children – listen here.
- Cosmic kids yoga
- Meditation for kids
- 18 Mindfulness games, worksheets and activities
- Tips for calming anxiety during a difficult time – The Child Mind Society
- Puppy Mind by Andrew Jordan Nance
- Mindfulness does not always require sitting down by Smiling Mind and ABC radio.
- Meditation and sleep stories
- How to explain coronavirus’ for children at home
- Coronavirus: What is being done to tackle the virus?
- Cartoon about coronavirus
- Coronavirus Social Story by Carol Gray
- ELSA activity understanding why some children need to be at home or school – build a home or school and use the question cards and thought bubbles to record your thoughts and feelings.
- How to see germs spread
- Washy washy clean song – how to wash your hands
- Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA) Superhero Posters
As well as practical support for children and young people’s emotional wellbeing during this time, it is important to maintain physical activity where possible, whilst following the government guidelines on social distancing and self-isolation. Physical activity can be a great way to support mental health and emotional wellbeing for children and young people, and all of the family.
Given the current situation, children and young people, particularly those in Year 6, 11 or 13 may be feeling frustration, sadness and upset. They may also be experiencing feelings of loss. These are completely normal reactions to the circumstances. For now, it may be helpful to recognise what we might be able to contribute in validating their emotional experiences and alternative ideas to support the idea of change and transition.
Schools may wish to consider using a video in place of leavers’ assemblies which can no longer take place. Children and young people could send a video in of them singing to an agreed song and a member of staff could compile this. The school could then stream a leavers’ assembly online. School staff, children and young people may also wish to record messages and compile these in the same way as a keepsake.
Creating a leavers book electronically – schools may wish to support children and young people in adding to an online document which could serve as an alternative to a leaver’s book. Children could add their picture to a page and their teachers and peers can add comments or other photographs to the book
Darlington Educational Psychology Service has created resources specifically for those in Year 6 and Year 11 to support them to understand the difficult feelings associated with change and loss and to help them look towards the future.
Children and young people leaving year 6 and transitioning to secondary school may be feeling anxious or worried about the big change. Rise Above has created some resources which teachers and parents may find helpful to explore with young people during this time.
Children and young people leaving year 11 or 13 may also be experiencing anxiety. A document which may help young people to rationalise their worries can be found here. It may be helpful for them to talk through this with a trusted adult.
Young Minds have produced a helpful video in conjunction with young people to discuss their experiences of transitioning to secondary school.
Children and young people may wish to reflect on their memories of school, particularly those leaving Year 6 or Year 11. An activity worksheet for young people to complete can be found here.
- Jigsaw activity – it is important to recognise that we are all unique individuals, but we can also come together as a group of students, class, or year group. Find a jigsaw template here to create your own display! This can be particularly helpful to support children returning to new classes to promote a sense of belonging and connectedness.
- For those transitioning between year groups, schools may find it helpful for their new teacher to record a video message to allow the children and young people to get to know them. Pupils could send a video response, email or postcard back to the teacher to let them know what they have been up to whilst away from school.
- Children and young people may wish to send in a photograph of themselves. A member of the school staff could compile and distribute these back to students to let them know which peers will be in their class when they return.
It can be helpful to remind children and young people that this is a temporary time, and we can still plan for the future. This might help them to see beyond the current situation and to take time to consider creating action plans for goals they want to achieve. A ‘Planning for the future’ prompt sheet can be found in here along with a goal setting template.
- Futures (16-25 support) - 08000 85 85 20
- Futures - email@example.com
- Careers advice
- The Princes Trust
- YoungMinds – if you need urgent help text YM to 85258
- Childline - Phone 0800 1111 (24 hours)
- Childline - Chat 1-2-1 with a counsellor online
- The Mix (support for under 25s) - 0808 808 4994 (24 hours)
- The Mix - Get support online
- Samaritans - 116 123 (24 hours)
- Samaritans - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Something Bad Happened: A Kid’s Guide to Coping with Events in the News by Dawn Huebner (suitable for ages 6-12)
- The Day the Sea Went out and Never Came Back by Margot Sunderland (suitable for ages 4-12)
- Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley
- When Dinosaurs Die (Laurie Krasny-Brown and Marc Brown)
- Always and Forever (Debi Gliori and Alan Durant)
- When Someone Very Special Dies by Marge Heegaard (Drawing book suitable for ages 9-12)
- The Invisible String by Patrice Karst and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (suitable for ages 4-7)
- Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud
- Sad Isn’t Bad: A Good-grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss (Self-help books for kids) by Michaelene Mundy
- Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine: Your Activity Book to Help When Someone Has Died by Diana Crossley
- No Matter What by Debi Gliori
- Cruse Bereavement Care – dealing with bereavement and grief, including specific information for children and young people.
- Winston’s wish – supporting children through bereavement during coronavirus.
- Child Bereavement UK – video offering support for parents of children who are or have been bereaved.
- Hope Again – support website specifically for young people who have been bereaved.
How to contact us:
If you have any question feel free to email us on email@example.com or contact your link educational psychologist directly.