Resources for Teachers & other Key Workers

Return to School Resources – Primary

These materials are available for download using the links below (please note, the links are only visible when you are logged in to the site).

Our Return to School resources are designed to provide a pathway for teachers supporting children on their return to primary school. They are non-prescriptive and child-centred, giving children the tools to manage their experience at their own pace and in their own way. Although they signpost age-related materials, this approach is cross-phase and can be used throughout the school.

The key to a successful return to school for staff and learners is relationships. First and foremost, you are reconnecting with one another. Connection is the foundation upon which we can build the learning. Try to use PACE: Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity, Empathy in all interactions.

We have identified the following five themes as being pivotal for returning learners.

Check-ins

A simple check-in helps you to tune in to where your learners are emotionally at any given point of the day. These are most effectively used to allow learners to share their thinking when they are ready to and not according to when suits the adult. Remember that asking children to think about or share something sad could cause unnecessary upset if they aren’t wanting to go there at that time, so have a flexible approach in mind when using check-ins. For example, share the check-in model for the day/session at the start but allow children to share their thoughts when they want and repeatedly – mood fluctuations are normal and the repetition allows you to help illustrated this.

  • Check-in activities (Additional Resources)
  • Mental Health Continuum (MH Resource)

Communication

This might be really tricky but it is very important – we need to look at how we show others what we are feeling and thinking when we haven’t got physical proximity (and possibly facial expression if mask wearing becomes more commonplace) to let others ‘see’ and understand how we are.

We have put together three Makaton Emotions Songs videos (example below) that are a fun and easy way to learn the Makaton signs for basic emotions. You can see all three videos on our Facts4Life YouTube Channel or download them here:

Makaton Basic Emotions Song 1 (mp4)
Makaton Basic Emotions Song 2 (mp4)
Makaton Basic Emotions Song 3 (mp4)

Images from the videos can be downloaded here as a useful guide

Our new video of our ‘Ups & Downs’ song, which highlights one of our key themes: Riding the Ups and Downs, can also be seen on our Facts4Life YouTube channel and is downloadable below.

Ups & Downs Song – video

Emotional Language

This links with communication – children need to develop their means of expression to convey their meaning to others. Creative expression will be a useful tool to facilitate this.

  • Emoticon cards (MH KS1, Years 1 & 2 Resource) 
  • Little Miss and Mr Men activity (MH KS1) 
  • Music to explore emotions (MH KS2, Years 3 & 4 Resource)
  • Emotional Barometer (MH KS2, Years 5 & 6 Resource)

Self-soothing

Physical closeness plays a big part in soothing and regulation in school so in its absence we need to promote self-soothing on a very personal level. Mindfulness and focusing techniques play a central role in developing self-soothing strategies.

  • Feeling Good and Feeling Good More Ideas (EYFS pack)
  • Mindful Me Activity Poster (Additional Resources)
  • Bubbles Visualisation (MH Resource)
  • Guided Stories (MH Resource)
  • Stop and Take a Breath (MH Resource)
  • Classroom Listening (MH Resource)
  • A Listening Walk (MH Resource) 
  • Texture Collection (MH Resource)
  • Brain Science – My Busy Brain and How I Can Help It (Additional Resources)
    • PowerPoint
    • Teacher Notes
    • Story – Felix and the Tricky Tuesday
  • Time for Sleep song – video

Self-care

This is as much about the body as it is about the mind. We need to explore how we support our immune systems through healthy lifestyle choices and by finding opportunities to enjoy ‘feel good’ moments.

  • This is Fin and Bear book
  • Sleep is like magic medicine (EYFS)
  • Why do we need sleep (EYFS)
  • Being Active makes my brain happy (EYFS)
  • Oh dear I’m feeling ….! (EYFS)
  • When I am sad (EYFS)
  • Sleep Well Boo (KS1) (Additional Resources)
    • Story and Notes
    • PowerPoint (to accompany story and notes)
  • Self-Care (Years 1 & 2) – see Teacher’s book pages 20&21*
  • The Big Sleep (KS2)
    • Sleep Resource
    • The Big Sleep-Part 1 (to accompany sleep resource)
    • The Big Sleep-Part 2 (to accompany sleep resource)
  • Healthy Me (Years 3 & 4) – see Teacher’s book page 31*
  • Healthy Me (Years 5 & 6) – See Teacher’s book pages 36&37*

*and accompanying resources in the Primary Section