The COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it have radically changed society and the education landscape. A number of useful presentations for teachers, parents/guardians and SNAs have been developed by the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) and the HSE Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), in partnership with Kilkenny Education Centre.
These presentations have been developed to assist, inform and guide adults who are in contact with children who are transitioning from Primary to Post Primary school, but they will also be useful for parents/guardians and teachers of all children and young people who are returning to school following school closures. Schools may find it useful to share these links with parents/guardians, teachers, SNAs and all other stakeholders in school communities. Information and knowledge will help ease the return to school for our young people.
This presentation is a collaboration between the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and Kilkenny Education Centre. It gives a psychological perspective on adolescence and developmental changes that coincide with the transition to Post Primary school.
Presented by a CAMHS Senior Occupational Therapist, this presentation covers the themes of Self-Regulation and Organisation, and how you can help your child to make school more manageable.
This presentation, delivered by a CAMHS Senior Dietitian, explores factors which affect dietary choices.
Presented by a NEPS Psychologist, this presentation deals with the issue of transition in uncertain times and preparing and supporting students with ASD for the move to Post Primary school during the time of COVID-19.
This presentation is offered by the Carlow/Kilkenny NEPS Team as part of their program of supports for school communities in the context of COVID-19.
This presentation, by HSE Social Care Workers, explores preparing for the move to Post Primary school, supporting your child's education, school and friendships.
In the context of school reopening, there are a range of materials from the Department of Education available for schools to support communication with parents/guardians and students, and to reinforce public health messaging. These include video messages from public health doctors on the safety of schools, posters/digital graphics and digital animations and videos. Posters can be printed and the digital resources can be emailed and/or uploaded to school channels, such as Aladdin Connect or Seesaw, as well as on social media channels. Further material is being added to this list; all materials will be available on the Department's website and on their Twitter feed.
Also, the DES have a Wellbeing webinar for Primary schools and a Wellbeing webinar for Post Primary schools available, which may be of interest to teachers, parents/guardians and SNAs. There is also a Wellbeing Toolkit for both Primary and Post Primary schools available, which are comprised of a combination of NEPS-developed materials and information collated from other acknowledged sources, and promote natural resilience for all and recovery for those with additional educational needs.
AsIAm, Ireland's national Autism charity, have developed Bridge Back to School, an Autism-friendly learning resource, in partnership with Mary Immaculate College (MIC) and SuperValu Ireland. The aim of this resource is to support teachers, SNAs, parents/guardians and Home Support Workers working with students during the Summer months. The resource explains key skills and strategies to those working with students, while the resource character, Alex, supports students in learning key concepts and engaging in the activities.
The NCSE have a range of resources on their website which have been prepared to help all children, including children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), prepare for the transition back to school. School staff may find their Useful Resources to Support Children to Return to School Following COVID-19 School Closure leaflet, which includes a number of resources to support all children to have a positive transition back to school, particularly useful.
The Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) Division of Educational Psychology has prepared a guidance document, The Relaunch Back to School After COVID-19 Restrictions, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This document is aimed at Primary and Post Primary schools that are preparing to welcome students back to school post-restrictions. It provides advice to school staff around supporting students in the transition back to school.
Step Up to Secondary School is a new school transition website available to use as a simple resource for Sixth Class students and their parents/guardians. Sixth Class teachers may find this website useful if they are covering the transition from Primary to Post Primary school with students in the final Term of the academic year. The website was developed in June 2020 as part of the Planet Youth project, largely in part as a result of COVID-19 curtailing school transition work that would typically happen before the Summer Break. In June 2021, a Stepping Up to Secondary School Webinar took place for any Sixth Class parent/guardian who wished to support their child/ren with the move from Primary to Post Primary school. The webinar included a panel discussion with an Adolescent Psychotherapist, a Youth Coach and a School Chaplain. You can view a recording of this webinar on the Planet Youth website.
The Weaving Well-Being Programme has published a Return to School with Weaving Well-Being Primary Teacher Resource Pack with Outside the Box Learning Resources. This Resource Pack was created for Primary school teachers to help their students (8 - 12 years) process and express their emotions and experiences as they returned to school after school closures caused by COVID-19. The activities are based on the Weaving Well-Being Programme and are written by the Programme co-author, Fiona Forman.
The Wired for Well-Being Programme has published a Return to School with Wired for Well-Being Secondary Teacher Resource Pack with Outside the Box Learning Resources. This practical Resource Pack was created for Post Primary school teachers to help their students process and express their emotions and experiences as they returned to school after school closures caused by COVID-19. It can be used in the first weeks back to school and is suitable for First and Second Year students. The activities are based on the Wired for Well-Being Programme, a new SPHE programme for Junior Cycle, and are written by the Programme co-author, Fiona Forman.