BACK TO THE FUTURE
Return to School – What are Tales Toolkit doing to help?
The end of the summer holiday is always a sore time for teachers. Up and down the country they will be bracing themselves for the early mornings, preparing pints of coffee, and retraining their bladders to hold said pints of coffee through an entire morning of missed toilet break opportunities. The evenings draw in, the planning begins, and away we go again. It is [David Attenborough voice] ‘a dance as old as time’.
But this September is a real unknown.
There has been a lot of talk about schools going back; we know you were never off. You’ve been teaching vulnerable children and the children of key workers, delivering remote lessons and supporting families. We also know that there are going to be a lot of children who are really excited to come back and see both you and their friends (at which point we expect social distancing to go straight out the window).
And we know it’s essential that children continue their education. But care must be taken. If we rush to ‘catch up’ our youngsters, pushing them harder than usual to achieve more in a shorter time, perhaps we run the risk of making matters worse. Children learn best when they feel secure, confident and happy. If emotional development comes first, academic development will follow. We should be careful not to forego the freedom and creativity afforded by play, which allows children to learn at their own pace.
Tales Toolkit can help ease the transition because it:
Don’t take our word for it, check out our independent study report from the ‘Unit for School and Family Studies’ at Goldsmiths University of London: Click Here
Mindfulness over matter
Every child will have had a unique experience of lockdown, and “one size will not fit all.” Children returning to school will need time and space to talk about their experiences, to come to terms with the ‘new normal’ and understand some of this changed world around them. As children use Tales Toolkit and follow their interests to create imaginative stories full of original ideas, they are given the license to share their own unique perspective on the world around them. This can help children make sense of their surroundings, something that’s so important in a rapidly changing environment. Children can also create stories about the things that worry them and chat about their real-life experiences.
That’s why we commissioned these shiny new lockdown-related storytelling images…
…to help children articulate and engage with their experiences.
Stories with families
We think interactive storytelling shouldn’t just be happening in school but at home too! The connection between teachers and parents that we helped foster during lockdown is so strong, we’d like it to continue.
As we reported in our last post click here, Tales Toolkit for Families is here to stay, and we will continue to develop it as a resource. Our upcoming free webinar with the amazing Alistair Bryce-Clegg is going to be aimed at parents and we have plans for more.