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Supporting Children with Medical
and Mental Health Needs at School

 

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Time To Listen

It is remarkable how our habits can change and become second nature. The last three years has been a huge social experiment as well as a medical emergency. It’s not often radical change happens quickly, so what can we learn from it? How do we move forward without simply slipping back to the old ways?
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We know more young people than ever before are experiencing difficulty getting into school, how we respond right now could make all the difference. Life in school is based around routine and habit. How many times have you wondered or perhaps questioned why things are done in a particular way? The answer, ‘We’ve always done it this way’. There’s comfort in routine, in the familiar but that doesn’t always mean it’s right.

We can feel unsettled by change, worried about what might happen next. But maybe this is the very time we should be embracing change, being excited that we can do things better, do things differently. After all that was achieved during those pandemic years, we are perhaps in the best possible position to think big about change. Change for the better.

Imagine a school built on the change we talked about during the pandemic.  Remember all those acts of kindness, all those creative solutions to what seemed like insurmountable problems, all those little things we did to make sure no one was forgotten or left out. It’s sometimes hard to hold onto the optimism that comes out of adversity. Once the danger is over it’s easy to slip back to the old ways. If we are to understand and support children and young people get back into school, we have to start by listening to what they have to say. That must be the driver for change.

Every action and every word tells us something. If we really listen, we can find a way to shape school so it is a place more children and young people feel they can be a part of. We don’t have to revert to old ways or be trapped by routines that are unhelpful. We’ve successfully navigated new systems and developed responsive approaches in challenging times already.

As we head towards the holiday now is a good time to listen to what children and young people are telling us, in words and actions.
Holidays can give us time to reflect as the new year brings hope.

Wishing you and your families a restful holiday

The Well At School team

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