How to rebuild pupils’ social skills post-lockdown

social skills post lockdown

Catching up on core subjects is one thing, but have you thought about how to rebuild pupils’ social skills after lockdown?

After all, strong social skills are the best foundation for positive relationships and successful learning, so the benefits to your pupils and the broader school community are significant and far-reaching.

It will come as little surprise that your pupils’ social skills have dropped off considerably over the past 12 months. Even during periods when they were attending school, their social networks have dwindled, and they’ve lost out on those valuable peer-to-peer connections.

The latest lockdown period has seen many children spend the majority of the year so far confined to the home with limited human interaction.

Virtual learning has enabled children to sustain a level of academic stimulation, and remote socialising has helped them to maintain friendships at a distance.

However, we can all agree; nothing beats face-to-face interactions for developing and maintaining strong connections with peers and teachers.

Which social skills can you expect pupils to have lost during lockdown?

Naturally, many of the crucial skills pupils gain from school may have declined over the past three to 12 months.

Talking and listening are the first things to look out for, as we understand their impact on language development, empathy, communication and confidence. And while many families encourage regular conversation at home, we have to bear in mind that children may have spent more time than usual playing alone or watching devices while parents juggle home-schooling and remote working.

Turn-taking is another critical skill your pupils may be lacking on their return to the classroom. In the home environment, there may have been little opportunity to nurture this skill. Back in the classroom, this could lead to frustration and loss of confidence. As turn-taking isn’t an innate skill, pupils will need your support in regaining this most vital of assets.

Once talking, listening and turn-taking resume, you can work on successful collaboration, to inspire confidence and autonomy in pupils.

Showing empathy and awareness of those around them is a critical skill that may have deteriorated during periods of isolation. To reintegrate successfully back into the school community, it will be essential to help children regain the ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes, take responsibility and conduct themselves with compassion.

Trust and honesty are key to any successful relationship, and you may find your returning pupils need support in rebuilding these essential skills. The process of rebuilding trust in your pupils will enable you to create an environment where children can flourish.

So, how do you go about rebuilding these social skills your pupils may have lost during lockdown?

A recovery curriculum for everything

We’ve heard plenty about how a recovery curriculum can bring pupils back up to speed in core subjects. But how can you nurture those softer skills that create the foundation for successful learning?

You’re a professional, so you’ll quickly be able to gauge, for example, what level your pupils’ reading or maths is when they come back into the classroom. Plus, you know what you have to do to get it where it needs to be.

While you’re busy thinking about how to work on those core subjects, we can help you with the PSHE elements you’ll need to incorporate into your recovery curriculum.

Let us handle that bit for you, and you can focus on the rest and feel on top of everything.

3D PSHE Boomerang Social Skills Pack addresses the skills your pupils will need support in rebuilding when they rejoin the school community. Based around exciting Team Missions, the pack will save valuable time for teachers, help you get back on track with a practical roadmap and ensure inclusivity and consistency across the school.

It’s free to Dimensions member schools and available to buy online now for £18 per phase for everyone else.

Choose from age-appropriate versions for Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2.

Buy your 3D PSHE Boomerang Social Skills Pack now:

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