Please click here for all coronavirus letters and updates.
Mencap easy read guides to help you stay safe and well
Mencap have produced a number of easy read guides to help during this period.
- November lockdown rules
- Self isolating
- Social distancing
- Face coverings
- Public transport
- Test and trace
- Keeping clean and handwashing
Wearing face masks
As you may already be aware, face coverings are compulsory on public transport and will also be compulsory in shops in England from 24th July. However, this does not apply to children under 11.
For children and young people above 11, you may be exempt from wearing a mask if:
- You have a disability that means you cannot put a mask on.
- You have a disability that means you cannot wear or remove a mask.
- Putting on a face mask would cause you severe distress.
- If you use lip reading to communicate, the person supporting you to use public transport does not have to wear a mask.
- You do not have to wear a mask if you are using public transport to escape danger.
Resources to help your child transition back to school
- Going back to Linwood School from September
- Different things at Linwood School from September
- PPE Social Story – Linwood Campus
- PPE Social Story – Littlewood Campus
- PPE Social Story – Springwood Campus
- Covid-19 transition pack – a helpful guide by Dorset HealthCare on how to help your child transition back to school.
Back to School – a short video by Dorset HealthCare with some helpful tips.
- Back to School after Coronavirus story by Elsa Support
- Covid-19 Social Story – School is Opening (using Widgit symbols suitable for Springwood & Littlewood Campuses)
- Returning to School Social Situation (booklet) – editable Word Document
Returning to School Social Situation (poster)– editable Word Document
Returning to School Social Situation (booklet) – PDF
Returning to School Social Situation (poster) – PDF
This story by Twinkl informs children of the plans that are in place for them to go back to school. The simple and child-friendly language is perfect for adults to talk through with children who may be feeling worried about returning to school following coronavirus and the lockdown. We have included it as a Word document so you can edit and personalise it for your child and the specific changes they will experience. Alternatively, you can print the PDF version. Twinkl have kindly given us permission to share their resources directly with families during this time. To view the original page from their website, please click here
- Heading Back to School activity
Transitioning Students Back to School After Lockdown
These resources by Top Teaching Tasks include a free one-page worksheet to help students get down their thoughts and feelings about the lockdown and heading back to school. The second link has some ideas that may help you to make the return to school a little easier.
BCP Educational Psychology Service – Telephone Consultation Line for Parents and Carers
As part of the response to COVID-19, BCP Council Educational Psychology Service are offering parents and carers the opportunity to speak to an Educational Psychologist (EP) about their child while educational settings are closed.
Educational Psychologists are professionals concerned with the development, learning and social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people.
This term time only service is only available to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) residents or parents/carers with children in BCP schools. Parent/carers will need to have Parental Responsibility to access this service.
For more information, about this service, please visit: BCP Educational Psychology Service
Playmobil ROBert explains the coronavirus to children
Playmobil has released a simple 5 minute video explaining the coronavirus outbreak for children in a way which is helpful but not too scary. ROBert puts forward the most important messages for children about staying at home and washing hands, as well as warning them in a softer way how the virus works.
Social Stories about Coronavirus
- My Not Able to Come to School Story – by Linwood School
- My Story about Pandemics and the Coronavirus – by Carol Gray
- Coronavirus Story – by Elsa-Support
- Working from home KS1
- Working from home KS2-KS4
- Mencap – easy read guides about staying safe and well during this time, including guidance around social distancing, face coverings and public transport. They are regularly updated to reflect the latest government advice.
- Beating the Virus – a short wordless story that will help people to understand what to do if you have Coronavirus and how to keep yourself and those who you care about safe. The story also shows how to safely help others who may be self-isolating.
- Public Health England – easy read guide of their advice on the Coronavirus
- Photo Symbols – free posters about Cornavirus using photo symbols
- Covibook – a book designed to explain, reassure and encourage children to draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic. Available in many languages.
- Sheffield Children’s NHS – a collection of symbolised resources (social stories, communication boards, weekly schedules, etc) using Widgit symbols which will be familiar to pupils at Springwood and Littlewood campuses. More resources are added each week.
- Coronavirus – a book for children – illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator, Axel Scheffler. This digital book is free to read on screen or print out. Written in simple language, it covers all the questions children may be asking about the virus and steps taken to control it.
- Reimaged Gruffalo illustrations – Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Alex Scheffler have reimagined some of their most famous characters with messages about what is currently going on. Pictures include The Gruffalo social distancing, Charlie Cook staying at home, The Smartest Giant in Town washing his hands and the grandparents from The Smeds and the Smoos keeping in touch on the phone. While on lockdown, the author is also producing a weekly broadcast on The Gruffalo Facebook page, reading stories, poems and singing songs.
Useful links about the Coronavirus
- Carers UK – guidance for carers
- Emerging Minds – supporting children and young people with worries about COVID-19
- Healthier Together – Covid-19 advice for parents of children with long term medical conditions
- Krisepsykologi – what can we say to children about Coronavirus
- National Autistic Society – guidance and helpline for parents, young people and staff
- Newsround – videos aimed for children all about the Coronoavirus
- Place2Be – guide to helping parents answer questions from their children about the Coronavirus and to support family wellbeing
- Sensory Integration.org – hand washing tips for people with sensory difficulties
- Young Minds – talking to your child about Coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing
Health & Wellbeing for parents
- NHS Every Mind Matters – practical tips and expert advice to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.
- Managing our Mental Health & Staying Well during a Virus Outbreak – by Mind.org.hk
- The Curly Hair Project – 10 ways to stay productive at home
- Calm – take a deep breath – meditation to help those struggling with anxiety and stress at this time. Offering ‘soothing meditations’, a ‘calm masterclass’, ‘calm kids’ and mindfulness resources.
Keeping your child safe online
Below are some useful links with advice and support to help you keep your child safe online:
- Gov.uk – Government advice
- Thinkuknow – advice from the National Crime Agency
- Internet Matters – advice from a not-for-profit organisation with support from industry partners
- Parent Info– advice from Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) and Parent Zone
- LGfL – advice from London Grid for Learning
- Net Aware – advice from the NSPCC
You can also find more information on our Safeguarding page