Post-circuit breaker, what will the “new normal” look like for your child? How can you help them cope during these unsettling times?
It’s a dilemma many of us parents face: how do we best prepare our kids for the “new normal”? We turned to One World International School (OWIS) Head of School, Mrs Michelle Dickinson for guidance on this tough question. With almost 20 years of school leadership experience, Michelle provides strategic direction on OWIS’ development, assesses teaching methods, curriculum development and more. Michelle believes that children learn best when they are happy and engaged in practical, real-life activities. Here’s her practical, reassuring advice for us parents:
Over the past few months, as the COVID-19 outbreak has continued to spread globally, nations around the world have deployed various measures in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. In Singapore, following the ending of the circuit breaker on June 1, the nation is embarking on a phased approach to resume activities safely. Schools are also reopening gradually but students face a new reality when they head back to their classrooms.
Preparing children for the New Normal
Unlike their parents who have likely been closely following the news, children may not have been exposed to the deluge of Covid-related information. It is important that parents and school leaders provide children with insight and information about the new world they will need to embrace and adapt to. By providing children with accurate and honest information according to their age and level of understanding, parents can help children feel empowered and prepared to adjust to the new normal.
What children can expect when they return to school
Children will have to adhere to new social distancing and hygiene measures for the foreseeable future. These may include:
– Remaining a safe social distance from their peers, and eliminating certain interactions like handshakes, hugs or high-fives.
– Wearing a face mask or face shield while in school or on campus. Children will also see that their teachers and other community members are doing the same.
– Washing their hands frequently and maintaining the cleanliness of their learning spaces.
– Adapting to a new classroom structure, as furniture will need to be moved in order to accommodate social distancing.
With only 50% of students allowed on campus at any one point of time, school schedules, pick-up and drop-off routines, and play opportunities will be modified to adhere to social distancing guidelines. It will be helpful for parents to explain the reasons for following these measures and guidelines to children over an extended period of time. This will help them understand the importance of playing their part and adhering to the required measures and guidelines.
Bridging the gap to the new normal
As we navigate the new world we find ourselves in, there is a need to bridge the gap for children between pre-Covid conditions, and the new state of normal that they have to adapt to. At One World International School, we have tried to bridge the gap between the physical classroom and students who have had virtual learning from home over the last couple of months. Our goal was to keep life as normal as possible for our students and provide them access to a balanced e-learning programme, including subject, language, art and music lessons, recreational classes, social check-ins and mindfulness activities.
As OWIS has re-opened school on 3 June and we have welcomed back our students on campus (with only 50% of students on campus at any point of time and the remaining 50% continuing with e-learning at home on a rotational basis), our administrators and staff are committed to continuing to work with parents to help guide students into the new normal.
To learn more about OWIS and its commitment to creating lifelong learners, schedule a virtual tour of our school today.
One World International School (OWIS)
Nanyang campus: 21 Jurong West Street 81, Singapore 649075
East Coast campus: Block G, 231 Mountbatten Road, Singapore 397999
Email: [email protected] or Tel: (+65) 6914 6700, www.owis.org