GOING back to school can be scary for children whatever their age and it can be an anxious time for parents too.

School closures during the pandemic had meant that some children have not had the opportunity to visit their new schools and classes.

Children may have questions and worries about going back to school during coronavirus and we’ve got advice to help.

With younger children, have conversations about what going to school might be like.

You might walk a different way or start at a different time; the school might look different or the adults may be dressed differently.

Ask your children about what they’re looking forward to most about going back to school and then manage some of their expectations.

You can also try to re-adjust their bed times a week before starting school to get into a healthy routine.

For older children, encourage them to talk to a trusted adult about their feelings – this doesn’t have to be face-to-face, they may find it easier writing their thoughts down.

Rolling news and social media can cause a lot of anxiety; remind them of the facts and explain what false or sensationalised information is.

It’s important that they don’t take their mobile, tablets of other devices to bed as this may stop them sleeping.

There’s lots more advice and support available online too, at www.nspcc.org.uk or for children at www.childline.org.uk, so remember, we’re still here on the frontline for children, but we’re here to help you too.

Helen Westerman

NSPCC head of local campaigns.