Child Safety

Safe Environments

Nurturing Safe Environments

When the news of COVID started, who would have thought it would still impact our lives today? 


With numerous lockdowns, social distancing and remote learning, schools are now facing some challenging times with children who have missed out on regular social interactions and the opportunity to grow their social skills. 


Many children have also struggled to adjust to being back in the classroom. Psychologists are finding that while some children have been happy to return, others have struggled with anxiety regarding returning to regular school settings.


Across the education system, teachers are seeing a lot more of:

  • Students want all of the teacher's attention
  • Students picking on their peers to get adult attention
  • Tantrums when students don't get what they want
  • Students taking toys or other objects from other students

For many children, the lack of practice in interacting with different personalities and problem-solving means that minor disagreements tend to escalate a lot quicker now. 


Our job as educators is to encourage children to interact in healthy and enjoyable ways. Every child needs to feel supported, valued and respected. 


One way that teachers can find out how children are really feeling about things is through a tool called a sociogram. Sociograms help to identify children who may be socially isolated and in need of some help to build social connections. Often sociograms simply confirm what we already know. At other times, they provide valuable information about the classroom climate and friendship dynamics.


Over the past couple of weeks, Ms Drossaert and I have been using a sociogram to interview the senior students to find out what they think and feel about their classrooms, their classmates and their behaviours.


It has become apparent that some students are struggling in this space. 

As a result, teachers will be working across the school to put in some initiatives to help build connectedness and foster the foundations for calm, safe and compassionate classrooms in which children learn and flourish through positive relationships.

How Parents Can Help

You may have noticed some of these impacts if you're a parent. The best thing you can do is continue to help your children to develop their social and problem-solving skills at home:

  • Model social skills in your daily interactions with your child
  • Engage in regular quality time with your child and discuss how their day went
  • Engage in a lot of interaction and play with your children to help them develop their social skills
  • When you read together, ask questions about what characters might think or feel. Discuss your predictions about what may happen or what your child might do in a similar situation
  • Play games together that encourage critical thinking, planning, or cooperation
  • Find ways to engage in mindfulness and relaxation together as a family 
  • Be aware that anxiety can often show up as anger, avoidance, or even physical symptoms (such as a stomachache or need to use the bathroom) 

It is important to remember that we have all been through a lot over the last couple of years. The good news is that children are resilient, and with patience, modelling, and support, most will return to where they would have been just fine.




Pauline Moran

Learning and Teaching Leader