Call for `summer of play` to help English pupils recover from Covid-19 stress

Experts in child development are calling on the government to support a “summer of play” to help pupils in England recover from the stress of lockdown and a year of Covid upheaval.

Instead of extra lessons, catch-up summer schools and longer school days, they said children should be encouraged to spend the coming months outdoors, being physically active and having fun with their friends.

Psychologists have reported behavioural changes in some children following the first lockdown last year. After months of isolation from friends, some struggled to share and play together, teachers reported more fights and fallings-out, and Ofsted observed a worrying drop in physical fitness.

As the government draws up its latest education catch-up plans, to be unveiled in the coming weeks, a group of academics calling themselves PlayFirstUK have written to the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, appealing for a new emphasis on play, mental health and wellbeing as children emerge from lockdown.

“This spring and summer should not be filled with extra lessons,” the letter says. “Children, teachers and parents need time and space to recover from the stress that the past year has placed on them.

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Kathleen Notes: This is such a welcome idea! We need to put the mental and developmental health of children first as we help them to heal from all they have been through in the past year. Children are NOT resilient in the face of trauma, they are at their most vulnerable. They just don`t get a voice in what happens to them.



- - Volume: 9 - WEEK: 8 Date: 2/18/2021 8:39:32 AM -