It is estimated that half of humanity will have experienced some form of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the restrictions in Spain are gradually being eased, it is likely that we will need to continue adhering to new regulations for a little while longer.
None of us are experts on how to manage in an unprecedented time. However, our Swans School psychologist, Jan Cappi, is experienced in navigating challenging situations and offers a few words of support:
We have all been on our own journeys through this lockdown period and the majority of us will have coped well, most of the time. I am quite sure though that we will all have had doubts about our future and the future of our children, as well as many fears and insecurities.
Above all else, it has reminded me of the needs of our children whatever age they are. The need to feel safe and secure. The need to know that we are loved and that there is a strong family unit where we know we can feel free to express some, if not all, of our feelings in a safe environment. This is never easy to achieve because it requires honesty and a great deal of love, with many mixed emotions.
I had an experience this week that emphasised much of this. A young lady was sitting on the steps where I run daily. She was crying. Keeping my distance I asked if she was alright.
“Yes”, she said with her head down.
Upon my return, I saw that she was still there and I thought that maybe I should say something.
“It’s tough being locked up all the time, isn’t it?”
With a shrug, she replied simply, “It’s just family.”
Just family. This is what creates us and stays with us for the rest of our lives. The love and the care that we share is all-important.
I have learned that disagreements have to happen and it’s the way we react to them that makes the difference. Discussing feelings, resolving arguments and sharing ideas are preparation for life. These are the stepping stones that remain with us always.
The young lady reminded me that we all go through different feelings at different times and how hard that is to manage within the family dynamic (the term “family” could refer to many different forms of people living within the same home).
No one really says how hard parenting can be, but we get confronted with it daily. No one is perfect and you don’t need to be. What really helps is being honest with one another, or just saying sorry and building our relationships from there.
There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has created a great deal of fear. So many ‘what ifs’. At times, we can feel safe but at other times, especially if we wake up at night, the fear can overtake us. It doesn’t matter what age you are.
Youngsters often find it harder to put their feelings into words. Therefore, it is sometimes helpful to say, “I think you may be feeling…”. Don’t worry, if you’re wrong - they’ll soon tell you!
I know one thing for sure: the more you communicate with your children, and the family as a whole, the more it will leave a lasting positive effect on all of you. So as the country starts to reopen slowly, hold on to the things you have learned as a family and keep the togetherness. Above all, keep talking.
If you wish to speak with our Swans School psychologist, Jan Cappi, please email email@example.com
This email address is monitored throughout the academic year and school holidays.
From the first moment of lockdown, Swans School consciously sought to maintain an online learning environment that mirrored our “in-school” routine. Aside from the academic benefits, we looked to ease the transition into lockdown by encouraging some sense of familiarity, an opportunity to interact with people outside of the home, and a daily routine that separated “school time” from leisure time.
Top Tips for supporting your child:
Ease your own anxiety first. Children/young people will follow their parent’s example, so remain informed by reliable sources and know when to ‘switch off’ from news and social media.
Be understanding of their concerns and remain empathetic. Don’t dismiss the child/young person’s concerns. Be reassuring.
Provide fact-based information and encourage good hygiene. Sticking to the facts will help to minimise any confusion and this will reinforce the reasoning behind good hygiene.
Watch your child's stress levels, moving forward. Changes in a child/young person’s behaviour may be as a result of difficulties in expressing their concerns verbally. Try to remain engaged in conversations, rather than distracted, and try to understand what the child/young person may be trying to tell you - e.g. are they expressing frustration/ fear; are they withdrawing?
Please see the video below where primary school Deputy Headteacher, Miss Natalie, talks about Coronavirus and feeling happy, healthy and safe.
Swans looks to provide a supportive and caring learning environment, even whilst our school building must remain closed. Any concerns for social wellbeing or mental health can be discussed with the Pastoral Care team at any time.
Please also review Miss Debra's words of wellbeing by clicking here.
Details of our Care Team are listed below:
School Psychologist: Jan Cappi
Educational Psychologist and Primary Wellbeing Support: Marta Bauluz
Primary School General: please feel free to discuss any concerns that you may have with your class teacher
Primary School Head of Pastoral Care and SENDco: Miss Anne White
Secondary School SENDco: Mr David Fletcher
Secondary School Head of Pastoral Care: Mrs Debra Hodder
Year 7: Mr. Ajaya Todd
Year 8: Miss Amelie Rault
Year 9: Miss Sandra Velazquez
Year 10: Miss Marisa Parsons
Year 11: Miss Natalie Denton
Years 12 and 13: Miss Michelle Roberts
(In September 2020, each Head of Year will progress into the consecutive year along with their students. Miss Natalie Denton will become Head of Year 7).
If you are unsure of how to contact your pastoral representative, please feel free to call the school office and request the email address.
Swans Primary School:
+34 952 773 248
Swans Secondary School:
+34 952 902 755