Reading and Oxford University have put together a very useful document about information sharing for parents and students around the current virus situation which includes links to useful resources and website which can be found here.
Talking with children & young people about coronavirus/COVID-19
In light of the current and developing situation and media coverage, it is likely that some children and young people may be concerned and anxious. This is reasonable, as it is probable that they have never experienced something like this before and do not have the experience to know what may happen.
Talking to children and young people
Make the conversation appropriate to the age and development of the child or young person. For older and more mature young people it may be helpful to guide them to the official websites and reliable news sources and share these with them to inform discussions.
• Choose a good time for a discussion with the child when they are happy to talk and when you are not having to immediately rush onto other things.
• Ask them to share what they know already. You will then know where to start the conversation.
• If they share worries or fears – show them that you understand how they are feeling. Don’t try to dismiss or minimise their fears.
• Keep to the facts and keep the conversation positive. Tell them that doctors and scientists are working on the treatments, that the risk of catching the virus is currently low and that for most people it is like having a cold.
• Don’t be afraid of saying you don’t know if there is a question that you don’t know the answer to.
• Talk about what they can do to have some control, for example focusing on good handwashing, using tissues etc.
• Make it clear that they can talk further with you if they have more questions or need more reassurance – and check in with them after a while to see how things are going.
• Try to end the conversations with a comment, topic or activity that is calming and reassuring.
Talking to children and young people about coronavirus / COVID-19
General information for adults talking to children:
Stories and social stories to share with children:
For young people to access directly
We are very proud of the ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support) work that takes place here at Newlands.
From time to time, some children might need extra support or help related to their emotional development. Our trained ELSA ‘helps children and young people learn to understand their emotions and respect the feelings of those around them. They provide the time and space for pupils to think about their personal circumstances and how they manage them.’
For more information please see the information booklet here
Those who have behavioural, emotional and social difficulties are particularly well supported through one-to-one support that helps them to explore how they feel and understand how they can change their responses.Ofsted 2011