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Back to school tips from our education specialists

St Christopher’s education teams in the Isle of Man and UK have shared tips for supporting children and young people with going back to school.​

Returning to school after the holidays can be exciting. It can also be an anxious time, never more so than post-COVID-19, with all the uncertainty of the last 18 months.

In line with St Christopher’s aims to promote lifelong learning and thriving for children and young people, try out some of these suggestions for a smooth return to school.

Prepare early

Follow this four-week plan, which begins the week before young people return to school, to smooth the return to education.

Tips include picking up school supplies, writing an introduction to the teacher and encouraging young people to adjust their routine to match school-year hours.

The plan progresses into the first three weeks back at school, offering advice on how carers and parents can support young people if they are struggling to settle in.

Start conversations

Before the start of term, try to talk regularly about school. Encourage a young person to think about positive memories while not dismissing any worries they may have.

Depending on the age of the young person, you could set up play dates or encourage video calls with friends. This will calm first day nerves before they begin.

Look out for warning signs

Be aware of signs of anxiety, such as unusual behaviour or reluctance to acknowledge the start of a new term. Try to talk through the issues – you could contact school to arrange a casual meeting, or even take a walk or drive past the building to re-familiarise young people.

Be ready to listen

Most anxieties fade or reduce as the weeks go by. Symptoms that persist may need further input from an education or therapeutic specialist, but by being open, prepared and acknowledging a child’s worries, things that seemed hard can become easier and fun.


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