London school to give students ‘socialisation’ lessons after Covid pandemic isolation

·1-min read
Pupils missed out on months of face-to-face teaching and more than a year of mixing with friends in the playground (Oak Wood School)
Pupils missed out on months of face-to-face teaching and more than a year of mixing with friends in the playground (Oak Wood School)

Students at a west London secondary school are set to receive “socialisation” lessons to teach them how to interact with each following pandemic restrictions.

Pupils missed out on months of face-to-face teaching and more than a year of mixing with friends in the playground when schools were shut or when bubbles were enforced to help stop the spread of the virus.

Fears the isolation could have stunted social skills prompted Oak Wood School in Hillingdon to offer the sessions to every child joining in Year 7.

Headteacher Daniel Cowling said: “At this moment it is really hard to tell exactly what the impact will be of 18 months of lockdowns and restrictions.

“We do know that a huge part of a young person’s development is the crucial socialisation skills you receive when you are mixing with your peers and teachers.

“Starting secondary school is daunting at the best of time but on the back of a pandemic is even tougher.”

Headteacher Daniel Cowling (Oak Wood School)
Headteacher Daniel Cowling (Oak Wood School)

The sessions will involve students sitting together during lunch, bonding activities and extracurricular club taster classes to help make them like-minded friends.

They will also be paired with a “buddy” in an older age group and be offered counselling sessions if they need help with their mental health.

Mr Cowling added: “There will be many who have experienced personal trauma with the loss of a loved one while others will have had their mental health affected.

“As a school and a community, we must do all we can to help our young people get back on the right track, both emotionally, socially and academically.

“It is also clear that we are not completely out of the woods with Covid so we must prepare our students for what may come next.”

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