Are schools ready for the return of pupils

The government have announced that all pupils (unless ill or isolating) should return to school in September ready for the new term. Some students have now had 6 months off school and this has put a lot of pressure on parents and there is a worry that it is also affecting the mental health of many of the pupils too.

Although many are keen to see the schools return there is also a worry for parents and teachers as to how safe it will be and how social distancing is going to be maintained. Most schools have adopted a policy of keeping children within their own bubbles of either year groups or classes. This will allow them to try and limit the risk of spreading the virus if someone does become infected.

Not only have teachers got a lot of work to catch up on and may find that some pupils require a fair bit of time to re-establish a routine, they also have extra job roles such as cleaning equipment and possibly redoing lesson plans that involved close contact with others.

The first few months of returning to school will probably be quite hard and may require a fair few changes before proper routines can be established again.

Developing a love of books and reading in the young child

It is essential in these days of mobile devices that children are still given the opportunity to immerse themselves in books and reading not only for the enjoyment it brings but also because In our primary schools children are expected to reach a good level of reading ability by the time they enter key stage two at the age of approximately seven. This presents a huge challenge for some children who may be reluctant to read not only books, but any printed material and it can also be worrying for parents and teachers who are often searching for ways to inspire and encourage reading.

The demands of learning to read can be taxing to young children but one approach is to resist the temptation to insist that they read every day even though it is encouraged by many schools. Children need to be shown that there is a purpose to reading whether it be reading the instructions to a favourite game or reading a recipe to make a cake. This type of incidental reading can encourage children to read without them being aware that they are reading.

By encouraging the reading of magazines and comic books a reluctant reader can be inspired to read and although the vocabulary may not be extensive in this type of literature, they may tap into the child’s interest especially if the reading material about a hobby they enjoy.

Have libraries had their day?

How long has it been since you visited a library? For many people, the answer will be I cannot remember because it has been so long ago, so is it time to see these large, often old and draughty buildings closed for good?

The purpose of libraries was originally to give the general population access to books irrespective of social class or financial status. This meant that expensive books used for extending knowledge, gaining information or simply to provide entertainment were readily available to borrow for a few weeks at a time for no cost. This is still the case today as libraries provide a service that many people, some who struggle financially, rely on.

In more recent times with the growing use of technology libraries have evolved to provide individuals without internet access at home a place where they can use a computer to send emails and carry out research.

In many towns the library has also become a hub for meetings and training courses giving it a new lease of life and providing a much needed service to the community so perhaps libraries have not had their day after all but have moved with the times and are as relevant now as in the past.

What’s happened to the postal services?

With the UK still under lock down, the postal service seems to have been struggling a bit. As the majority of shops are shut most people are turning to online shopping to get their supplies. Places such as Ebay, Amazon and clothing retailers have seen a huge spike in traffic and purchases through their sites and this has had a knock on effect on the postal service.

Some retails send mail out via the Royal Mail and others have their own delivery drives or use third party couriers to dispatch items. It seems that all logistical companies have been hit and with social distance rules that have to be adhered to and staff members self isolating, this has just added even more pressure to the situation.

The Royal Mail had said that they were going to cut out Saturday deliveries for now to catch up on mail in the sorting office, but this only seems to have happened in some areas.

If you have ordered something online, most retails are cutting the cost of their delivery charges and stating that delivery times are expected to take longer than usual at present. If this is not the case and you paid for delivery within a certain time which didn’t happen, I would contact the company and ask them to refund you the delivery fee paid.

Shopping online during lockdown

With so many of us not being able to get out other than to do a weekly food shop, many of us are missing our bit of retail therapy. It may even be that you do not like shopping, but if you need items that you cannot get from the grocery store you may have to participate in a bit of online shopping. If you are not sued to online shopping then you may worry about security. If you use one of the big retailers and ensure that you are on the genuine site then the security level is usually pretty high.

Paying with a credit card for higher cost purchases or using PayPal will also give you a bit of added protection.

When shopping online you may think you are less likely to impulse buy but because you often do not realise how much stuff you have added to your basket until the end, if your not careful you can easily get a bit carried away. Many retailers have tempting sales on at the moment which makes it even more likely that we will spend too much.

 Always decide before hand how much you can spend and be sure not to go over that.