Back to better

Activities to help children and young people cope with the return to school and build resilience for the future. 

Students returning to school
PSHE, Tutor time
Kindness, Disasters and emergencies

When children and young people return to school, it is important to make time to reflect on their journey to help them move forward and build their resilience. 

This toolkit is differentiated by key stage and explores three topic areas: reacting, recovering, and reflecting. It has lots of quick activity ideas to help learners cope with change and challenges. There's a handy teacher guide to help get you started.

Learning objectives

  • learn how to manage wellbeing and cope with challenges
  • critically evaluate how human beings deal with emergencies and show resilience
  • prepare for the future and build resilience.

Resource overview

1. Reacting

Use the reacting module to explore resources for dealing with uncertainty and the return to school.

For primary learners, use the video of children talking about their back to school anxieties and our PAW Patrol card game to review how social distancing techniques we can use to stay safe.

For secondary learners, explore the concept of a crisis and how they affect people and communities. Explore risk and consequences using our photo activity.

Illustration graphic showing two recovery tips which are  to talk honestly with someone you trust and take low and slow breaths.

2. Recovering

Use the recovering module to help learners reflect on their coping skills as well as learning some new ones that could help them manage challenges and change in future.

For primary learners, explore change and how to cope with it. Reflect on how the power of kindness helps us and others cope with challenges.

For secondary learners, use our printable recovery cards to explore ways we can help manage our wellbeing.

3. Reflecting

Use our reflecting module to review what we have learned about ourselves and prepare for how we can better cope with change and challenge in future.

For primary learners, use the Back to better footsteps template to break down how to tackle problems and review a challenge we overcame. 

For secondary learners, use the Back to better journal template to reflect on our experiences and challenges. Consider the meaning and importance of resilience.

Journal template with prompts

Produced by the British Red Cross. Last updated March 2021.

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