WE ARE BACK TO DANCE

 

Current status updates – UPDATED 10TH NOVEMBER 2020:

DUE TO A SECOND NATIONAL LOCKDOWN WE HAVE TAKEN ALL CLASSES THAT WERE RUNNING FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE AUTUMN TERM ONLINE VIA ZOOM.  INFORMATION WILL HAVE BEEN SENT TO ALL PARENTS WITH REGARDS TO THIS. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN JOINING OUR ONLINE CLASSES THEN PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT US ON OFFICE@INSPIREACADEMYOFDANCE.CO.UK

WE ARE HOPING TO RESUME CLASSES AFTER 3RD DECEMBER FOR THE LAST WEEK OF THE AUTUMN TERM AND THAT WE CAN START THE SPRING TERM AT AS MANY OF OUR LOCATIONS AS POSSIBLE. 

  • INSPIRE DANCE STUDIO COPTHORNE: CLASSES TO RESUME WEEK COMMENCING 7TH SEPTEMBER – CLASSES SUSPENDED UNTIL 3RD DECEMBER AND TAKEN ONLINE. 
  • COPTHORNE JUNIOR SCHOOL: CLASSES MOVED TO SUNDAY AT INSPIRE DANCE STUDIO UNTIL AT LEAST OCTOBER HALF TERM – CLASSES SUSPENDED UNTIL 3RD DECEMBER AND TAKEN ONLINE. 
  • THE PAVILLIONS IN THE PARK: THE CENTRE IS RE-OPENING BUT THEY ARE PRIORITSING THEIR FITNESS CLASSES OVER EXTERNAL HIRERS. AT THIS TIME WE CAN HAVE THE STUDIOS FOR THE TIME WE REQUIRE FOR OUR CLASSES. WE ARE LOOKING INTO OTHER SOLUTIONS FOR THE SHORT TERM. CLASSES SUSPENDED UNTIL 3RD DECEMBER AND TAKEN ONLINE. THEY WILL RESUME AT BRIGHTON ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE 
  • COPTHORNE PREP SCHOOL – THE SCHOOL HAVE CONFIRMED WE CAN RETURN BUT THE CLASSES WILL BE SLIGHTLY AMENDED TO THE FOLLOWING:
    • 2.45PM-3.15PM – NURSERY BALLET
    • 3.30PM-4PM – RECEPTION BALLET
    • 4PM-4.30PM – YEARS 1 AND 2 BALLET
    • 4.30PM – 5.15PM – YEARS 3 AND 4 BALLET
    • AT THIS TIME WE CAN ONLY OFFER BALLET UP TO YEAR 4 BUT WE DO HAVE ALTERNATIVES AT THE INSPIRE DANCE STUDIO IN COPTHORNE WHICH THEY CAN JOIN FOR THE INTERIM
  • THE CHRISTIAN CENTRE, DORKING: CLASSES TO RESUME WEEK COMMENCING 7TH SEPTEMBER –
  • CLASSES SUSPENDED UNTIL 3RD DECEMBER AND TAKEN ONLINE. 
  • ROFFEY MILLENIUM HALL, HORSHAM:
  • CLASSES SUSPENDED UNTIL 3RD DECEMBER AND TAKEN ONLINE. THEY WILL RESUME AT BRIGHTON ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
  • HERON WAY PRIMARY SCHOOL:
  • CLASSES SUSPENDED UNTIL 3RD DECEMBER AND TAKEN ONLINE. THEY WILL RESUME AT BRIGHTON ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
  • LET’S EXPLORE . THIS VENUE HAS NOW CLOSED AND WE ARE LOOKING FOR A NEW VENUE IN HORLEY. 
  • KILNWOOD VALE PRIMARY SCHOOL – CLASS WILL RESUME IN JANUARY 2O21 AT THE EARLIEST. 
  • CASTLEWOOD PRIMARY SCHOOL – CLASS WILL RESUME IN JANUARY 2O21 AT THE EARLIEST. 
  • HANDCROSS PARK SCHOOL – CLASS WILL RESUME IN JANUARY 2O21 AT THE EARLIEST.   PRIVATE LESSONS OR ‘YEAR GROUP BUBBLE CLASSES’ ARE POSSIBLE. PLEASE EMAIL MISS JO FOR MORE INFORMATION.
  • MEATH GREEN INFANT SCHOOL – CLASS WILL RESUME IN JANUARY 2O21 AT THE EARLIEST. 
  • WARDEN PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL – CLASS WILL RESUME IN JANUARY 2O21 AT THE EARLIEST. 
  • WARNHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL – CLASS WILL RESUME IN JANUARY 2O21 AT THE EARLIEST. 
  • FORGEWOOD PRIMARY SCHOOL – CLASS WILL RESUME IN JANUARY 2O21 AT THE EARLIEST.  

Our Restart Plan:

We are working hard to ensure our classes are safe for our members, parents and teacher by following Government guidelines including:

Adapting to keep dancers safe

– Where possible, one-way traffic in and out of classes will be applied. Please look out for signage.

– Classes will have a five minutes gap in between them to allow for enhanced cleaning procedures and avoid congestion during class changeover times.

– Parents should remain outside the halls unless accompanying a pre-schooler for Ballet Babes or Street Tots if needed required. Normally parents are not present in our preschooler classes.

Cleaning equipment regularly

Teachers will be cleaning equipment after every class and other areas that can be touch by dancers.

Applying additional hygiene procedures

Hand sanitiser stations are available for our members to use when they arrive and after drinks or toilet breaks.

Planning our sessions to allow for safe distancing

– Aim for at least 1m between dancers and dancers and teachers at all times.

– One-way system into and out of classes where possible.

Constantly monitoring and reviewing our safety measures

Posters are displayed to inform all members of our procedures.

As the venues reopen, we will contact members directly to let them know their class is about to begin. Keep an eye out for your email soon and on our website and social media for updates!

Introduction

The Hygiene Policy of Inspire Academy of Dance is to be adopted while the restrictions of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) remain in place. It has been created to ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, that work will be carried out in our workplace with a commitment to protecting the health of everyone who comes onto the premises.
This policy has the full support of the Dance School Principal and must be followed by all staff.
It’s important that a high level of hygiene is maintained at all times, but this is of particular importance at the current time, as the Coronavirus is known to spread through coughs and sneezes and to remain on surfaces for up to 72 hours, allowing it to be easily picked up and spread.
In implementing this commitment to manage hygiene we will:

  • Provide hand sanitiser. Hand sanitiser is provided on entry to the building, in each washroom area and with the dance hall where the class is taking place. Additionally, each employee will have a small bottle to have on their person at all times.
  • Implement a handwashing procedure and encourage employees to wash their hands thoroughly (see Handwashing Procedure) after going to the toilet/washroom, before and after eating or handling food and after sneezing or coughing, blowing their noses and after every class.
  • Display posters with hygiene advice. Such as:
    1. Cough/sneeze into your sleeves, preferably into your elbows.
    2. If a tissue is used, discard it properly and clean/sanitize your hands immediately.
    3. Avoid touching your face, particularly eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands to prevent from getting infected.
  • Use an online signing in and out register of dancers.
  • Increase the cleaning frequency of washroom (after every use) and all shared areas, as well as frequently touched things such as, handrails and door handles.
  • Provide additional cleaning products to allow increased cleaning of dance studios, and small items such as spots. These should be wiped cleaned after every usage and the hall will cleaned at the end of every session.
  • Ensure windows / doors (not fire doors) are opened where possible to increase ventilation.

We are not at this time recommending the use of face masks or other face coverings. We do not feel it to be beneficial to our employees or dancers. Our risk assessment shows that increased hygiene and social distancing are sufficient steps to manage the spread of Coronavirus. However, any employee or visitor who wishes to use this type of protection, may do so.

Responsibility for implementing this Hygiene Policy Statement rests with the Dance School Principal.  The management team endorses this policy statement and is fully committed to its implementation.

This Hygiene Policy Statement will be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary to remain aligned to government guidelines.

Handwashing Procedure

You should wash your hands for the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice (around 20 seconds):

  1. Wet your hands with water.
    2. Apply enough soap to cover your hands.
    3. Rub your hands together.
    4. Use 1 hand to rub the back of the other hand and clean in between the fingers. Do the same with the other hand.
    5. Rub your hands together and clean in between your fingers.
    6. Rub the back of your fingers against your palms.
    7. Rub your thumb using your other hand. Do the same with the other thumb.
    8. Rub the tips of your fingers on the palm of your other hand. Do the same with other hand.
    9. Rinse your hands with water.
    10. Dry your hands completely with a disposable towel.
    11. Use the disposable towel to turn off the tap.

If you do not have immediate access to soap and water, then use alcohol-based hand sanitiser

If you start to feel unwell with symptoms that could be Coronavirus – such as a high temperature, continual coughing or a sudden loss of taste or smell do not come to work. Instead follow the guidance below.

If you a have come into work and then start to feel unwell with symptoms that could be Coronavirus – such as temperature, continual coughing or a sudden loss of taste or smell then you should:

Collect your belongings and go home as quickly as possible. Use the most direct route, staying as far from other people as you can. Try not to touch anything.

As soon as you’re out of the building and away from other people, use your mobile to contact the dance school principal and tell them that you think you may have the Coronavirus.

The dance school principal will want to know who you’ve spoken to and which class you have been teaching and these parents will need to be notified.

The Dance School Principal will also want to know which areas of the workplace you’ve been into. They will need all surfaces in all these areas and anything you may have touched to be cleaned and disinfected. This will include high contact areas, such as washrooms.

The current advice for people who think they may have Coronavirus (26th May 2020) is that you should NOT go to your doctors or to a hospital. You should go online and check the current government guidance or use the NHS 111 Online Coronavirus Service for advice. The current advice is to stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days.

After 7 days you can stop self-isolating if your symptoms have gone, or if you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these symptoms can last for weeks after the infection has gone.
You’ll need to keep self-isolating if you have any other symptoms (such as a high temperature, runny nose, feeling sick or diarrhoea). You shouldn’t stop self-isolating until these symptoms have gone. You’ll need to keep your manager updated on how you are and what you’ve been advised to do. Your manager will inform your colleagues. If any of your colleagues feel there’s a chance that they may have been near you or potentially infected they will need to self-isolate for 14 days (because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear). If the symptoms appear within these 14 days, they will then need to self-isolate for 7 days from the appearance of the symptoms.

Don’t forget that symptoms such as a high temperature or coughing could be for something other than Coronavirus, but it’s best to be on the safe side.
Anyone showing symptoms of Covid -19 will be stopped from training and sent home immediately and parents from that bubble group will be advised. We record registers with dates and times and interactions for our Bubble Groups in line with the NHS National Track and Trace Programme. If you suspect you may have Covid-19 you must follow the guidance on the NHS website and request a test which will then begin the track and trace process and you must fully adhere to NHS guidance.

The Social Distancing Policy of Inspire Academy of Dance is to be adopted while the restrictions of Coronavirus remain in place. It applies to anyone coming into the workplace in any capacity, including employees at all levels. It has been created to ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, that work will be carried out in our workplace with a commitment to protecting everyone who comes onto the premises.

This policy has the full support of the dance school principal   and teachers. .

In implementing this commitment to manage social distancing properly we will:

  1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment. Before restarting work on a site we will ensure the safety of the workplace by carrying out a risk assessment and letting our employees know the results of the risk assessment.
  2. Encourage employees to work at home wherever possible and only bringing in teachers that are absolutely required.
  3. Encourage employees to walk to work where possible and provide additional parking areas for bikes to allow more employees to cycle to work. There is lots of parking on site so coaches should park further away from the sports hall and attempt to leave a space between cars.
  4. Employees should not use public transport where possible to minimise their risk of infection.
  5. Stagger arrival and leaving times into 10 minute blocks and provide floor markings, so that employees and dancers maintain a 2-metre distance when entering the building if arriving  around the same time as others. (We will be providing hand-sanitiser open entry and exit)
  6. Use clear signage to ensure parents and dancers follow the same procedure as employees, after entering the door.
  7. We will enter and exit via our usual door but the next class will not be able to enter until the prior class have all left the studio.
  8. Use signage to remind employees and visitors of social distancing guidance.

PROCEDURE: COVID-19 SITE MANAGEMENT

Date Adopted: 24/07/2020

Date of last review: 24/07/2020

To be reviewed next before/on: 09/09/2020

PURPOSE AND STATEMENT:

Inspire Academy of Dance is committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of all students, staff and volunteers and will continue to follow the advice of the UK Government, NHS, Public Health England and our local Health Protection Team.

The current (summarised) advice is:

–      Educational settings are currently re-open for select year groups, and opening for all year groups in September

–      OOSS can open from the beginning of the school summer holidays

–      Social distancing is 2m (or 1m+ if 2m is not possible or with risk mitigation)

–      Anyone who is showing symptoms of a cough and/or fever are to self-isolate for 7 days

–      Anyone with confirmed COVID-19 or contact by track and Trace are to self-isolate for 14 days

When Inspire Academy of Dance can provide in-person classes and workshops we intend to do so.

 

DISTRIBUTION:

–      To ensure distribution to all permanent and freelance staff, board members and volunteers

–      To distribute appropriate sections to parents and customers as needed

REVIEW AND MONITORING OF PROCEDURE:

Inspire Academy of Dance will continue to review and update this procedure as more information becomes available.

Monitoring is part of management procedure and will be enforced by all staff.

THE PROCEDURE IS BASED ON THE BELOW PRINCIPLES:

–      The welfare of Inspire Academy of Dance students, staff and volunteers is paramount

–      All staff and volunteers are responsible for ensuring this procedure is followed

–      It is the role of every Inspire Academy of Dance staff member to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19

–      Inspire Academy of Dance is committed to following the advice of the UK Government, NHS and Public Health England

SITE MANAGEMENT:

Max Teacher: Student Ratio = 1: 15

All current social distancing measures will be implemented throughout this procedure.

Groups of no more than 15 students will be supervised by 1 or 2 teachers. For the purposes of child-friendly and age appropriateness Inspire Academy of Dance will call these groups “bubbles”.  There is to be no cross contamination between bubbles as students will not mix and spaces will be deep cleaned between group’s use.

To attend classes, parents must agree to a health questionnaire being completed each day to confirm no one in the household has any symptoms or has been told to self-isolate. Children may supply their own PPE equipment, but it is not the responsibility of teachers to ensure it is used or worn correctly. It is not to be worn during physical activity.

No parents will be allowed on site, they must drop off and collect at separate entry points, to be allocated in writing before the course begins. Staggered drop off and collection times to ensure no over-crowding, and 2m markers will be laid out to ensure any queuing results in social distancing.

Upon arrival, all students are to immediately wash their hands and use anti- bac. Student’s should arrive in uniform and bring suitable dance shoes in a clearly named bag.

Any child with a fever must be immediately isolated and collected by their parents.

Students will be then taken to the space used for their classes where they will have been allocated a 2m2 (or more) space to use throughout their session. An example of this (including safe spaces to walk) is included as appendix 1 of this document.

Breaks, moving to different spaces and the use of corridors and bathrooms will be closely monitored to ensure social distancing is always upheld. This will be through staggered breaks, toilet supervision and a one-way corridor system.

Singing has reportedly been notified as a more high-risk activity in relation to the spread of COVID-19 therefore singing will not be included in class content.

Any student/teacher or family member who is tested positive for COVID-19 up to two weeks post event dates must immediately inform Inspire Academy of Dance management. The bubble that is affected will immediately be notified including students/parents/teachers. Should this occur while classes are running, the bubble affected will be shut down, and spaces deep cleaned immediately follow government guidance “COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings”.

If a student is incapable of following new rules within the studio Inspire Academy of Dance, as mentioned in our student behaviour policy, has the right to remove the student from classes. This will be on a case-by-case basis and no refund will be offered.

SITE MANAGERS: Jo Mortimer / Helen Gomez – Teachers are responsible to keen hygiene measures when teaching their classes.

Site managers must ensure they have disinfectant spray/wipes before every session, or purchase some with petty cash. Site manager must also ensure that they have the full PPE equipment provided by Inspire Academy of Dance to be able to administer first aid.

All site management staff must immediately wash their hands for the prescribed 20 second period upon arrival at site and deep clean all rooms and equipment (if this is not done by the venue). They must also check their own temperature, record it and complete the staff health questionnaire.

Site Managers then must use disinfectant spray/wipes to clean any high contact points, including (but not limited to):

–      Door Handles

–      Sinks, Taps and hand dryers

–      Bannisters

–      Equipment used in class

Site managers must also check the quantity of soap and paper towels in bathrooms and contact premises if supplies are low.

Site managers must ensure the prominent display of hygiene posters (“catch it, kill it, bin it” and hand washing diagrams) and use low-contact electrical tape to mark 2m sections in spaces to be used including in bathrooms. An example of this (including safe spaces to walk) is included as appendix 1 of this document.

Upon teacher arrival at site, site managers must ensure all teachers wash their hands and are temperature checked (which is recorded). Teachers must also be briefed daily and provided antibacterial spray/wipes and gloves if needed. They must also complete the staff health questionnaire.

Upon student arrival at site, site managers must ensure all parents complete the student health form before allowing their child(ren) on to site. Attendees then must wash their hands and temperature checked (which is recorded).

Site managers must ensure teachers are regularly washing their hands, especially when handling Inspire Academy of Dance, venue and personal equipment.

During operation, any communal space for adults (i.e. the staff room) must be cleaned down between teachers. While it is the teacher’s responsibility to conduct this cleaning, site managers must ensure it is conducted.

Site Managers must also wash their hands at regular intervals, no less than between each class or moving between student groups. This includes while moving between classes to supervise.

Site Managers must also wash their hands before/after eating.

Between each class site managers must again deep clean any space used and use disinfectant spray/wipes to clean any high contact points, including (but not limited to):

–      Door Handles

–      Sinks & Taps

–      Bannisters

–      Equipment used in class

Site Managers are expected to ventilate classes as much as possible, including opening doors and windows to encourage air flow.

If a student is incapable of following social distancing guidelines or any new rules established to make Inspire Academy of Dance COVID-19 secure, the site manager must use their discretion in order to control the situation. This could include behaviour management and/or result in the child’s removal from courses. In this instance management must be continuously updated.

Site Managers are expected to follow other NHS guidelines to avoid spreading the virus including washing hands before/after eating and reporting any potential symptoms/confirmed diagnoses to the office as a matter of urgency.

TEACHER/VOLUNTEER PROCEEDURE:

All teachers and volunteers must immediately wash their hands for the prescribed 20 second period upon arrival at site. They must also do this between every class.

Teachers and volunteers are expected to assist site managers with student handwashing between lessons and deep cleaning during changeover.

During operation, any communal space for adults (i.e. the staff room) must be cleaned down between teachers of separate bubbles groups. Where resources are available, staff must use separate equipment. Teachers must clean before and after use of the kitchen and any cups/kettles/fridge/refreshment containers must be wiped with antibacterial wipes/sprays.

If teachers/volunteers are teaching at schools other than Inspire Academy of Dance a meticulous log of these sessions must be kept in order to assist NHS track and trace and Inspire Academy of Dance in safeguarding students.

If a student breaks new social distancing rules, or any other rule implemented by Inspire Academy of Dance to safeguard students, site management must be immediately informed.

Teachers and Volunteers are expected to follow other Inspire Academy of Dance procedure, social distancing and NHS guidelines to avoid spreading the virus including washing hands before/after eating and reporting any potential symptoms/confirmed diagnoses to the office as a matter of urgency.

 

You will notice the government and this pack referring to “bubbles”. By this, we purely mean a group of students and staff who are consistent in their grouping.

On 10th July 2020 the DfE announced updated ‘bubble’ guidance.

It now reads that “As far as it is possible, groups should also not be mixing within the setting itself.”

Bubbles are still capped at 15 children PLUS staff. Even if your venue can hold more, children must be in these sized groups. However, depending on the size of your venue and social distancing requirements you may have to have under that number.

HOW BUBBLES WORK:

Bubbles reduce the risk of cross-infection. These groups of children are, as far as possible, to have no interaction, aside from cross-bubble management staff (such as a trained DSL or Paediatric First Aider) if proper social distancing is observed.

Providers must use their best judgement when working out groups in order to minimise the amount of ‘mixing’ (for example, the number of different people each child encounters). This means that students at your school who are taught by numerous teachers, in different classes, may need to only pick one or two, or you might need to look at timetabling.

As bubbles use the same facilities (i.e. rooms and toilets) it might also reduce the need for deep cleaning, although cleaning of high-contact points is still enforced. Bubbles may also share facilities so long as proper cleaning and social distancing is in place.

Bubbles also assist with Track and Trace. Should a child become unwell with COVID-19, advice from Track and Trace may be that the rest of their class or group within the setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days, but assuming social distancing has been observed this might not be necessary.

There is separate guidance for Early Years settings (for children below 5) regarding staff, distancing and bubbles. Below is a summary. You should edit the procedure and risk assessment in line with this.

THE DOWN LOW:

On 10th July DfE released new guidance for EY settings.

From 20th July “early years settings will no longer be required to keep children in small, consistent groups within settings.”

If you teach both (under 5s and over 5s) you can apply the guidance to separate classes depending on age. Or, if you have a class with both, then you must follow the 15-person bubble rule.

This is based on all other COVID-19 secure procedure being in place:

Included (but not limited to):

  1. Ensuring no one at the setting (or a part of anyone’s household) if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  2. Promoting regular handwashing in both staff and students
  • Introduce good hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  1. introduce enhanced cleaning such as high-contact points.
  2. minimise contact between groups where possible
  3. where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

There is no need for social distancing when caring for Early Years, but if it is possible it is advised, particularly if you are also going to be caring for children over the age of 5.

More specific guidance for early years can be found here for anyone wishing to find out more:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures

WELLBEING OF CHILDREN AND TEACHERS

The safety and well-being of our teachers and children is at the forefront of all decision-making. This summer, Inspire Academy of Dance will be reopening, and this may be the first-time children are leaving their home since the beginning of lockdown. Teachers and families will have had different experiences of recent events and now we must come together to provide a stable and secure environment for the children at Inspire Academy of Dance.

Our Approach

At Inspire Academy of Dance:

  • We always act professionally, following the staff code of conduct and maintaining confidentiality.
  • We seek support and advice from our leaders and do not make decisions alone – this is especially important when we are faced with well-being, medical, bereavement and safeguarding concerns.
  • We do not attempt to be medical experts or therapists – we are led by government advice and seek support from Inspire Academy of Dance leadership when needed.
  • We leave our worries and anxieties at the front door and provide a secure and stable setting for all children.

Experiences of Lockdown

Every child will have a different experience of the past few months. Some will have had a home life centred around them as parents/carers and had some quality family time. Others may have been aware of uncertainties around falling ill from Covid-19, worries about older relatives, financial uncertainties and work tensions. This may cause some children to be reluctant about leaving the ‘cocoon’ of the family home for the first time to come to Inspire Academy of Dance. For others the time at home might have been more turbulent, with family tensions amplified, multiple anxieties causing an increase in stress and no routines or structure to the day. Learning could feel increasingly remote and irrelevant.

The First Day

As stated above, Inspire Academy of Dance may well be the first-time children have been left outside of their home ‘cocoon’ for several months. Returning may bring up forgotten feelings about early days at nursery or reception when separating from their primary carer. Extra care may be needed to re-integrate into the usually familiar Inspire Academy of Dance session.

Everyone will have got used to their new routines and structures. Keeping their routine and timetable clear and transparent to the kids will be equally important.

They will have questions, which may indicate how the children have responded to the pandemic. Some of these feelings and worries may be irrational but unsettling, nonetheless. It is important to follow a consistent approach when questions are asked which is explained below (in the Communication Response section).

These questions can also be approached on the first day with some sort of social/circle time. Focusing the children’s kinds of worries might be useful. Topping and tailing this with a positive thought will help. During this time, it is important to acknowledge how different the week will be compared to usual e.g. reduced numbers, increased safety measures, shorter days).

Reminding them that remembering to try their best and help each other will make things more enjoyable, while everyone is getting used to being together again and finding slightly new ways of doing things.

Communication Response

Some children will be arriving at Inspire Academy of Dance with anxieties and possible experiences of trauma and bereavement. We must provide these children with a consistent response from all members of staff that reassures and provides a sense of safety. Every response that we give to a child must be well-considered. The more prepared we are, the more helpful our responses will be.

  1. Create a space for conversation

Demonstrate that you are available to talk but never force the conversation as this may feel intrusive.

  1. Acknowledge, empathise and validate

We often want to reassure children and find solutions to make them feel better, but first, spend time listening. Be accepting of their worry, anger and sadness about how things are at present and help them to name the emotion they are feeling if necessary. Try to avoid early reassurance, “everything’s fine” or telling them, “don’t be sad”. Recognise that these kinds of feelings are common, understandable and normal.

  1. Contain anxieties

Children find it difficult to evaluate risk by themselves. We can help children to balance risk by holding difficult information for them and making sure that we do not exacerbate their worries. Don’t let these conversations dominate any [COMPANY NAME] session. We must make sure that our own experiences and anxieties do not come into play when speaking to children.

  1. Continue and normalise

Keeping things as normal as possible will help children to feel safe and at ease in school. When we have difficult conversations with children, it is important to get back to ‘work as normal’ quickly and reassure them before going home.

Managing our own Feelings and Thoughts on Returning to Work

On returning to Inspire Academy of Dance, it is likely that we will be preoccupied with our own experiences of the lockdown, our real or potential losses and the anxieties stirred up by the current circumstances. It could be tempting to let these topics dominate our conversations with our colleagues. During the training there will be a facilitated discussion so that everyone has the opportunity, if they choose to use it, to name some of their feelings and thoughts about the lockdown, returning to Inspire Academy of Dance and the future.

While teaching at Inspire Academy of Dance, when we are going about our business, it will be important to use our capacity to compartmentalise so that we can put to the side some of our more pressing concerns and stay in the present moment. We’ll need to focus on re-establishing our relationships with children and with our colleagues. A challenge we all face is processing and working through what the lockdown has meant for us and what we continue to live through. At the same time, we need to reconnect with our ‘lost worlds’ and familiarise ourselves with our ‘new normal’. This will call upon both us an individuals and collective commitment to working collaboratively and thoughtfully to rebuild our everyday lives and make the most of the opportunity of doing things differently.