Return to
on-site learning


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Some children may need time and support to transition back to on-site learning. Some children who may particularly benefit from preparation and planning for their return include children with autism, ADHD, anxiety, intellectual disabilities, or children with additional learning needs, as well as any children who are known to find transitions challenging. Teachers may consider the following strategies to support children with positive transitions.

Children may benefit from consistent routines and structure when transitioning back to school.


  • Establish consistent routines and structure. Having consistent routines or schedules can increase feelings of stability or security. Consider providing a visual class schedule, and let children know if you will be transitioning to a new activity.
  • Clearly communicate any new routines and rules. Short and clear instructions that are repeated are best. Consider modelling new routines and rules, providing visual reminders (such as posters), and lots of prompts.
  • Consider which changes could be a trigger. Changes such as a different teacher, new classroom layout, or new ways of doing things could increase anxiety. Communicate about these changes well before they occur, and consider what additional support may be needed. The AllPlay Learn behaviour support page may be helpful.

Children may need time and support to adapt to the changes in their normal school routine.


  • Consider how you can support psychological well-being. Various types of anxiety, in particular, separation anxiety, may be heightened in some children. Some strategies include using emotion cards and accessing our child mental health and wellbeing page. Model positive coping and ensure children are aware of support services they can access at school.
  • Provide breaks and access to safe spaces. Children might require more breaks as they settle back in. Provide breaks or energisers after challenging work. Having a safe space where children can choose to go if they are feeling overwhelmed can be helpful for assisting some children to manage difficult feelings.
  • Recognise that children‘s learning needs may now have changed. Some children may require similar supports to what they received previously, while others may now require different or increased supports. Check-in frequently with the children about how they are finding learning in the classroom once again.

primary teacher return
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