Sheffield based company, Twinkl Educational Publishing has released an electronic book (ebook) that focuses on the experiences that children may have faced during the lockdown and the emotions they may experience when returning to school in the coming months.
The free ebook, In It Together, introduces four characters who demonstrate how their life has changed due to the closure of schools. The simple text and child-friendly illustrations show the characters as they live, learn and love during lockdown. They are seen practicing social distancing, learning from home, clapping for carers, and missing friends and family.
The Twinkl team understands that returning to school after lockdown will be a challenging and emotional time for children. According to Barnardos, 88% of school staff said the pandemic is likely to have an effect on the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils.
A number of concerned parents and carers have also reached out to Twinkl through its social media groups and customer support, asking for resources to support their children or pupil’s return to class.
Twinkl encourages parents, carers and teachers to use the story to talk to children about COVID-19 and going back to school, if they are returning. The company also offers further free resources and advice on its site.
The Twinkl Originals book was written, illustrated, designed, and published in a matter of weeks as the team recognised the need to support children as schools reopen on the 1st June.
The children’s story is available for free on the Twinkl website and the Twinkl Originals app, which is available for download on the App Store and Google Play. The story is one of the educational publishers Twinkl Originals, a range of books that the company has been producing since 2018.
There is also a reading of the book from a former teacher and team member at Twinkl, available on the Twinkl YouTube channel.
Jonathan Seaton, Co-Founder and CEO at Twinkl, said: “At Twinkl, we understand how extremely challenging the current situation is for parents, teachers, and children. We wanted to create a story targeted at young children to support them with their return to school. The team has worked incredibly hard to produce a story that allows children to talk openly about their concerns. We hope that it will encourage conversations and be useful to people at this time.”
Katherine Richardson, a parent and reader said: “It helped my daughter to show empathy for other children’s circumstances during lockdown and how they might be different to hers. It has given her the reassurance she needed for the next step of this journey.”
Kate Parnham, a parent, and reader said: “My daughter loved it. She liked seeing how some of the characters have been doing similar things to what she’s been doing whilst at home and also how the character, Matthew, is like some of her friends who have been in school during this time.”
Twinkl’s mission is to help those who teach and the company offers over 640,000 teaching and learning materials on its website, which are all teacher created and checked. The company has recently created a free Home Learning Hub, full of daily activities and materials, to support parents, teachers, and carers during school closures.