As the crisis in Ukraine continues, the SATs Companion team is here to support schools, teachers, parents, and pupils through these trying times. Whilst we can’t provide you with all the answers, we can help.
The team is busy providing new wellbeing content, meanwhile, refer to our recommended resources below.
Explaining the war
An exceptional starting point, Newsround and our linking partner BBC Bitesize have a wide array of articles covering the war.
Unfamiliar terms: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/60536983
History of Ukraine & Russia: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/60513502
How to spot fake news: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/52943167
If you’re still struggling to explain, use this analogy a mum used to clearly explain the conflict to her children.
Another accessible way is using books. Stories are a fantastic way to convey difficult topics to children gently. BookTrust have a set list of recommended readers for older children. A great book for older readers is The Boy at the Back of the Classroom by Onjali Q. Raúf.
Wellbeing and navigating the news
It’s normal to get scared from seeing things in the news, but knowing how to help when it’s overwhelming is important. Again, we recommend Newsround’s easy guide to help you get started. Different things work for different people, but one of the best tips is encouraging children to acknowledge their emotions. Vocalising what is troubling them can help identify specific stressors or concerns.
Anxiety over Ukraine:
BBC Bitesize: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zwdm6g8
BBC Bitesize Support: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/support
Additionally, you can download our free wellbeing pack with five printable worksheets suitable for individual or group practice.
Helping & supporting Ukraine
In times of trouble, this quote from Mr Rogers comes to mind:
“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
Helping children find practical ways to support families & people from Ukraine may also help to alleviate anxiety.
Refugee Support: https://www.refugeesupporteu.com/
Homes for Ukraine: https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/
As troubling as the news has been, seeing what schools are doing to support Ukraine has been a bright light. One school in Northampton is holding a Ukraine Day for charity. Meanwhile, over in Poland, pupils have been welcoming young refugees into their country.
The SATs Companion team stands in solidarity with Ukraine, and we hope for peace in Europe soon. We recommend bookmarking this post; we will be continuously updating our resources as things develop.
We hope SATs Companion helps strengthen your class’s progress through all stages of KS2.