New kids’ books Lenny and Lily help answer your children’s questions about everything going on during the pandemic and also help prepare them as they return to school – and you can read them for free!
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Lenny and Lily Books Helping Kids Going Back to School
Lenny and Lily in Lockdown and Lenny and Lily Return to School are designed to help children make sense of their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, communicate their feelings and prepare for more change as they go back to the classroom.
Your child does not have to be able to read as the stories are told in pictures alone, so they are appropriate for pupils in both mainstream and special education settings.
Both stories are structured around the 5 Losses and 5 Levers of the Recovery Curriculum.
This new Curriculum was developed by Professor Barry Carpenter, Professor of Mental Health in Education, Oxford Brookes University and Matthew Carpenter, Principal of Baxter College in Kidderminster.
They suggest that when children return to school there needs to be a Recovery Curriculum in place covering:
Lever 1: Relationships
Students may not return joyfully, and many of the relationships that were thriving, may need to be invested in and restored. We need to plan for this to happen, not assume that it will. Reach out to greet them, use the relationships we build to cushion the discomfort of returning.
Lever 2: Community
We must recognise that curriculum will have been based in the community for a long period of time. We need to listen to what has happened in this time, understand the needs of our community and engage them in the transitioning of learning back into school.
Lever 3: Transparent Curriculum
Students will feel like they have lost time in learning and we must show them how we are addressing these gaps, consulting and co-constructing with our students to heal this sense of loss.
Lever 4: Metacognition
In different environments, students will have been learning in different ways. It is vital that we make the skills for learning in a school environment explicit to our students to reskill and rebuild their confidence as learners.
Lever 5: Space
Space to be, to rediscover self, and to find their voice on learning in this issue. It is only natural that we all work at an incredible pace to make sure this group of learners are not disadvantaged against their peers, providing opportunity and exploration alongside the intensity of our expectations.
Lenny and Lily in Lockdown
In the book Lenny and Lily in Lockdown by Prof Barry Carpenter, Ali Erskine and Jenny Hawkes, illustrated by Charlotte Firmin, Lenny and Lily live next door to each other. Every day they walk to school together and play with the same group of friends.
Then one day their teacher explains there is a pandemic. She tells them it means their school will be closing for some weeks and they will be learning at home. Lenny and Lily feel sad and abandoned.
The story explores Lenny and Lily’s experiences of loss and change in the days of the lockdown, how they develop ways of maintaining their friendship, the challenges of learning at home and the range of emotions they each experience.
Lenny and Lily Return to School
In Lenny and Lily Return to School, also by Prof Barry Carpenter, Ali Erskine and Jenny Hawkes, Lenny and Lily have had different experiences of the lockdown, but now it’s time for them to return to school.
Lily is excited to go back and meet up with her friends again, but Lenny has enjoyed being at home with his family and feels more anxious.
When Lenny and Lily go back to school they both face different challenges. Lenny struggles to reconnect with his friends and find his place in the group. Lily has found home learning difficult and struggles to keep up with the pace of lessons in class.
The story explores the range of emotions Lenny and Lily experience as they come back into school and rebuild relationships with their teachers and friends.
Supporting text at the end of each story gives teaching staff and parents guidance on how to use the stories with children.
Both stories are available to download for FREE in time for the start of the new term from Books Beyond Words.
About Books Beyond Words
Books Beyond Words gives people the chance to work together and explore different types of situations:
- everyday opportunities and experiences
- things that are about to happen, like going to hospital
- life decisions, like having a relationship or agreeing to an operation.
- things that have already happened like losing someone you love.
Have your say! Do you think the Lenny and Lily books will be useful in your house? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!