School and exams, Parenting, Coronavirus

26 June, 2020

Supporting children leaving primary school behind

Listen | Child psychiatrist Dr Aileen Murtagh explores how we can support sixth class students saying goodbye to primary school under the unusual circumstances brought about by COVID-19.

Moving on from primary school

Moving on from primary school

As sixth class students across Ireland finish up their school year, their days in primary school come to an end in unusual circumstances.

With schools closed for the past number of months, sixth class students haven't been able to spend their last days in primary school together in the classroom, saying goodbye to friends, teachers and school staff who have been a big part of their life for the past number of years. Teachers and parents are instead coming up with creative ways - such as online graduation ceremonies - to mark the occasion and give students a send-off.

Of course, finishing in primary school means that students will be transitioning into secondary school when the next academic year begins - and this is an important milestone in any young person's life.

Current circumstances mean that students may feel more anxious or uncertain about what lies ahead. Dr Aileen Murtagh, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with St Patrick's Mental Health Services, joined RTÉ's Morning Ireland to talk about ways we can support children to process their feelings and deal with this change.